Click here to see a photo gallery from the game.
CONCORD – Mitchell High School’s varsity football team bounced back from a Week 1 loss to Erwin by beating Cannon 27-6 this past Friday on the road.
The Mountaineers improve to 1-1 and have now claimed Week 2 victories over Cannon (1-1) in back-to-back seasons. Mitchell beat the Cougars 27-14 this past season in Ledger.
Mitchell used a scoreless first quarter to settle in after its farthest road trip of the season.
The Mountaineers jumped out to a lead it did not relinquish early in the second quarter when junior quarterback Noah Pitman connected with sophomore receiver Ty Pitman for a 34-yard touchdown. Mitchell led 7-0 at halftime.
Cannon broke through midway through the third quarter on a 33-yard pass from senior Larken Lancaster to senior Patrick Carlson. After a blocked extra point, Mitchell still led 7-6.
The Mountaineers scored the game’s next 20 points to pull away from Cannon late – senior running back Landon Miller scored from eight and five yards out, and Noah Pitman scampered in for a 63-yard rushing touchdown in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
A week after completing just 3-of-9 passes against Erwin, Noah Pitman bounced back in his second varsity start at quarterback, completing 8-of-14 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Mountaineers head coach Travise Pitman said Noah Pitman continues to adjust to life as a starting quarterback more each week. Noah Pitman was one of the team’s top threats as a runner in support of graduated quarterback Ben Young last season.
“We have to find the role that fits him in our offense,” Travise Pitman said about Noah Pitman. “Each week, we are trying to figure out what this team is better at. It’s different than what I’ve had in the past four years. We’re still working with the different sets and different routes to meet Noah’s needs.”
Noah Pitman also sparked the Mitchell ground game with a team-leading 16 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown.
Junior Tyler McKinney caught a team-high six passes for 30 yards, pushing his team-leading reception total to nine through the first two games. Ty Pitman and junior Kade Hoilman chipped in one catch each.
Miller ran 13 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Ty Sparks collected 35 yards on seven carries, and senior Ethan LaPlante ran four times for 27 yards.
The Mountaineers outgained the Cougars in total offense 386-188. Mitchell ran 60 plays and had possession for 29:24 compared to Cannon’s 39 plays and 17:44 time of possession.
Miller paced the Mitchell defense, collecting a team-high six tackles. His eight tackles against Erwin led the team in Week 1.
Senior linebacker Hunter Johnson had Mitchell’s only two sacks of Lancaster.
“I thought we grew up a lot,” Travise Pitman said. “We moved at a faster pace up front. I thought our defense played really well. As a team, we did what we were supposed to do.”
Mitchell will look to keep the momentum going at home against Trinity Academy (1-1) this Friday. Trinity Academy, an independent school from Gray, Tennessee, is coming off a 41-12 loss at Notre Dame (Chattanooga, Tennessee). The Knights notched a 28-6 win at Hampton in Week 1.
Mitchell and Trinity Academy clashed in Week 3 last season in Ledger, and the Mountaineers routed the Knights 60-9.
Trinity Academy’s loss to Mitchell last year was part of an 0-6 start for the team. The Knights rallied to go 6-0 down the stretch and finish at .500.
Knights head coach Scott Allgood guided his team to a 9-4 record in 2016.
Travise Pitman said the Knights have improved since they came to Ledger a year ago.
“They’ve definitely changed,” he said about Trinity Academy. “They’re big up front, and they have a big quarterback and tailback. They do things well, and they’re coached well. They played a very fast team this past week. It’ll be a good test for us to keep getting better at the things that we do.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Ledger.