SOLON — The No. 25 Solon Comets football team held off a late Kenston rally Friday and came away with a 20-14 win in a Week 1 game at Stewart Field.
Solon junior quarterback Johnny Mooney, making his first career start, threw two touchdowns to lead the Comets.
“We did some really good things in the game and we did some really bad things in the game,” said Solon coach Jim McQuaide. “Give them (Kenston) some credit.”
Solon seemed in control through most of the contest, but Kenston hung around and closed the lead to six on a five-yard touchdown pass from Parker Gdula to Jeremy Wyers with less than three minutes remaining.
Solon recovered an onsides kick and had to punt the ball away late, but Kenston ran out of time.
Mooney finished 14-for-26 for 161 yards and two scores.
Gdula went 17-for-36 for 229 yards, including a passing TD and a running score.
What it means
Solon beat Kenston in the opener for the second consecutive year. Last year, Solon knocked off the Bombers 48-21. Solon now leads the all-time series 27-14-3.
Five plays that shaped the game
* Solon’s Alex Brown had an interception in the third quarter with Kenston at the Solon five yard line.
* Mooney’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Jake McCurry gave Solon a 10-0 lead.
* Quarterback-turned-wide receiver Ryan Gallager caught a 39-yard touchdown pass with one second left in the first half to give the Comets a 20-7 lead.
* Gallagher recovered an onsides kick late after Kenston scored to close the lead to 20-14.
* Solon’s defensive line was able to put pressure on Gdula consistently.
Who stood out for Solon
Gallagher: Caught three passes for 58 yards to lead the Comets’ receiving corps.
Melvin Jackson: Rushed for 65 yards on 25 carries and was able to wear down the Kenston defense.
Who stood out for Kenston
Gdula: Threw for 229 yards on 17 completions despite being under pressure all night. He also ran for a score.
Jeremy Wyers: Finished with six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Kenston sound bites
“We like to play games and hopefully the refs don’t affect the game. Tonight, it seemed like there were a lot more penalties than you usually see.” – Kenston coach Jeff Grubich.
Solon plays at Shaker Heights at 1 p.m. on Sept. 6.
Kenston hosts Chardon at 7 p.m. on Sept. 5.
Visit the Plain Dealer to view their photos.