Cedar Rapids Xavier comes back to top Solon

Cedar Rapids Xavier comes back to top Solon


Cedar Rapids Xavier comes back to top Solon


Solon's Bo Black converts a third down during the Spartans' game against Cedar Rapids Xavier at Solon on Friday.

Solon’s Bo Black converts a third down during the Spartans’ game against Cedar Rapids Xavier at Solon on Friday.

SOLON, Ia. — For Cedar Rapids Xavier, Friday’s Class 3A top-10 battle with Solon turned into another fourth-quarter comeback.

In Solon lore, it will be another game that got away.

Xavier scored two touchdowns in the final 9:47, including the game-winner with 2:03 left, to rally past Solon 22-19 in the District 4 opener for both teams in front of a record crowd of 2,500 at Spartan Stadium.

A week after rallying for a 14-7 win over Davenport Assumption the Saints had more fourth-quarter magic.

Nick Stark hauled in a 58-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Schulte with 2:03 left as eight-ranked Xavier rallied from a 19-7 deficit in the third quarter to improve to 2-0.

“We challenged our guys at halftime that you have to step up and play better,” Xavier coach Duane Schulte said. “I don’t know if we executed the plays that we talked about at halftime to be honest with you, but we ended up making some plays in the second half that helped us get the win.”

Solon led 13-7 at the half and 19-7 in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold on while dropping to 1-2 with its second single-digit loss of the season.

“We fought, we battled,” Solon coach Kevin Miller said. “We just had a few opportunities that we let slip through our fingers.”

Despite being outgained 160-88 in the first half, Solon led 13-7 at halftime thanks to a pair of big plays on special teams.

Graeson Dall returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown to give the Spartans the early momentum.

Dall made a man miss around the 20-yard line, then outsprinted the Saint coverage team the final 50 yards to the end zone to put Solon up 7-0 just 14 seconds into the game.

After an 8-yard touchdown pass from Schulte to Stark tied the game 7-7, Solon took a 13-7 lead when Brandan Childs hit Matt Roeder with a 34-touchdown pass on a fake punt.

“We gave up a couple of big plays there but give Solon credit, they made those big plays,” Schulte said. “They are a good football team.”

Solon appeared to take control of the game when Dall capped a 13-play, 71-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:28 left in the third quarter.

Dall’s touchdown was set up by a diving 24-yard reception by Nate Christensen on a fourth-and-24 play and gave the Spartans a 19-7 lead.

The lead didn’t last long.

Xavier went 85 yards in 11 plays and cut the lead to 19-14 on a 12-yard touchdown run by Maliki Wilson.

Following a pair of Spartan punts on their next two possessions, Bryce Schulte hit Stark with a 58-yard scoring strike that gave Xavier its only lead of the game.

“I set up and I saw Nick open behind the corner,” Schulte said. “I threw it up for him and he made a good play.”

Solon had a final chance to tie or take the lead, driving to the Xavier 21-yard line with just under a minute to play.

However, on second down Caleb Billick picked off a Blayze Griffis pass to secure the win.

“If he throws it a just little more inside I think he catches it,” Miller said. “It was just a little high. The guy went over the top of him and made the play.”

Wilson ran for 130 yards and a touchdown and Schulte threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns for Xavier.

Griffis passed for 132 yards for Solon, which finished with 213 yards of total offense.

“We are not into moral victories, but I think it shows that we belong and we can play with anyone in 3A,” Miller said. “I think if anything it opens our kids’ eyes to what could potentially happen if we continue to trust the process.”

Reach Ryan Murken at 319-339-7369 or rmurken@press-citizen.com and follow him on Twitter at @rmmurken.



First downs






























SOL – Graeson Dall 86 kick off return (Brandan Childs kick)

CRX – Nick Stark 8 pass from Bryce Schulte (Dallas Klein kick)

SOL – Matt Roeder 34 pass from Childs (Kick failed)

SOL – Dall 3 run (Pass failed)

CRX – Maliki Wilson 12 run (Klein kick)

CRX – Nick Stark 58 pass from Schulte (Bryce Schulte pass from Sean Murphy)

Individual Leaders

Rushing— Solon: Bo Black 13-28, Brandan Childs 3-20, Graeson Dall 4-11, Blaze Griffis 6-(-9), Team 1-(-3).Maliki Wilson 18-130, Bryce Schulte 14-16, Bryce Charipar 1-1, Sean Murphy 1-2, Nick Stark 2-(-1), Team 3-(-6).

Passing— Solon: Brandan Childs 1-1-0 34, Blaze Griffis 11-19-2 132.CRX: Bryce Schulte 12-20-1 178, Nolan Butkowski 1-1-0 35, Maliki Wilson 0-1-0 0.

Receiving— Solon:Matt Roeder 2-41, Halston Durr 3-37, Nate Christensen 6-51 Brandan Childs 1-37. CRX – Nick Stark 6-135, Blake Whitten 2-45, Ryan Stulken 2-14, Maliki Wilson 3-19.


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