MITCHELL 27, CANNON 14
LEDGER – Make it back-to-back wins for Mitchell High School’s football team.
After opening the season with a 21-14 road win over 3-A Clyde A. Erwin, the Mountaineers (2-0) opened their home schedule with a 27-14 win this past Friday over the independent Cannon Cougars from Concord.
After a scoreless first quarter, Cannon got on the board first in the second quarter when junior running back Gabe Ortiz broke through a group of Mitchell defenders and galloped in for a 69-yard touchdown that put the visitors up 7-0.
Mitchell answered right back and tied the game at 7 with the first of two rushing touchdowns from senior running back Ben Robinson.
With under 30 seconds left in the second quarter, the Mountaineers took their first lead of the game after senior quarterback Ben Young connected with sophomore receiver Tyler McKinney for a 35-yard touchdown that put Mitchell up 14-7 at the half.
Sophomore Noah Pitman pushed the Mitchell lead to 20-7 with a 31-yard touchdown run in the second half. It was Pitman’s second rushing touchdown of the season.
The Mountaineers scored once more on Robinson’s second touchdown run of the night that came seconds after senior Landon Miller notched an interception that set Mitchell up deep in Cannon territory.
Cannon’s senior quarterback Chris Nelson plunged into the end zone from a yard out for a touchdown that cut Mitchell’s lead to 27-14, but the visitors ran out of time to complete a rally.
The Mountaineers amassed 430 yards of offense while holding Cannon to just 228 yards.
Mountaineers head coach Travise Pitman said he liked what he saw from his defense.
“We just tried to crowd them in and not give them a lot of holes,” Pitman said. “I thought our pass coverage was good. We held their quarterback in the pocket.”
Robinson paced the Mitchell rushing attack by racking up 151 yards on 14 carries. Pitman ran eight times for 85 yards and a touchdown and Young carried the ball 15 times for 88 yards.
Pitman has racked up 187 rushing yards in Mitchell’s first two games and was named Farm Bureau Insurance “Player of the Week” after the team’s Week 1 win in Asheville.
“Noah is a very good athlete,” Pitman said. “He sees the running alleys that most people don’t see. He’s also a team player. He also blocks well and plays defense.”
Young completed 7-of-15 passes for 96 yards and a one touchdown compared to one interception. He was sacked once.
Senior wide receiver Brody Smith caught a team-high three passes for 11 yards. Senior wide receiver Jesse Pitman caught two passes for 31 yards.
Robinson led the way defensively for Mitchell, leading the team with 6.5 tackles. Senior defensive lineman Trevor Self recorded Mitchell’s lone sack.
Mitchell stays at home in Week 3 and hosts the Trinity Academy Knights from Gray, Tennessee.
Independent Trinity Academy is searching for its first win after falling to 0-2 with a home loss this past Friday to Notre Dame and opened the season with a 42-0 loss to Hampton. Friday’s game is the team’s first road contest of the season.
The Knights finished 9-4 last season and Pitman said he expects the Knights to come to Ledger desperate for a win.
“I’m pretty sure they’re looking for a win,” Pitman said. “It looks like they’re pretty athletic. It’s a team that can give us a challenge.”
Pitman added the Mitchell front-seven should be challenged early and often because of the Knights’ option-oriented offense.
“They run a double-wing option look,” he said. “They run a lot of shotgun and they have big kids up front.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium.