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Solon Rolls to Another District Title

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Solon will start another trip to the state playoffs right where it started the season, playing DeWitt Central.

The Spartans (8-1) defeated Grinnell (7-2), 31-14, Friday night in Grinnell to capture the District 3A-6 title. Their first-round playoff date next Wednesday will be a rematch of the season-opener, won by Solon 28-21.

"Our kids understand the mental, emotional and physical grind (of the postseason)," Solon Coach Kevin Miller told KCRG 9.2 after the game.

The defending state champion Spartans used turnovers and a punishing ground game to stop the Tigers. Tim Lance returned a pair of first-quarter fumbles one when the Grinnell punter could not handle a high snap and the other on an aborted handoff for two touchdowns to give the visitors a 14-3 lead. Solon scored a put-away TD after a fourth-quarter interception.

Running back Cody Fritz rushed for 138 yards and one TD on 28 carries. Quarterback J.J. Hanus added 89 yards and a TD on 13 carries and also completed 11 of 19 passes for 143 yards.

Meanwhile, the Spartans defense held Grinnell to 7 first downs, 204 total yards and 0-9 on third-down conversions.

"We were very opportunistic," Miller said. "We executed on the offensive end, played stout defense and our special teams came up big."

One of the highlights for the Tigers was Nate Criswell's 47-yard field goal, that pulled the home team within 14-6 early in the second quarter.

You can catch the replay of this game on KCRG 9.2 on the following dates and times:

Replay 10/22 @ 9:00a, 10/24 @ 2:40a, 10/27 @ 7:00p, 10/30 @ 2:40a, 11/5 @ 2:40a, 11/8 @ 2:40a, 11/17 @ 2:40a, 11/23 @ 2:40a