Kernels look to bounce back at Brookings
After unraveling in late in last Saturday's season opener against Watertown, No. 2 Mitchell High School is set to get back in the saddle today at No. 4 Brookings for its first Class 11AA game of the season.
The Kernels have taken the last three installments in the series with the Bobcats, but Brookings may be on the upswing after edging Yankton in the first game of the season, 24-23.
At times the Kernels looked like the team favored to win Class 11AA, with Kiel Nelson throwing two touchdown passes and Carson Max pounding his way through the defense on a third-quarter scoring drive, but it didn't last the whole game.
Not only did Mitchell surrender a 19-point lead late in the third quarter against Watertown, but the Kernels also allowed 40 points in a little more than 14 minutes of game time.
"We have to overcome any doubts that we have," MHS head coach Kent VanOverschelde said. "... We have to just get on the football field and play. The team has to understand that and I think the kids have had a pretty short memory."
Not so special teams
The play of the special teams was dismal in the collapse, as Mitchell allowed touchdowns on a kick return and punt return, while also botching the snap on an extra point and failing to convert a fake punt in the fourth quarter.
Not only did the Kernels surrender two touchdown returns, but the first was the spark that lit the fuse for the Arrows. Mitchell's defense had been stout to that point and Watertown was able to gain momentum without having to move the ball on offense.
Special teams directly led to Watertown taking the lead in a matter of moments. The punt return cut into the lead and the fake punt set up the go-ahead touchdown.
"We try to shore those things up, make some personnel changes because we understand the significance those plays, especially in any kind of sudden change or critical situation," VanOverschelde said. "They definitely have had our attention this week."
Stopping the run
While Mitchell faced a potent aerial attack last week, Brookings is the antithesis of that. The Bobcats threw just 14 passes in Week 1, completing as many to Yankton as their own receivers—three. What did work, however, was the ground game.
Brookings ran for 294 yards and two touchdowns, gaining nearly nine yards per attempt. That attack was led by swift running back Parker Beers, who ran for 164 yards on 18 carries, including a 73-yard jaunt.
The Kernels were stellar defending the run last week, holding Watertown to negative yardage for the entire game. This time they will have to hold up against a Brookings offensive line that averages 245 pounds.
"We have to stop the run, especially in some of their unique formations, like when they go unbalanced," VanOverschelde said. "We have to be ready for them to run their series of plays out of that and we have to able to read the keys and make plays."
When/Where: 7 p.m. tonight at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings
Coaches: Mitchell's Kent VanOverschelde (12th season); Brookings' Lee Schmidt (7th season)
Forecast: 75 degrees and partly sunny at kickoff, with a 40 percent chance of rain and southwest winds at nine mph
Records: Mitchell 0-1; Brookings 1-0
Notes: Mitchell has won the last three meetings with Brookings, including a 21-7 win last season. Drew Kitchens ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns against the Bobcats last year, but is a gametime decision with a sprained ankle.
Mitchell's projected starters:
QB: Kiel Nelson, Sr., 6-3, 200
RB: Carson Max, Sr., 5-11, 195
RB: Austin Kerr, Jr., 5-9, 175
WR: Koby Larson, Sr., 5-10, 175
WR: Kaden Soukup, Sr., 6-1, 175
LT: Tegan Alm, Sr., 6-7, 200
LG: Zach Mohr, Sr., 6-0, 200
C: Carter Max, Sr., 6-0, 210
RG: Reese Sievert, Sr., 6-2, 225
RT: Mitch Schladweiler, Sr., 6-4, 270
DE: Dylan Krogman, Sr., 6-1, 195
DT: Wyatt Winter, So., 5-9, 240
DT: Levi Winne, Sr., 5-10, 210
DE: Lalo Reyes, Sr., 5-7, 180
LB: Carson Max, Sr., 5-11, 195
LB: Parker Roden, Sr., 5-7, 160
LB: Max Schoenfelder, Sr., 5-11, 190
LB: Logan Sparks, Sr., 5-8, 150
DB: Peyton Nash, Jr., 5-10, 155
DB: Austin Kerr, Jr., 5-9, 175
DB: Jackson Sadler, Sr., 6-0, 180
K: Trevor Lambert, Jr., 5-11, 180
P: Kiel Nelson, Sr., 6-3, 200 or Carson Max, Sr., 5-11, 195
LS: Reese Sievert, Sr., 6-2, 225
Brookings projected starters
QB: Jacob Schoon, Sr., 6-2, 180
RB: Parker Beers, Sr., 5-8, 166
RB: Carter Eidem, Jr., 6-0 175
WR: Jay Wilber, Sr., 5-11, 166
WR: Isaac Oetken, Sr., 5-10, 140
TE: Cole Mahlum, So., 6-0, 150
LT: Joe Prusa, Jr., 6-4, 266
LG: Nathan Ramsey, Jr., 5-10, 250
C: Cayden Jacobsma, Jr., 5-8, 205
RG: Tucker Christie, Sr., 6-1, 262
RT: Gus Miller, Jr., 6-2, 245
DE: Theo Burns, Jr., 6-3, 200
NG: Wes Gehring, Sr., 6-0, 245
DT: Gus Miller, Jr., 6-2, 245
OLB: Carter Eidem, Jr., 5-11, 166
ILB: Logan Bowes, Sr., 5-10, 179
OLB: Brady Ammann, Jr., 5-9, 170
LB: Jay Szafryk, Sr., 6-2, 190
CB: Sam Lehman, Sr., 5-8, 160
CB: Justin Devine, Sr., 5-10, 172
SS: Jay Wilber, Sr., 5-11, 166
FS: Isaac Oetken, Sr., 5-10, 140
K: Justin Devine, Sr., 5-10, 172
P: Tyler Kreutner, Sr., 6-1, 163
LS: Cadin Wright, Jr., 5-9, 165 or Tanner Shepardson, Jr., 6-0, 170