Prep Football: Regina Thumps Solon to Win 30th Straight

By Jason Brummond, Reporter

Regina's Riley Dixon evades tackle by Solon defenders in the first half of play at Regina Friday night. (Justin Torner/Freelance)

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By Grant Burkhardt

IOWA CITY – Solon made the big mistakes at all the wrong times. Iowa City Regina jumped on the opportunity.

The Class 1A top-ranked Regals scored 21 points off four turnovers in a 31-7 win over 3A No. 8 Solon in non-district high school football game last night at Regina Field. The Spartans didn’t score until the closing seconds of the fourth quarter.

The Regals (2-0) now have a 30-game winning streak, including three straight against Solon. The first win in that stretch for the Regals ended Solon’s 42-game winning streak.

Regina quarterback Mark Ward connected with Alex Balke for three touchdowns – a 10-yard slant in the second quarter, a 14-yard throw and run in the second and a 49-yard pass in the third quarter after another short pass.

Riley Dixon rushed for 150 yards, including 15 carries for 130 yards in the first half.

Solon (1-1) trailed 10-0 late in the first half when the Spartans put together their first legitimate drive of the game.

The Spartans reached Regina’s 16-yard line after starting at their own 30, but quarterback Rory Siddell’s fade pass to the end zone was intercepted by Matt Streb for a touchback with 1:51 left in the second quarter.

The Regals made quick work after a substitution infraction, reaching Solon territory on two plays with a 21-yard run by Mike Donovan and a 15-yard pass interference penalty. Dixon added runs of 37 and 2 yards, and then Ward connected with Alex Balke on a 10-yard slant for a touchdown.

In the flash of 54 seconds, Solon went from cutting the lead to one possession to trailing 16-0.

Solon thought it had a shot to end Regina’s run. There was even a sign this week on a barn south of town along Highway 1 that read “Solon Football Clinic 12 Mi So,” with an arrow pointing towards Iowa City.

But the Spartans learned the real lesson: Turnovers and mistakes against good teams will cost you.

The interception at the end of the first half was huge.

Earlier in the second quarter, Solon shanked a 13-yard punt that only traveled to its own 41-yard line. Regina turned that into a short drive and a 37-yard field goal from Nick Dolezal.

Ward intercepted a Sieddell pass in the third quarter. Two plays later Ward and Balke hooked up for a touchdown.

Solon was driving inside Regina’s 10-yard line at the start of the fourth quarter when a fumbled snap ended the pursuit. The Regals went 92 yards in just four plays, making it 31-0 with 9:46 remaining.

Regina produced a 66-yard scoring drive to open the game – all but 10 yards on the ground. Ward finished the final 37 yards on the ground, including an 11-yard TD scamper.

Regina starts play in Class 1A District 6 next week at West Branch. Solon hosts Mount Pleasant next week in a non-district game.

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