Brookings bolts past Mitchell in second half
For the third consecutive week, Mitchell High School grabbed a double-digit lead, and for the third consecutive week, it was not enough to win.
The Class 11AA No. 4 Kernels jumped out to a 12-0 lead on Class 11AA No. 2 Brookings and took a 19-14 lead into halftime. But the second half belonged to the Bobcats, scoring 30 points in the second half of a 44-25 win.
Following 10 straight points by Brookings, Mitchell regained the lead on a 5-yard touchdown run by Josh Grosdidier on the first play of the fourth quarter. The excitement was brief, however, as the Bobcats rattled off 20 unanswered points.
"Two big plays in the first half left the door open for Brookings to get into the game," MHS head coach Kent Van Overschelde said. "In the second half, we got a special teams play and we were able to move the ball a little bit, but not enough against a good Brookings football team."
Mitchell grinded out a pair of touchdown drives, both punctuated by Tucker Vilhauer touchdown runs. Brookings (6-0) would quickly respond with a 75-yard pass and catch from Jaxon Bowes to Keegan Fields in what would become a common theme throughout the night.
Parker Phillips answered with a 37-yard touchdown run, but Josh Buri returned the favor with a 61-yard scamper as the teams traded four touchdowns in the final 3 minutes, 49 seconds of the second quarter.
"We've got some decent speed and we needed to utilize that," Brookings head coach Brady Clark said. "They were bringing a lot of pressure up the middle and we felt the outside was going to be our best option, so that's what we did."
Brookings made few mistakes offensively following the play and the Kernels could not keep pace, allowing 531 total yards in the game and 328 in the second half.
A muffed snap on a punt on the first possession of the second half and the Bobcats quickly punched as Buri weaved through the Mitchell (3-3) defense, which lost third-year starting defensive tackle Wyatt Winter to a leg injury in the first half.
The Kernels struggled to contain Buri -- a Stewartville, Minnesota transfer -- for most of the second half, rushing for 172 of his 266 yards in the final 24 minutes.
Buri’s biggest run came two plays after Mitchell grabbed a 25-24 lead early in the fourth quarter, as he scooted 46 yards around the right end for what would result in the game-winning score.
"We were getting worn out and we were missing some of our guys at defensive tackle," Mitchell lineman Nick Rubendall said. "That surely didn't help us any."
A fumbled snap on third down of the ensuing possession forced a punt and Fields ran untouched through the middle of the defense for a 68-yard score and he caught another touchdown pass from Bowes after the Kernels failed to fall on a short kickoff, putting away any Kernel comeback chances.
"We had a self-inflicted mistakes," Van Overschelde said. "When you play at the level Brookings plays, if you make mistakes, they are going to make you pay for it. Tonight, Brookings was better, especially in the second half."
Fields finished with 101 rushing yards and 86 receiving yards, while Bowes went 8 of 18 passing for 162 yards and three scores.
Phillips ran for a season-low 134 yards on 22 attempts, while Vilhauer had 86 yards on 20 attempts, while also going 3 of 5 passing for 34 yards. Joe Van Overschelde made 12 tackles, including three for a loss.
Mitchell travels to Sturgis at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10.
Brookings 44, Mitchell 25
M: Tucker Vilhauer 1 run (Run failed)
M: Vilhauer 20 run (Pass failed)
B: Keegan Fields 75 pass from Jaxon Bowes (Fields kick)
M: Phillips 37 run (Trenton Regan kick)
B: Josh Buri 61 run (Fields kick)
B: Max Struck 3 pass from Bowes (Fields kick)
B: Fields 27 field goal
M: Josh Grosdidier 5 run (Pass failed)
B: Buri 46 run (Fields kick)
B: Fields 68 run (Kick failed)
B: Fields 11 pass from Bowes (Fields kick)
RUSHING (ATT-YDS): M: Parker Phillips 22-134, Tucker Vilhauer 20-86, Josh Grosdidier 5-20, Treyson Schulz 3-(-9), Totals 50-231. B: Josh Buri 19-266, Keegan Fields 6-101, Tyson Brandt 5-11, Hunter Gray 1-2, Jaxon Bowes 1-(-3), Wes Koenig 1-(-8), Totals 33-369.
PASSING (C-A-YDS-INT-TD): M: Vilhauer 3-5-0-34, Schulz 1-1-15-0-0. B: Bowes 8-15-162-0-3.
RECEIVING (REC-YDS): M: Jake Helleloid 2-15, Joe Van Overschelde 1-19, Ryley Johansen 1-15. B: Max Struck 4-46, Fields 2-86, Buri 1-18, Jackson Krogman 1-12.