By Andrew Petersen
For the Herald
Central DeWitt senior Tyler Stillmunkes accepted responsibility for his shortcomings Friday.
Yet, only a few minutes removed from a humbling 35-14 setback to Class 3A District 6 rival Solon, Stillmunkes maintained an upbeat, almost defiant attitude.
“We gotta go get back together in practice and come back to win our district,” he said. “It’s not over.”
The Sabers (1-4, 1-2) face a steep uphill climb to work their way back from a pair of games forfeited because of a mistakenly overplayed sophomore earlier in the season.
They had their share of hurdles at home Friday, yielding 468 yards to the Solon offense, twice coming up empty inside the Spartans’ 5-yard line and turning over a pair of second-half fumbles.
But cleaning up some mistakes could go a long way with a team that is clearly talented.
That fact didn’t elude Solon coach Kevin Miller, older brother of DeWitt coach Mike Miller.
“We were just able to tighten the screws inside the goal line,” he said. “That was huge. It really could have been 21-21 at halftime.
“We really dug in and kept them out of the end zone.”
DeWitt twice had the Spartans (4-1, 2-0) within 2 yards of conceding a first-half touchdown, but the Sabers went into halftime down 21-7.
Even though DeWitt’s offense managed significant yardage gains, it couldn’t keep pace with Solon quarterback Jacob Black. Cooly orchestrating the Spartan’s first-year zone-read offense, Black wracked up 331 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
“It’s not even deception,” Mike Miller said. “They just came out and out-manned us.
“Sometimes, you’ve gotta commend a great football program.”
DeWitt amassed 17 first downs and 380 yards of offense. The Sabers got 122 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Stillmunkes and 145 passing yards from Jesse Brackey.
They host a vulnerable Clear Creek-Amana team for homecoming next week, and that could get the Sabers going.
“We’re going to bounce back,” Mike Miller said. “I think we’ll respond the way we’re capable of.”
SOLON 35, CENTRAL DEWITT 14
Solon 14 7 0 14 — 35
DeWitt 0 7 0 7 — 14
S — Brandon Kramer 1 run (Jackson Rushek kick), 5:52.
S — Jacob Black 7 run (Rushek kick), 1:11.
CD — Tyler Stillmunkes 3 run (Keegan Lass kick), 0:29.
S — Kramer 7 run (Rushek kick), 9:02.
CD — Stillmunkes 9 run (Lass kick), 7:35.
S — Black 48 run (Rushek kick), 3:46.
RUSHING — Solon (51-468), Jacob Black 26-331, Brandon Kramer 19-101, Jordan Wyner 6-36. DeWitt (46-235), Tyler Stillmunkes 20-122, Jake Feldpausch 7-57, James Grell 4-26, Jesse Brackey 7-15, Jacob Kagemann 1-(-5), Logan Sheppard 3-18, Mason Cousins 3-9, Ryan Olson 1-minus-7.
PASSING — S, Black 0-4-0. DeWitt, Brackey 7-17-145-1.
RECEIVING — DeWitt, Emmitt Enyeart 3-76, Feldpausch 3-64, Kagemann 1-5.
Sophomores — DeWitt 21, Solon 18.