Mitchell ready for Week 2 clash with Cabarrus
LEDGER – Mitchell High School’s varsity football team will play its first home game of the 2019 season Friday, Aug. 30, when the Cabarrus Warriors make the trip to Ledger.
The Mountaineers (1-0) opened the season Friday, Aug. 23, by handling Class 3A Erwin 24-7 using a strong second half to win on the road.
Cabarrus lost 14-8 in overtime to North Raleigh Christian Academy Friday, Aug. 16, in its regular-season opener. The team’s Week 2 game at High Point Christian Academy was rescheduled and played this past Monday. Results were not available at press time.
North Raleigh jumped on Cabarrus early, taking an 8-0 lead that stood until the fourth quarter.
After tying the game 8-8 with a late touchdown, the Warriors lost after North Raleigh scored a touchdown in overtime.
The Cabarrus Warriors are a blend of two programs – Cannon and Concord First Assembly Academy.
Mitchell and Cannon squared off in Week 2 in each of the past two seasons with the Mountaineers winning both games – 27-14 in Ledger in 2017 and 27-6 at Cannon this past season.
Cabarrus is led by junior quarterback Michael Dickens, who was 9-for-17 for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception in Week 1.
Dickens completed five passes to senior wide receiver Javon Meyers, who racked up 91 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Senior running back Fred Peace paced the Warriors on the ground with 18 carries for 68 yards.
The Mitchell defense will look to continue the stingy play that held Erwin to just 150 yards of total offense. The Mountaineers intercepted Erwin quarterback Jared Penland twice and limited the Warriors rushing attack to only 117 yards.
Junior linebacker Caius Peterson, who was credited with a team-high 10 solo tackles in the win over Erwin, will look to continue to grow as a defensive leader.
Mountaineers head coach Travise Pitman said Peterson, who is playing varsity football for the first time, originally wanted to play strong safety but has accepted a refined role with ease.
“Caius has done really well,” Travise Pitman said. “I think he enjoyed Friday night, and he played hard and did all the things we hoped he would.”
Travise Pitman added Cabarrus would present a different offensive style. While most of the teams in the Western Highlands Conference are power-running teams, Cabarrus is more focused on zone and spread looks, which he said is something the team could see again in the state playoffs.
“They’re a little different than Erwin,” Travise Pitman said. “Erwin was more focused on getting it to the edge, but Cabarrus runs more of a zone scheme, and they focus on getting it inside the tackles.”
Mitchell’s offense will look to crack a Cabarrus defense that held up well in Week 1, limiting North Raleigh to just 89 passing yards and 143 rushing yards while recording four sacks.
Senior Chase Love led Cabarrus with 13 total tackles, including one for a loss, and junior Nasir Roberts recorded a pair of sacks to lead the team.
Mitchell senior quarterback Noah Pitman completed 5-of-11 passes for 50 yards against Erwin but did the most damage on the ground where he scrambled 21 times for 213 yards and a touchdown.
Junior running back Tanner Duncan registered 15 carries for 62 yards.
After trailing 7-0 at halftime, Mitchell scored 24 unanswered points, including 17 in the fourth quarter, to coast to the win.
Even with its success in the second half, Travise Pitman still believes his team can improve.
“We have to get better as a unit,” he said. “We have to get ourselves in shape and do the small things.”
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday in Ledger.
MITCHELL 0 0 7 17 24
ERWIN 7 0 0 0 7
E – J. Penland 13-yard run (Marin kick)
M – G. Phillips 2-yard run (Kadans kick)
M – E. Kadans 28-yard field goal
M – N. Pitman 17-yard run (Kadans kick)
M – C. Hoyle 4-yard run (Kadans kick)