SOLON — Senior linebacker Brett White shared the Solon protection’s unofficial motto.
He famous the “we’ve got to choose our guys up” angle of the protection’s workmanlike effort to beat adversity.
“We all know we’ve got to go grit it out and that’s our important aim,” White mentioned. “We’ve obtained to win for our crew. We simply go on the market and play for our crew.”
A number of occasions the protection hoisted the crew on its shoulders Friday night time, canceling out brief fields and turnovers, limiting scores and placing up factors of their very own within the No. 7 Spartans’ 21-14 victory over top-ranked Williamsburg in a Class 3A District 5 battle at Spartan Stadium. Solon (6-1, 3-0) received its sixth straight sport and took management of the district title race.
“Our resiliency has been key with these guys all yr from Week 1 to now,” Solon Coach Lucas Stanton mentioned. “It’s by no means simple they usually know that. I’m pleased with the toughness they present. They by no means fold. They stick collectively.”
The protection shined within the first half, matching the Raiders’ factors.
Solon was pressured to play a lot of the half on its facet of the sphere with little relaxation after two muffed punts gave Williamsburg (5-1, 2-1) prolonged possessions. The Spartans allowed simply seven factors — an 8-yard landing cross from Kellen Cockrell to Clayten Steckly for a 7-0 lead.
Solon’s protection answered. Brett White’s sack of Cockrell popped the ball unfastened and Barret Schade picked it up and rumbled 60 yards for the tying TD.
“I used to be proper there and simply picked it up and ran,” Schade mentioned. “I couldn’t do it with out my crew. They helped me out.”
Schade scored his first defensive TD. When he scooped up the ball and had a wide-open subject in entrance of him, one factor echoed in his thoughts.
“I used to be like ‘Run as quick as you may,’” Schade mentioned. “I didn’t wish to get caught from behind.”
The groups exchanged possessions with out a lot of a risk. Williamsburg moved into Solon territory with lower than two minutes earlier than half however the Solon protection got here up huge to arrange the Spartans’ greatest possession earlier than the break.
Jack McCarty intercepted a Derek Weisskopf cross, giving Solon the ball by itself 36 with 1:21 left. Six performs later, Conlan Poynton plunged in from 1 yard out for a 14-7 lead with 2.7 seconds left earlier than the break.
Poynton led Solon with 141 yards speeding on eight carries.
“He’s been superior,” Stanton mentioned. “I’m pleased with him and the way in which he’s stepped up for us.
“He’s the type of child that will get stronger as the sport goes. He embraces it and it’s good to have that choice.”
The rating was arrange by good speeding beneficial properties by Poynton and quarterback Tyler Bell. It was Bell’s 40-yard cross to Eddie Johnson, who bullied his method right down to the 1 with six seconds remaining. Stanton was content material with a subject aim however his crew lobbied to go for it and received.
“It was nice for Ty to search out Eddie and Eddie made a terrific catch,” Stanton mentioned. “The run was numerous coronary heart and guts to get down there.
“Our youngsters mentioned we wish to rating. We would like the landing and wish to ship a message. I imagine in our youngsters one hundred pc after they discuss to me like that.”
Williamsburg tied the sport after the break. Weisskopf hit Steckly for a 28-yard rating, making it 14-14 with 8:51 left within the third.
Solon’s protection got here up huge once more within the fourth, establishing the successful rating. Cole Carney intercepted a cross on the Raiders 13. 4 performs later, Johnson scored on a 1-yard run for the ultimate rating.
“It does lots as a result of that’s a very good crew,” White mentioned. “That’s a state championship crew, proper there. They’ve numerous dawgs. This offers us confidence to launch our crew.”
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