• Mitchell junior Tyler McKinney makes a diving catch Friday, Sept. 22, during the Mountaineers 45-0 win over R-S Central. (Brandon Roberts/Mitchell News-Journal)
    Mitchell junior Tyler McKinney makes a diving catch Friday, Sept. 22, during the Mountaineers 45-0 win over R-S Central. (Brandon Roberts/Mitchell News-Journal)

Mitchell routs Hilltoppers, 45-0

Mountaineers have bye week before opening WHC play

LEDGER – Mitchell High School’s varsity football team kept its momentum rolling and extended its winning streak to five games Friday, Sept. 21, with a 45-0 rout of visiting R-S Central on homecoming night.

The Mountaineers (5-1) scored early and often and outgained the 2-A Hilltoppers (1-5) 376-125.

Mitchell has scored 41 or more points in each of its last four games, and during its five-game winning streak, the team has outscored its opponents 199-65.

Junior quarterback Noah Pitman and senior running back Landon Miller ensured homecoming would be a happy occasion in Ledger. The duo accounted for 270 yards and two touchdowns and helped wear down the visitors. 

Miller racked up a team-high 104 yards on six carries and chipped in two touchdowns while Pitman scrambled for 51 yards and completed 5-of-9 passes for 115 yards. 

Miller staked the Mountaineers to a 14-0 lead with a pair of first-quarter rushing touchdowns from two and 74 yards out. 

The Mitchell rushing attack kept its foot firmly on the gas pedal in the second quarter, adding two more touchdowns on the ground courtesy of senior Ethan LaPlante and sophomore Tanner Duncan. 

The Mountaineers added a field goal from junior Elliot Kadans as time expired in the second quarter and took a 31-0 lead into halftime.

Mitchell senior Jordan Cox registered a 17-yard touchdown run in the third and LaPlante rounded out the scoring for the home team by scooping up a fumble and returning it 27 yards for Mitchell’s final touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Cox turned a team-high seven carries into 74 rushing yards. The Mountaineers got rushing contributions from six different players who each had at least three carries. 

Pitman completed passes to junior Tyler McKinney, sophomore Cole Sparks and Miller. McKinney led the way with three receptions for 64 yards while Sparks and Miller chipped in receptions of 41 and 10 yards, respectively. 

Mitchell’s defense held the Hilltoppers to five first downs and forced them to punt eight times. R-S Central finished 0-10 on third down conversions. 

Senior linebacker Hunter Johnson anchored the Mitchell defense and recorded a team-high nine tackles, including one for a five-yard loss. 

McKinney had six tackles, and Sparks and senior Hudson Boone added five tackles each. 

The Mountaineers sacked R-S Central quarterback Jaiden Coston three times. Miller, Boone and senior Garrett Greene recorded one sack each. 

Greene said the team came into the matchup with the Hilltoppers with confidence after beating them 41-7 on the road this past season. He added the defense was eager to keep its momentum going after holding a physical Franklin offense to just 20 points the week before. 

“We were focused and ready to take care of business,” Greene said. “We came up with good defensive schemes. We are really aggressive up front.”

Mitchell will now enjoy a Friday night off before returning to action and opening Western Highlands Conference play Friday, Oct. 5, at home against rival Mountain Heritage (4-1). 

The Mountaineers and Cougars enter Week 7 with the conference’s best records. The other four Western Highlands teams are each 1-4. 

Mitchell also had its bye week during the final week of September in 2017 and lost 30-20 at Mountain Heritage in its first game back after the break. 

The Mountaineers earned a playoff bye in 2017 and followed their second open week of the season with a 67-21 rout of visiting Community School of Davidson.

The MItchell News

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