TOE RIVER SHOOTOUT
LEDGER – Mitchell High School’s football team heads into its rivalry game at Mountain Heritage Friday with an undefeated record in tow.
The Mountaineers improved to 6-0 with a 41-7 rout at R-S Central before their bye week this past week.
Since a 7-point win at Clyde A. Erwin in Week 1, the Mountaineers have won all five of their games by double digits and have held opponents to fewer than 10 points three times.
Mitchell has outscored its six opponents 255-69 this season behind a potent rushing attack.
The Mountaineers are averaging 292.2 rushing yards per game compared to 94 passing yards per game.
Sophomore Noah Pitman has led the way among Mitchell’s running backs. He has a team-high 445 yards and six touchdowns. At Noah Pitman’s heels is senior Ben Robinson, who has racked up 426 rushing yards with five touchdowns.
Noah Pitman and Robinson lead the team in yards per carry average with 13.1 and 9.7 averages, respectively. The two also have a pair of 100-yard rushing games to their credit.
Senior quarterback Ben Young has rushed for 320 yards and four touchdowns and junior Landon Miller has 255 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Young has started all six games at quarterback for the Mountaineers. He has completed 40-of-67 passes for 574 yards and nine touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. Young boasts a 114.7 quarterback rating and averages 14.4 yards per completion. He is second in the WHC behind Madison quarterback Clark Gray.
Young’s two favorite targets have been senior receivers Brody Smith and Jesse Pitman.
Jesse Pitman has one receiving touchdown and leads the team in receptions with nine and receiving yards with 192. Smith has eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Noah Pitman and Robinson have two touchdown receptions each.
Robinson has also served as the anchor for Mitchell’s defense. He leads the team with 38 tackles, including two tackles for a loss.
The Mountaineer defense has forced five interceptions and recovered seven fumbles.
Smith, Miller, Robinson, Jesse Pitman and Noah Pitman all have one interception each. Jesse Pitman returned his interception for a touchdown in the win at R-S Central.
Jesse Pitman leads the team in passes defended with three.
Robinson and junior Hunter Johnson are tied for the team lead in fumble recoveries with two each.
Special teams have been solid for Mitchell through the first half of the season with senior kicker Luis Valezquez making 26-of-31 extra points and Miller averaging 39.2 yards per punt with one punt inside the 20.
Sophomore Tyler McKinney has been the team’s best kickoff returner. He boasts 18.3 yards per return average during his three chances. Smith returned a punt for 49 yards and has one kickoff return for 15 yards to his credit.
Kickoff for Mitchell’s conference opener is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mountain Heritage.