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The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 15, 2013
Wild sequence late lifts Washington past Solon, 14-9

CEDAR FALLS – In almost every championship run, you’ve got to get lucky somewhere along the line. You’ve got to catch that break that helps you win a ballgame.

Washington’s lucky break came in the fourth quarter Thursday night.

A fake punt, a forward fumble, what appeared to be a missed official’s call on that forward fumble and a long touchdown pass moved the Demons past Solon, 14-9, in a Class 3A playoff semifinal at the UNI-Dome. Those things came in exactly that order.

For brevity at the moment, Tanner Knupp turned a short reception into a 50-yard TD that moves Washington (12-1) into next week’s championship game against top-ranked Sioux City Heelan (13-0). It’s the first finals appearance for the Demons.

“Both teams were kind of mirror images of each other,” said Washington Coach Randy Schrader. “We were fortunate to come out on top.”

Knupp caught a short pass out of the backfield from quarterback Daryn Seibelius, turned and sprinted up the sideline for the winning points with 4:51 left. It was the second big offensive play of the night from the senior, whose 52-yard touchdown run, in which he broke several tackles, helped give Washington a 7-6 halftime lead.

“I kind of snuck out between the offensive line, just kind of buried myself, got out in the flat,” Knupp said. “Turned the corner, saw open space and just took off.”

The Demons were allowed the chance for Knupp’s heroics thanks to a completely bizarre play. On 4th-and-18 from their own 30, punter Mason Quigley decided on his own to take off to the right side and run, getting about 15 yards to the 45 but stopped shy of first down.

But he fumbled the football forward, with the ever-present Knupp falling on it barely inbounds at the sideline six yards up field to the Solon 49. First down Washington.

“I don’t even know. It was just heat of the moment,” Quigley said. “I was sitting there and saw guys coming from the outside on the left side and nobody on the right side. I thought ‘Well, I better try it.’ So I did and got lucky.”

In more ways than one. Repeated replays on the UNI-Dome video board showed Quigley’s knee actually was on the ground before his fumble.

One of the replays was frozen just as his knee touched down, much to the assumed dismay of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Certainly to the dismay of Solon coaches and fans, who howled in protest.

“What do you say?” said Solon Coach Kevin Miller. “What do you say to your kids in that circumstance? I’m a big believer in being responsible for your actions. It shouldn’t have come to that point. That’s the thing we talked to our football team about. That’s character. We have to take responsibility for the things we didn’t do the other 100 plays or whatever it was.”

Washington admitted its good fortune, but wasn’t about to apologize for it.

“Whether it was on the Jumbotron or not, the refs called it a fumble,” Knupp said.

“They called a fumble, we recovered,” Schrader said. “It’s flip the coin and get the call. That’s truly what it was. Just flip the coin and get the call.”

Solon (11-2) also had to lament the missed opportunities it had offensively. Three times the Spartans drove inside the Washington 10 but couldn’t put the ball in the end zone, settling for short field goals of 29, 28 and 26 yards, respectively, from Jackson Rushek.

The latter kick came with 5:13 left in the third quarter and gave the Spartans a 9-7 lead. It was a huge disappointment considering a blocked punt gave Solon the ball at the Demons 7.

“We had opportunities, and we didn’t seize those opportunities,” Miller said.

“Their offense should have scored more than nine points,” Knupp said. “Our defense was outstanding in the red zone … We gave them three field goals instead of three touchdowns, and that’s a huge momentum shift. Coming off that sideline giving up three points instead of seven is just a huge lift.”

Solon fumbled the football away on the possession immediately following Knupp’s second touchdown. It got the ball back at its own 16 with 28 seconds left, got to midfield thanks to a dubious pass-interference penalty on Washington, but a Hail Mary on the final play wasn’t answered.

Quarterback Jacob Black had such an outstanding season for Solon, but was limited to just 24 yards rushing and 60 passing. Alex Coker, Washington’s leading rusher, was held to just 37 yards rushing.

Neither team’s star could get going.

“We could never get anything going on offense,” Miller said. “We could never get anything started to gain momentum.”

“Every team that wins a championship faces adversity,” Knupp said. “And every team gets a break.”

