These are the Solon Comets that everyone expected to see in 2012. An uber-fast team, with a corps of big-play stars destroying a slower, less athletic opponent.
That's how tonight's game with visiting Medina played out. Solon's senior standouts George Berry, Darian Hicks, Khoury Crenshaw and Drew Barksdale overwhelmed Medina with their speed, as the Comets rolled to a one-sided victory.
Solon has now won nine straight over the Bees since dropping the series opener in 2003. Since that game, Medina has never gotten within twelve points of the Comets.
George Berry was tonight's MVP, as he has been all season. George started at both QB and OLB. He accounted for four touchdowns by the middle of the third quarter, when Solon pulled its starters after forging a 42-0 lead.
Berry opened and closed Solon's scoring. Midway through the first quarter, George took a QB draw up the gut for a 31-yard TD run.
In the second quarter, Berry rolled out around end, then pulled up and fired a 25-yard scoring strike to Barksdale, who made a nifty spin move to evade a Bee defender.
Berry also found Barksdale open for a 9-yard TD pass in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Antwain Hamilton set up the score with a punt block deep in Medina territory.
George also excelled at LB. His 27-yard pick six made the score 42-0 in the third quarter.
Solon also scored on a 29-yard pass from alternate QB Ryan Gallagher to Hicks in the second quarter.
Khoury Crenshaw made the score 35-0 with a serpentine 52-yard run early in the third.
Berry ran passed with equal aplomb tonight. He was brilliant at linebacker, too. George is having an all-Ohio season. Watching him tonight, one wonders why he hasn't been playing QB all season. It sure hasn't adversely affected his play on defense.
Sophomore QB Gallagher looked good for the second straight week. His TD lob to Hicks was a perfect pass right over the head of a Medina defender. He plays with confidence. He doesn't look overmatched.
Solon moved the ball well, both through the air and on the ground. The Comets overcame injuries to two more starting O-linemen: Mitch Mayer and Sandip Janda. Unfortunately, word is that both guys are out for the season.
The Comet D stuffed Medina's offense. If I remember right, the Bees only managed four first downs vs. Solon's starters. Medina had no more than 50 yards before Solon put in the reserves.
Shiloh Smalls-Moore and Brandon Reynolds keyed a dominating performance by the D-line. LBs John Sensibaugh and C.J. Hanna were terrific yet again. So was cornerback Antwain Hamilton, who stood out with his punt block and a slew of big hits.
Medina's drab offense consisted of dives into the line and quarterback sacks. That is, until Solon put in its benchwarmers. The deeper that Solon dipped into its reserves, the more creative the Bees' playcalling became.
Medina finally scored midway through the fourth quarter on a drive that featured a reverse pass to the QB and three guard-arounds (yes, they kept giving the ball to their 250-pound left guard on sweeps).
The Bees got really creative with the clock winding down toward zero. Medina scored on a 56-yard halfback option pass with five seconds left against Solon's third stringers. Nice call, coach.
Everyone has written Solon off. But this team still has a lot of talent. And the Comets have shown great improvement since the beginning of the season.
Solon will be huge underdogs at Mentor next week. But you never know...