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42 Stanton and Spartans’ lucky number

Spartans blast Trojans, 42-7
Solon’s Blake Timmons takes the snap from center Zach Harp on Friday, Sept. 4, at Spartan Stadium during the Spartan’s 33-18 loss to the Washington Demons. Timmons completed eight of 13 passing for 154 yards and a touchdown Sept. 18 at South Tama in a 42-7 win. He carried the ball 11 times for 73 yards as quarterback. (file photos by Jeff Hess)

TAMA– The Solon varsity football team moved to 2-2 on the season, 2-0 in Class 2A, District 6 play, following another 42-point evening.
The Spartans blasted the South Tama Trojans, 42-7, on the road on Friday, Sept. 18.
It was the second straight week of 42-point productivity, following the week three rout of Union, 42-0.
Forty-two may just be the Spartans’ and Head Coach Lucas Stanton’s new favorite number.
Stanton, when asked if Friday night’s Homcoming game might be another 42-point affair, refused to forecast.
“Ha, ha! No predictions, but we do like that number!” he responded.
Once again, the Spartan line provided ample protection, and the offense generated points.
“We went into this game knowing South Tama had a really good (running back) and that's what they wanted to do was get the ball in his hands,” Coach Stanton commented. “We were very pleased with how our defense performed, holding them to 76 yards rushing total. That was certainly key in our success.”
He continued, “South Tama was big upfront on both sides of the ball, so offensively, we felt like this would be a good challenge for our o-line to establish our run game again. We knew going into the game they would try to do a few things to stop our run game, but we were confident in our adjustments and also knew we could open up our pass game.”
Coach Stanton credited the whole team with the success.
“Key performances on defense was our whole team,” he said. “We played great team defense all night and responded very well to the few times South Tama threatened. On offense, I really liked how our offensive line progressed this past week, but Colton Hoffman really came up big for us, as well.”
Coach Stanton still found room for improvement in the game, however.
“We fell short in the area of special teams this week,” he lamented. “We gave up a score and also had, for the second week in a row, a fake punt ran on us. We have to improve in that area and we will.”
The Spartans put up 14 points in the first quarter from a one-yard Jackson Ryan run, capped by a Brent Lumpkin point-after attempt (PAT), and a hook-up between quarterback Blake Timmons and Carson Miller for 19 yards, sealed with another Lumpkin kick. Between the two Solon scores, South Tama’s Payton Vest returned a kickoff 90 yards, quieting the loyal Spartan fans in attendance, and the Trojans’ Uriel Martinez capped the South Tama score with the PAT. The quarter ended, Spartans 14, South Tama 7.
The Spartans were held to just six points in the second quarter, earned on a 39-yard pass from Timmons connecting with Colton Hoffman, followed by a failed point-after. The Spartans led, 20-7, at the half.
Fifteen unanswered points in the third quarter came from a Timmons four-yard run, with a two-point conversion pass from Timmons to Hoffman, and Hoffman reeled in a 45-yard pass from Timmons, capped with another Lumpkin boot through the uprights. The Spartans led at the end of three quarters, 35-7.
Solon junior Hayden Taylor delivered the final score in the fourth with a 16-yard scramble into the end zone and Lumpkin provided another extra point. Solon triumphed over the Trojans, 42-7.
Timmons completed eight of 13 passing for 154 yards and a touchdown, and carried the ball 11 times for 73 yards as quarterback.
He hit four receivers on the evening. Hoffman was the primary target grabbing five receptions, accumulating 121 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed the ball twice for a loss of three total yards. Miller grabbed one for 19 yards and a touchdown, and rushed the ball once for an 11-yard gain. Ben Cusick and junior Logan Sieverding pulled in a catch apiece for eight yards and six yards, respectively.
Ryan once again shouldered the bulk of the Spartans’ rushing offense, carrying the ball 16 times for 97 yards and a touchdown. Taylor carried the ball seven times for Solon amassing 88 yards and a touchdown, while Kinnick Pusteoska and Tyler Hancox both carried the ball one time for five and four yards, respectively.
It was the Spartans’ best offensive performance this season, earning 429 total offensive yards in the win.
The defense once again delivered three scoreless quarters to aide in delivering the victory.
Carson Shive led the Spartans defensively with eight total tackles, including five solo tackles. Hoffman collected six solo tackles including one for loss, and Erich Karsten wrestled five tackles, including four solo. Lucas TePoel recorded 4.5 total tackles, including three solos and assisted on a tackle for a loss. Danny Knezevich, Taylor and Cayden Knipper were credited with 3.5 tackles apiece, including three solos each. Miller and Ryan recorded three total tackles apiece– all of them solo. Cusick drug down 2.5 total tackles, two of them solo. Jake Quillin, Lucas Kampman, Josh O’Neil and Gage Marty were all credited with two total tackles apiece– all of them solo and both of Marty’s for a loss. Austin Quaintance and Joe McAtee battled for a solo tackle apiece with Quaintance’s a tackle for a loss. Hancox, Jackson Clevenger, Dade Altman, Zach Harp and Josh Olney were responsible for half a tackle apiece.
Ryan recovered a sole Trojan fumble and Quillin pulled in an interception for Solon.
Ryan also returned two kicks for a total of 52 yards for the Spartans.
Tyler Hancox punted once for 33 yards.
Coach Stanton credited the team’s overall improvement for the last two weeks’ offensive productivity.
“It's a little bit of everything above,” he referenced in his response. “We feel like we have multiple guys who can breakout. If teams want to take away certain things we do, then we feel like we have built-in answers. We aren't where we want to be by any means, but we are further along than the beginning of the year, which is obviously what you want to see. Credit goes to our o-line and our kids for embracing the process.”
Coach Stanton alluded to the weather in Solon’s Sept. 11, 42-0 win over Union as the reason passing did not play into that game’s plan more.
“Last week, in the rain it was just going to be tough for us to do some of things through the air that we want to do,” he said. “This week, on a dry surface, we took advantage of those opportunities and things within the game plan. It's no secret, we are a run-oriented offense, but we do want to be effective in the pass game. We also want to take advantage of mismatches where we can.”
Friday, Sept. 25, the Spartans return home to host the Vinton-Shellsburg Vikings, 1-3 on the season, for Homecoming.
Both teams seem comparable in offensive and defensive production.
The Vikings are 35-67 passing for 425 yards with one aerial touchdown, and rushed 160 times for 810 yards and six rushing touchdowns. Solon is 25-50 passing for 424 yards and six touchdowns while rushing 167 times for 971 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Turnovers seem to be Vinton-Shellsburg’s weakness with five interceptions.
The Vikings have recorded 160.5 total tackles, 100 solo and two sacks, to the Spartans 164 total tackles, 121 solo and four sacks.
Vinton-Shellsburg leads the Spartans in fumble recoveries, though, with five compared to Solon’s three.
Coach Stanton emphasized the importance of coming home and collecting a win.
“A win at home, on Homecoming, is very important for our kids to continue to build that confidence and keep this rolling in the right direction,” he emphasized. “(The Vikings) play pretty physical between the tackles on defense, and on offense they are a big misdirection/deception team. We will have to show some discipline and continue to play physical football. No matter who we play each week, we emphasize taking care of the football. Vinton does a good job of trying to control the ball.”
Solon and Vinton-Shellsburg take the field at 7 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.
Statistics for the article provided courtesy of ia.varsitybound.com on Sept. 20.