Here are the game statistics:

Washington 14, Solon 9


First downs1310
Rushes-yards47 - 22140 - 133
Passing yards10160
Comp-Att-Int5 - 12 - 26 - 15 - 1
Total yards322193
Fumbles-lost1 - 02 - 1
Punts-average5 - 31.45 - 37.6
Penalties-yards9 - 706 - 40


Rushing:  Washington – Tanner Knupp 11-112 , Alex Coker 18-37 , Carl Sivels 6-26 , Daryn Seibelius 10-25 , Mason Quigley 1-15 , Team 1-6  Solon – Brandon Kramer 14-75 , Jordan Wymer 5-26 , Jacob Black 18-24 , Connor Ham 3-8

Passing:  Washington – Daryn Seibelius 5-12-2-101  Solon – Jacob Black 6-15-1-60

Receiving:  Washington – Tanner Knupp 2-75 , Thomas Bump 1-13 , Carl Sivels 1-9 , Alex Coker 1-4  Solon – Connor Ham 4-30 , Nathan Hawkins 1-27 , Brandon Kramer 1-3




Sol-Jackson Rushek 29 FG
Wash-Tanner Knupp 52 run (Mason Quigley kick)
Sol-Rushek 28 FG
Sol-Rushek 26 FG
Wash-Knupp 50 pass from Daryn Seibelius (Quigley kick)

28 Responses to Wild sequence late lifts Washington past Solon, 14-9

  1. I was at this game and the Refs totally blew it for Solon. 1St of the kid was down when he fumbled. 2nd he fumbled it forward which goes back to the spot of the fumble which wouldn’t have been a 1st down. That would of made it Solon ball. Even after blowing those two calls the kid recovered it out of bounce so still would of been Solon ball. On the long pass after this major screw up the kid stepped out of bounce and the Refs didn’t call that. Pretty sad when Solon plays it heart out only to get screwed over by the REFS.

    • And before YOU all say im a Solon supporter. I went to Waverly and was there to watch football. Just pisses me off that REFS have to mess it up and hand a game to a team that should have lost


    ART. 9 . . . The spot where a run ends is: a. Where the ball becomes dead in the runner’s possession,
    b. Where the runner loses player possession if his run is followed by a loose

    The Refs totally missed this call in the Solon game. Which end up costing Solon the game.

    • In high school football, a forward fumble is allowed. As long as the forward fumble was accidental and not on purpose. That part of the rule was correct. The fact that the officials didn’t declare the punter down by contact is the biggest mistake they made.

  3. Before you crucify them fully, remember that Solon had a chance to stop Washington after that play. Believe it was a 3rd-and-long play that was converted for the winning TD.

  4. It’s too bad it had to happen the way it did… I watched closely as the head ref watched the replays on the jumbotron as they had set the ball for the next play… I wonder what he was thinking at that moment like “wow, we really messed that one up”

    In my opinion for a game like this since it was being played on TV and had replay available the refs should be able to use it.

    What would you ridicule more a ref crew that made an incorrect call but then sees the play on the jumbotron and before the next play is made blows his whistle and brings the crew together and says “we missed this call big time, punter was done before fumbling, let’s get the call right.” Then proceeds to change the call on the field to the correct call. OR have played out what happened last night?

    For me as a former player, coach, and fan I would respect the crew for getting the call right no matter how they came to that conclusion. For the Washington fans and players that say well that’s football or oh well, I highly doubt that would be their tune if the roles were reversed.

    Jeff do you know if IAHSAA talked to the UNI people who kept showing the replay to ask them not to do that again or is that feed controlled by who is doing the TV broadcast? I know you also said Solon had their chance to stop them on a 3rd & Long later on but to me that’s a moot point because the reality of it is it should have been Spartan ball. Look forward to your response.

    • Hi Duane. The problem is that replay is not going to be available at any of the games, other than those played in the Dome. Therefore, you can’t use it at all. I’m sure the IHSAA was absolutely cringing watching the UNI folks put those replays up there. I’d expect any play that’s even remotely questionable the rest of the way won’t be replayed on the scoreboard.

      BTW: Coach Miller handled it as classy as I would have expected him to, when asked about it after the game. Great coach and person.

  5. I have no doubt that Coach Miller handled it the way a person with great character would. He has tremendous character and displays it for his student-athletes every day.

    I feel ref’s should be like kids sometimes seen but not heard lol and it’s just too bad that the refs played such a major role in a great game for both programs. Unfortunately the Spartans got Denkinger’ed ;-)

  6. Yes, the fumble occurred after the runner was down. Did that call guarantee that Solon would have won? Did that call mean that Washington would not have scored another touchdown or field goal? One call does not decide a game unless possibly on the last play of the game. Just wondering what others think?

