Mike Bell knew Week 2 would be a challenge — he knew that archrival Solon, on their own turf, could be problematic.
The veteran Twinsburg football coach was right as his Tigers fell 38-0 at Stewart Field in a non-league clash that was 32-0 at the half.
Last year, Solon was 5-5, but four of those losses were by 10 points or less. Solon missed the playoffs for only third time in last 19 years.
Solon is loaded in the trenches on both sides of the pigskin, plus has depth with experience and youth. They showed that by holding Aurora to minus-5 yards rushing in a season-opening 25-0 win.
Open passing lanes just were not there for the Tigers as they were against Copley in Twinsburg’s season opener.
A record-setting showing by senior quarterback Adam Van de Motter in the Tigers’ 49-28 opening win over Copley was a distant memory as the Comets constantly harassed Van de Motter.
Twinsburg (1-1) managed just four first downs at Solon (2-0), which easily won the battle of field position.
"Solon is a very good football team and we knew that coming in, but I thought we had a good week in preparation," said Bell. "I definitely did not see this coming. We need to respond better to some things."
"Now, it is all about next week," said Bell of the Tiger’s home game against Aurora (1-1) in the final non-league game before league play kicks off. "We will look at game film and look to correct some things, but this game is behind us."
Van de Motter was pressured the entire game by college prospect Comet defenders like David Marbury (6-foot-3, 237), Nate Leskovec (6-4, 245), Michael Laubscher (5-10, 200), Nick Close (6-4, 205), Jeff Barnett (6-3, 200), Yusef Russell (5-10, 268) and Najee Story (6-5, 220).
Twinsburg’s passing game managed just 46 yards while the ground attack was led by sophomore Marvahun Johnson, who had 18 yards on five carries. Johnson did have some good kickoff returns.
"Our running game has had some spots this season, but there have been some struggles," noted Bell, who has a solid offensive line.
Fueled by a tipped pass completion on fourth-and-6 at the Tiger 5-yard line, Solon scored on the next play as Khalil Eichelberger. The 2-point run failed, but the hosts led 6-0 after their first drive.
Eichelberger is a 195-pound sophomore who surfaced to win the running back job for Solon.
Blessed with power and speed, Eichelberger follows blockers nicely and makes superb cuts in the field. With two 100-yard games in as many outings, Eichelberger will be a fixture for Solon. He had 129 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries.
Leskovec partially blocked a Max Brazie punt to give Solon the ball at the Tiger 25, which soon led to a 9-yard TD pass from Pat McQuaide to Close.
After the teams traded punts, a high snap on offense and a 13-yard punt gave Solon the ball at the Tiger 23. Two plays later, McQuaide rolled left and found Ethan Wong on a 22-yard TD strike to make it 19-0.
Twinsburg could never recover as on the next drive, Sam Bubonics picked off the Tigers and had a 40-yard return to give Solon the ball at the Tiger 28. That led to a 5-yard TD jaunt by Eichelberger and it was 26-0 with 4:49 left in the first half.
Senior receiver James Besett sparked the Tigers with a nice 3-yard run to secure a first down on fourth-and-1 in Solon territory, but the drive stalled.
Besett also had two catches for 24 yards in the loss.