Chris Mensen helped pace the Spartans to a 27-20 win over Mt. Vernon in their season opener. Mensen helped running back Clint Donovan rush 34 times for 227 yards as Solon rushed for 272 yards in the win.
"We didn't plan on coming in and grinding it like that," Solon coach Kevin Miller told the Iowa Press Citizen. "The last two years we haven't had much success rushing the football, so we planned to come in and mix it up a bit and keep them off balance with a variety of sets and play-actions.
"Fortunately, it was our power rushing that we hung our hat on tonight."
"A lot of credit has to go to our offensive line," Miller said, "particularly Chase Steggall and Chris Mensen did a great job."
However, despite the praise, Mensen was not overly pleased with his performance.
"I did not play as well as I would have liked. I did not sustain my blocks as long as I would like."
Mensen said that the Spartans did such a good job running the ball that they only completed one pass in seven attempts. He figures to be more involved in the offense.
"We hope to spread the ball a little more."
Mensen said that they play Dewitt Central this Friday.
"They will be tough. They are predicted to be No. 1 in their conference."
Mensen went on an academic tour at Minnesota and got a brochure for the Gopher football camp. He attended the camp and got an offer from the Gophers. He also attended the Iowa, Iowa State and Illinois camps and attended the Iowa opener versus Kent State.
Mensen said that Minnesota, which has been recruiting him heavily, and Iowa are his current top two, with Iowa State and Illinois in the mix. He is located about ten to 15 minutes from Iowa City.
Mensen is a well–rounded athlete who also plays baseball, basketball and throws the shot put. He finished 22nd in Class AA state finals with a toss of 45 feet 5-1/2 inches and had a season best toss of 50 feet, 3 inches.
"I could have done better. If I had reached my season best, I could have finished in the top 10.
Mensen averaged just under 10 points per game in basketball as Solon finished 19-4 and lost in the third round of the playoffs.
Mensen played first base on the baseball team and batted .444 in limited at-bats. He said that they had a stacked team loaded with seniors. They lost in the second round of the playoffs.
Mensen hopes to play all four sports again. However, high school baseball in Iowa is played during the summer, which could be difficult with summer football.
"We'll have to see what happens."
Mensen said that assistant head coach Moe Ankeny is in charge of his recruitment.