    • Here’s my $.02. I believe that call absolutely cost Solon the game Larry. I was there and pretty close where it happened. The momentum changed on that call. You could feel it. The defense was looking around wondering what just happened.

      Every play affects the outcome of a game. That one much more so because it should have been a change of posession.

      Jeff, I have to disagree with your “Solon had a chance to stop them” comment. If the play is called correctly, Solon has the ball near midfield and would not have needed to stop Washington.

      What I don’t get is, the officials for this level of game should be some of the best in the state. For them to miss something as simple as what they did is really unfortunate. I hope that is considered when selecting crews for future playoff games. If I were from Solon, I would be upset. If I were a parent of a Solon football player, I would be livid.

  7. Respectfully, although I’m a Demon fan, I like to think I have an unbias position in this discussion. Having played on state football and basketball teams in high school as well as playing both college football and basketball, I’ve never felt that one play makes or breaks the game. Ponder this question… If this play would’ve happened on the first series, would it have been so controversial?? Although I do believe that momentum can change, great teams dig deep to overcome those changes. I was there, 3rd row, 45 yd line… no doubt it was a terrible call. Say he was called down and Solon got the ball… 3 plays later Solon fumbled anyways, Demons ball. One can’t say what would have happened after that point – Washington could score a TD anyway or easily kick the go ahead field goal. (Here’s my one bias statement) There were several terrible calls against Washington (and non-calls against Solon)… a phantom block in the back flag from the back judge who was out of position and 30 yds away from the play when two other refs were right there; a flag that was thrown 30 yds down field but was somehow enforced from where Washington had caught the punt, as well as numerous holding penalties that weren’t called on Solon (I know it happens both ways, but it was BAD when rewatching game on Hudl). Solon had the ball 3x inside the Demon 10 yd line and couldn’t take advantage to put the Demons away… that is what cost Solon the game, not one bad call. As mentioned and something to really ask yourself, if this bad call happened in the first series or quarter, would it still be the main reason for the outcome of the game? No.
    All in all, it was a great game on both sides of the ball, both defenses were magnificent, but I respectfully disagree that this one play decided the entire game.

    • Solon absolutely should be crushed, that was the worst call ever! You could see the looks on the faces of the coaches, the players and the fans. This absolutely changed the game. Solon should have won that game. If you think I am a Solon fan…you are wrong! I can’t stand that team, my school has been rivals with them as long as I remember! I hope Solon boys hold their heads up high knowing they were robbed from a chance at a state title. Washington has no business being there next week. I was appalled by Washington’s coaches response. He should be completely embarrassed!! Wow. So its OK to keep something stolen if someone else stole it and gave it to you? Or how about you trip someone early in a race…but they another couple laps to catch up…so that’s their own fault for not taking advantage of it? really?? what planet is that coach on??? Glad Solon teaches integrity! What an amazing group of athletes Solon had this year! My son’s team played them and was beat by them, they added him as a friend on facebook, that shows a lot about Solon’s program! Great sportsman and awesome mentors! WTG Spartans!

  8. What a rant Stewy! Washington has no right, seriously? Like for some reason they are a terrible team or something. Demons hold Solon to 3 field goals, no TDs at all. Bad call, yes, but Demons scored 2 TDs. If Solon was so much better and deserved the win, explain why they couldn’t scored a TD in any of the 3x times they were inside the 10 yd line. I love how everyone hangs the entire game on one bad call. Here’s an idea… bounce back from a bad call, stop them again instead of letting them score a TD, it’s that simple. Then, don’t fumble the ball like Solon did on the next series after the TD. Demon defense smothered Solon, but it’s great to hear how one bad call made Solon lose, as if no other plays mattered at all. Maybe if Solon was so much more deserving they would’ve scored more and then one bad call wouldn’t have mattered. I know, it’s just easier to blame the ref than to admit that Solon got outplayed.

  9. Solon couldn’t even score a TD on Washington and had it 3x inside the 10yd line, but they somehow have a shot at a title against Heelan? At least Washington scored two TDs of 52 and 49 yds respectively. I like Washington’s chances against Heelan vs Solon anyways.

