The injury bug bit Cory Solomon early this season, but now the Tolar Rattlers running back is biting back.
Solomon missed one full game and about 98 percent of another with an ankle injury. Despite that, the senior surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for a third consecutive year in last week’s 38-17 victory at Rice to clinch a playoff berth.
The 167 yards he picked up lifted him to 1,084. Along with that, he had scored 13 touchdowns entering last night.
“Those are good numbers for somebody who’s played the entire season, and he’s missed a couple games,” said Tolar coach Mike Franklin.
With 3,915 career yards, Solomon entered last night’s home game against Rio Vista on the verge of another milestone, 4,000 career yards.
His 1,723 yards last season is believed to be a Tolar record.
The Rattlers (7-2, 5-1 in District 6-2A Division II), talented as they are, need a healthy Solomon to make a playoff run. That’s what they have now.
In the two most recent outings, the Rattlers have outscored their opponents 88-27, and Solomon has carried 29 times for 325 yards and six touchdowns. In a 50-10 drubbing of Blooming Grove, he had a 62-yard TD run, his longest of the season, only to be eclipsed by a 64-yard TD run against Rice.
He appears to be playing his best when it counts the most.
For the season, he is averaging about 8 yards when he touches the ball.
Solomon isn’t the only one with some milestones within reach.
Quarterback Corbin Wood entered last night with 494 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, along with 891 yards and 12 touchdowns passing. It’s likely he’ll finish with a 500-yard rushing, 1,000-yard passing season, along with 25 or more TDs.
Also, wide receiver Dalton Shaw came into the weekend with 17 catches for 360 yards. A 500-yard receiving season is certainly within his reach.
While it won’t be official until February, Franklin said it looks as though the Rattlers may be dropping down in classification when the University Interscholastic League announces it biennial realignment.
Tolar recently turned in an enrollment figure of 203. The cutoff for 2A schools in 2012, the last realignment, was 200, and the numbers typically go up for classifications every two years.
If that holds true again, the Rattlers would be saying goodbye to their current status – which has been good for football of late with back-to-back playoff appearances. They would return to the level at which they were playoff regulars for more than a decade before moving up.
“We’re not counting on anything just yet, but it looks like that sure could happen,” said Franklin of the drop down. “I think the experience we’ve gotten playing up here would only help us in a big way.”
Of course, with the creation of Class 6A this next realignment, every classification moves up a notch. In other words, 5A becomes 6A, 4A becomes 5A, all the way down to Six-Man becoming 1A.
The Rattlers would actually remain in Class 2A while teams currently in Class 1A would move up in classification to join them.
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