SOLOMON, Kan.—The Kansas State High School Activities Association has one message for Tim Cross and his Solomon Gorilla football team.
The 45-point mercy rule states that in 8-man football once a team is ahead by 45 points or more in the second half the game is over.
In 2012 the Solomon Gorillas have now played five football "games" and all five have ended early due to the "mercy rule."
Friday night the Gorillas earned a 70-20 "mercy" victory over Lincoln in the district opener for both teams. It now makes five football games in 2012 and five "mercy" victories for the Gorillas.
"We played hard and we are going to play hard until the end," Solomon coach Tim Cross said. "If we get up 45 points, we get up 45 points, we are going to keep playing hard the whole time and just play the best that we can."
While Friday night was the fifth time this season that the Gorillas have won by the mercy rule, it was the most points they had given up all year long, but also the most points they have scored in a game this season.
The Gorillas took care of business in all aspects of the game, they built up 447 yards of total offense while limiting Lincoln to 132 yards and scored both offensively and defensively and on special teams.
Blayne Nielson scored on a 19-yard fumble recovery at the end of the first quarter, putting Solomon on top 30-8. Special teams wise, the Gorillas converted five 2-point conversion plays.
It was also homecoming for the Gorillas, which was another thing the players really wanted to show the extra fans in attendance that they are for real in 2012.
"Homecoming was something the boys really wanted to do and show the crowd and show people that we are something to be dealt with this year," Cross said. "And I think they did a good job of coming out and showing that."
Solomon forced Lincoln to punt on the Leopards’ opening possession and the Gorillas added insult to injury for Lincoln as they need just four plays to cover the 49 yards and score the game’s initial touchdown via a 35-yard run by Mason DeMars with just 2 minutes and 45 seconds off the clock in the game.
But the Leopards answered that score with a 1-yard plunge from Dayton Walter just 2 minutes and 10 seconds later which knotted the score 8-8.
"They came out and they played hard," Cross said. "We knew they were going to be tough and we knew they were going to have some big kids and some bigger kids than what we have been going up against. We changed some things up offensively and defensively we just kept playing hard and played really defenisvely. We knew what they had that we needed to stop and we were able to do that."
Following Walter’s score, Solomon rattled off 28 unanswered points to go up 36-8 with 11:55 remaining before intermission.
The Gorillas took a 56-20 lead into the locker room at intermission and closed out the game with the only 14 points scored in the second half.
The final six points came via a 46-yard pass from quarterback Colton Shirack to Blake Hommon with 5:57 still remaining in the third quarter.
Shirack, once again, accounted for the majority of Solomon’s offense as he rumbled for 143 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries and also completed 3 of his 7 pass attempts for 63 more yards and the game-clinching touchdown.
The Gorillas will now take their 5-0 record on the road to Canton-Galva next Friday night for another District affair.
"There are some good teams in our district and it is going to be awfully tough coming out of our district," Cross said. "We have four good teams to play in our district and it is going to be hard to 45-point any of them. But we are going to come out and play as hard as we can the whole game."
Lincoln, which was led in the game by Alex Jackson’s 63 yards rushing on four carries, will take their 3-2 record into action next Friday night when they play at Little River.