SOLON — The Solon offense made sure there would be no repeat of last year’s narrow escape against West Liberty.
Coach Kevin Miller’s team came out and established itself right away on offense, jumping to a 28-0 halftime lead en route to a 48-7 victory at Spartan Stadium.
The Spartans, ranked No. 5 in the Gazette/KGYM Class 3A poll, defeated the Class 2A Comets just 7-0 last season.
Miller said his players remembered that battle in preparation for this year’s contest, but was quick to add that he wasn’t all together pleased with his team despite the final score.
“Yeah, it was mentioned a little bit,” Miller said. “They had a lot to do with it, but we were sluggish. Tonight, we just had too many mistakes. I don’t want to sound negative because we did do some good things, but we have a lot of things to tighten up for next week. They know I am going to hold them accountable.”
The Spartan defense was strong, holding the Comets to 167 total yards, 80 coming on a late Will Esmoil touchdown run with Solon’s reserves in the game.
The offense, as Miller stated, had its moments. Senior quarterback Cam Miller completed 15 of 24 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. The four-year regular echoed his father’s sentiments about the Spartans’ performance.
“We have to sharpen things up,” said Cam Miller. “We had too many penalties. We didn’t make some plays at key times and you can’t do that against teams like Xavier, Western Dubuque and North Scott once the playoffs roll around.”
Senior receiver AJ Coons had a big night with three catches for 111 yards, yet his night could have been bigger. He had two sure scoring passes go right through his hands.
“That’s not AJ,” said Coach Miller. “He just doesn’t drop balls like that. He had one fantastic catch, but he will learn and grow from it. He’s the type of kid who will take it and get better because of it.”
Running back Seamus Poynton ran for 71 tough yards and three scores. Jace Andregg also scored a pair of touchdowns for the Spartans.
Esmoil finished with 119 yards rushing on 12 carries for West Liberty.
Cam Miller is confident the Spartans will continue to grow as a team.
“Every game, I think we are going to get better,” he said. “We want to look to set the tone early and I think we did that tonight. We just have to maintain it throughout an entire game.”
Next week Solon (2-0) travels to play Marion at Thomas Park. West Liberty (0-2) is also on the road, playing at Anamosa.