CRUISE CONTROL: Mountaineers roll over Trinity Academy, 60-9
LEDGER – The Ledger Volunteer Fire Department engine that flashes its lights when the Mitchell Mountaineers football team scores a touchdown was in danger of burning them out this past Friday in a 60-9 rout of Trinity Academy.
Mitchell (3-0) had a running clock on the Knights after going up 53-0 a few minutes before halftime.
The Mountaineers scored on the ground, through the air and on defense in a game that allowed Mitchell’s younger players to get significant playing time.
“We can learn from every game we play no matter the score,” said Travise Pitman, Mitchell head coach. “We still have to execute and not make mistakes in every game we play. But, it’s always good to get guys on the field who don’t see a lot of playing time and allow them to get that experience and give our first-string guys a rest.”
Sophomore Ethan LaPlante led all rushers with 96 yards and two touchdowns on four carries. Senior Jesse Pitman led Mitchell in tackles and had an interception on defense. Junior Landon Miller also had an interception for Mitchell’s defense that allowed 101 yards – 82 rushing and 19 passing – on 41 plays by the Knights.
Mitchell is currently third in the Western Highlands Conference behind Moutain Heritage and Polk County. The Mountaineers are averaging nearly 289 yards rushing per game this season and have a total of 866. Senior running back Ben Robinson leads the team with 259 yards rushing this season.
After back-to-back double digit home wins, Mitchell goes on the road to Marion this coming week to play McDowell, a team the Mountaineers defeated 32-0 in Ledger this past season.
The Titans (1-2) began the year with a loss on the road to R-S Central before defeating Avery in Marion in Week 2. McDowell lost this past Friday at Patton.
“It’s going to be competitive, there’s no doubt about that,” Pitman said. “This is always one of those games where they play better against us than they will all year. They will be ready to play and we must be as well. We can’t make mistakes and we have to execute our game plan.”
McDowell’s two top running backs graduated, but the Titans’ senior quarterback Ben Ballew is back after a stellar junior season where he passed for 1,246 yards.
“They have some good players and a lot of experience,” Pitman said. “Our defense has to step up and be ready for anything. McDowell is a physical team that mixes its running and pass game well.”
Mitchell senior standout wide receiver Brody Smith sat out the game against Trinity Academy nursing a minor injury. He said this past Friday he does not know if he will be back for the McDowell game.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at McDowell High School in Marion.