    • Solon struggles for the TD this game, but as far as skill and talent… far greater then Washingtons.
      I still believe that call was a game changer. This wasn’t even what I consider a “bad call”. This call was a pathetic! to top it off in Play offs!

      • “Solon struggles for the TD this game, but as far as skill and talent… far greater then Washingtons.”
        Wonder why they struggled…3 TIMES!? Did you look at the Stats, Stewie? Washington dominated (including penalties). BTW- it’s ‘than’ and Washingtons should be “Washington’s”.

  10. The sad thing about this whole ordeal – we will NEVER know. Solon could have broke loose for a TD and that would have been a 2 score lead, They could have gotten down and kicked another FG to force Wash to score a TD with quite a bit of time off the clock.

    The thing the officials did, was had a hand in that chance not happening. Say all you want about “well Solon should have stopped them” put Wash’s kids and fans into Solon’s position – it would look and sound exactly as it does now just different school names inserted.

    One play can determine the outcome in such a defensive battle like that game was – and we will NEVER know due to the officials incompetence.

  11. Heelan wins by double digits against Washington!

    • Wow, really going out on a limb with that prediction, Duane! LOL

    • Duane is right. Washtington got to the playoffs by dumb luck. They will be shut out by Heelan.

    • Stewy and Duane, do either of you know anything about football? Washington got to the playoffs by dumb luck… seriously? I guess they “luckily” beat every team in their district… how lucky!!! Then they luckily won their next 4 games in the playoffs!! What dumb luck!! They shutout Pella then beat Solon… the luck continues!! Let me guess guys… if Solon was playing in the championship, they’d have a better chance… yet they couldn’t even score a touchdown against Washington or stop them when it counted. Demons are playing for the title, deal with it. Oh, and no team is “dumb luck”y enough to make it to the championship game without being damn good. But I digress, I’m not going to have a battle of football wits with these guys who are unarmed.

  12. I agree that one bad call does decide a game unless it came in the last few seconds of the game.I too was at that game was on the 48 yard line about 4 rows up. I seen several bad calls against Washington that were bogus, and several holding calls, block in the back, a face mask that happened right in front of me, two late hits out of bounds, all calls that refs missed against Solon. So to say one call with over 5 minutes left to play cost Solon the football game is completely wrong. If your team is good enough they can over come the adversity, Washington overcame the bad calls against them, so to say that one call cost Solon the game is like saying Solon wasn’t good enough to overcome that one bad call. I would say three trips inside the red zone and only coming away with field goals instead of touchdowns could be part of the loss. I guess what I am saying is Solon gad opportunities to put Washington away and couldn’t because of Washington’s swarming defense, so just admit it Solon got beat by the better, tougher team. Both teams played well, and had some bad calls but Washington came out on top.

  13. Stewy and Duane, do either of you know anything about football? Washington got to the playoffs by dumb luck… seriously? I guess they “luckily” beat every team in their district… how lucky!!! Then they luckily won their next 4 games in the playoffs!! What dumb luck!! They shutout Pella then beat Solon… the luck continues!! Let me guess guys… if Solon was playing in the championship, they’d have a better chance… yet they couldn’t even score a touchdown against Washington or stop them when it counted. Demons are playing for the title, deal with it. Oh, and no team is “dumb luck”y enough to make it to the championship game without being damn good. But I digress, I’m not going to have a battle of football wits with these guys who are unarmed.

    • and you were saying???
      Washington had no business playing at that level. Pure dumb luck put them there. Solon was off their game. I do believe Heelan would have beat Solon but I bet the game would have been far better then the current slaughter. Heelan really got lucky, the State title was basically handed to them by some crappy refs!
      On to next year!

  14. Stewie –

    I never said Washington was “lucky” to make it this far… I think your confusing me with someone else but I appreciate your passion for Demon Football. By the way I have been a HC here in Iowa at the Varsity level as well as played college football and Also played several years of Arena Football, so I think I know a thing or two about the game.

    As far as how Solon would have faired if they had won we will never know but I think Heelan is the superior team regardless of whoever they are playing

    • Washington had ZERO competition in their district. give me a break dude. You are on cloud 9 if you think Washington has any business playing for the state title. But good for the boys! as their coach says “coin flipped in their favor”
      To bad they are being totally dominated by Heelan.

      • Seriously, Stewy. Why the extreme hatred here? I don’t get it. From where I was sitting last week, Washington and Solon were about as evenly matched teams as you could get.

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