Rainy Night Makes Fun Memory as Solon Takes Down Strongsville

It was past 11:30 pm and I had a smile on my face. There was a light drizzle last on this Friday night but I was still smiling from the evening.

I was walking back to my car after calling Solon’s 34-7 victory over Strongsville. It was the same walk I have made hundreds of times after games at Stewart Field but this one stood out. I paused for a moment to look at the lights still on in the stadium and couldn’t help but grin.

The game was being taped for SETV and I had another opportunity to do play-by-play with color commentator Chuck Chokenea. We both were excited about the game going into the matchup. Both teams have a long history together and there have been many classic battles between the Comets and the Mustangs.

With it being homecoming for Solon, the stands were packed and more excitement was in the air. I noticed the student section was very active and noticed the parents were equally excited. I felt a burst of energy when walking into the stadium and couldn’t wait to get behind the microphone.

Both teams were at an offensive stalemate until Solon’s Antwain Hamilton ran 13 yards into the endzone to give Solon an early lead. Hamilton would find the endzone again in the second quarter to give Solon a 14-0 lead at halftime.

Coming out after halftime, Solon started to apply defensive pressure on the Mustangs early in the third quarter. Strongsville was driving the ball down the field when Solon’s Athletic Director Mark McGuire ran onto the field. When I saw McGuire run onto the field, I sensed something was going on and we knew in a matter of seconds when the referee announced the following to the crowd:

“The game is being delayed due to weather.”

Chuck and I both missed it but there was lightning spotted in the area. As both sets of stands cleared out, it was apparent the rain was coming and more flashes of lightning filled the sky.

This was not the first time I had been in a delay. The first game I ever called with Chuck in 2003 (ironically against Strongsville), weather delayed the second half and the ending of the game had to be played the following day. During my college years at Otterbein, there was a football game against Defiance that started at 10:30 pm at night due to weather concerns.

As everyone waited to see if the game would continue, I took the time to chat with those still in the pressbox. Sitting around and relaxing definitely helped kill the time that passed as we waited to hear when the game would be finished. Flashes of lightning still filled the air and we wondered if we would be coming back the following day or Sunday to finish what was started.

At 10:31 pm, both teams came back to the field and it was game on at that point. Some fans and Solon students made their way back into the stadium and it was strange not hearing or seeing either marching band. The bands typically add to the atmosphere and not having them there felt different.

Strongsville would get on the board when Jordan Sedivy caught a 19 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bobby Cole on a fade route. That would be the last time Strongsville would make the game close.

Antwain Hamilton scored another rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter and the Solon defense took it from there. Interception returns for touchdowns by John Sensibaugh and Kollyn Crenshaw sealed the deal for the Comets to win 34-7.

It had been a long night but I was grateful for the opportunity to be behind the microphone. I have seen quite a lot of games at Stewart Field and have lots of great memories.

As I was walking back to my car, I couldn’t help but think how many great times I’ve had at Solon football games over the years. I’ve done camera work, photography and announcing and have incredible memories with each activity.

The weather delay made for a long night but one to remember for the right reasons. It’s not often you get an opportunity to be apart of a unique experience like that and it was awesome I had a chance to be apart of it.

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~ by jeffrsabo on September 21, 2013.

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