Solon Wins 4th Straight State Championship

By Jeff Linder, Reporter

Solon's Colin Stebral (center) tries to outrun Heelan's Paul Jacobson (left) and Dane Hickman along the sideline during the first half of their Class 3A championship game at the UNI-Dome on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/SourceMedia Group News)

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By Kelli Sutterman

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Solon has won its fourth consecutive state football championship.

No. 4 Solon defeated No. 5 Sioux City Heelan, 45-7.

The Spartans started with a stop and a score, a break and another score.

After Heelan went three and out, the Spartans marched 75 yards in 15 plays, converting three third-down opportunities. Brian Jedlicka capped it with a 1-yard TD sweep.

Solon kicker Marshall Koehn rifled the ensuing kickoff off a Heelan lineman, then Austin Holub won the race for the loose ball at the Heelan 15. Three plays later, Zach Ward scored on a 1-yard run to make it 14-0 at the 2:34 mark of the first quarter.

J.J. Hanus’ 47-yard pass to Colin Stebral set up the Spartans’ third score, a 6-yard run by Hanus that made it 21-0 with 4:22 left in the second quarter.

The Spartans got the ball at their own 20 with 1:46 left in the half. Grind out the clock? Forget it.

Hanus ran the 2-minute drill to precision, directing the Spartans to the Heelan 27. Marshall Koehn nailed a 45-yard field goal as time expired to send Solon into the locker room ahead, 24-0.

Solon outgained the Crusaders, 268-58, in the first half. Thirty-nine of Heelan’s yards came on one play. The Spartans collected 13 first downs in the first half, Heelan two.

Heelan got on the board early in the third quarter, on Paul Jacobson’s 18-yard pass to Pete Fitzsimmons on third-and-17.

Solon got the score right back, with a pass-interference call and a 50-yard pass from Hanus to Derrick Loveless setting up Ward’s 1-yard TD run.

The Spartans added a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and got the continuous clock running with 4:52 to go.

Fitzsimmons set the play up by grabbing teammate Michael Malloy’s fumble in stride and hustling it to the Solon 11.

The fourth-ranked Spartans (12-1) have run off 11 straight wins since a loss to Iowa City Regina in Week 2. Regina won the 2A title Saturday, 21-0, over North Polk.

Heelan (12-1) has rattled off 12 consecutive wins since falling 36-33 to Sioux City East to start the season.

Solon won 2A state titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 before moving up a class this year.
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