Solon senior lacrosse player Chris Humphrey clearly knows how to make a grand entrance.
Returning from a right ankle injury at the end of April, Humphrey had seven goals and one assist as the Comets reduced their opening-round playoff contest to a mere exhibition, smashing Green, 26-5, at home on Saturday.
Solon (10-4) scored more than 20 goals for the first time this season and produced its most lopsided margin of victory on the year as the Comets began play in the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association’s Division I Tournament.
Solon awaits the winner of Massillon-Jackson vs. North Canton-Hoover for a Wednesday home tilt at 7:30 p.m. Solon defeated Jackson, 16-9, on April 29, but lost to Hoover, 13-12, on April 15.
Humphrey had many other Comets accompany him in the multiple goals column as senior attacker Matt DiCarro had six, while senior Mike Perrino and junior Sean Smith had three each. Also sophomores Sam Littman and Drew Barksdale each had a pair.
Senior Cody Marcantonio had a goal and two assists, while junior Tres Barksdale also had a pair of assists. Goalie Keith LePorte had 12 saves.
Senior captain Josh Zabel had a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs (12-7).
Humphrey hurt his right ankle making a hit and it got twisted under the falling player during their 16-9 victory over Jackson.
“Before I left, my game was not totally great, and I was doing a little hot-head stuff,” Humphrey said. “After watching practice and the games, I kind of calmed myself down and kept my composure and great things happened.”
DiCarro was certainly happy to see Humphrey back in the lineup as it freed him to maneuver even more around the net for scores. With Humphrey back, Solon can further refine its chemistry.
“We all are really good on offense together because most of us have been playing together since sophomore year,” DiCarro said. “We know when each other cuts. It’s just easy to find each other.”
The Comets had to keep their composure and concentration intact against the clearly overmatched Bulldogs as they bolted out to a 19-3 halftime lead forcing a switch to a continuous clock for the second half.
Coach Hans Rydquist said the team has been looking to insert different offensive tactics in preparation for other potential matchups and to help maintain the players’ focus.
“We went into this knowing it could get out of hand that way with us going up. I told the kids we still needed to run everything at game speed up until halftime. Then we kind of put the brakes on a little bit at halftime,” he said.
Although all the happy yelps from the sidelines would tend to suggest a carefree attitude with such a huge winning edge, Rydquist said there’s serious intent underneath all the smiles.
“The score doesn’t matter. We’re playing to get better. We’re playing to benefit ourselves and move on in the playoffs,” Rydquist said.