Sometimes it takes risky decisions to win a football game.
Kent VanOverschelde took a risk by putting the ball in the hands of his offense to win the game. Mitchell was simply met at the goal line and the Dell Rapids defense held them one-yard short.
With 3 minutes, 3 seconds remaining on the clock, the Class 11AA No. 3 Kernels finally got on the board with a Parker Phillips touchdown run, but VanOverschelde was not interested in playing for overtime on Friday at Joe Quintal Field.
After a pass interference penalty on the first attempt, Mitchell had a second life and went back to the same play as the touchdown, only this time the Class 11A No. 2 Quarrier defense stopped Phillips shy of the goal line to preserve a 7-6 win.
“We wanted to win the football game right there,” VanOverschelde said. “That was our goal. The pass interference call and then to come up short -- it was a battle. I watched film on Sunday and I knew this game was going to be a dogfight.”
Mitchell had more than its share of opportunities late in the game. The Kernels were stopped on fourth down in Quarrier territory with 6:06 to play, but they got the ball right back when Ryan McGinnis fell on a Dell Rapids fumble.
It took Mitchell (2-2) three attempts inside the 5-yard line, before Phillips snuck inside the pylon on a fourth-down run from two yards out.
But while both teams played bend-but-don’t-break defense all game, VanOverschelde did not want to risk another long Dell Rapids (4-0) drive. If the Quarriers were to score, it was unlikely that there would have been enough time left for the Kernels to respond.
“The drive before we got the turnover, I had made the decision we were going for two if we scored,” VanOverschelde said. “To get the turnover and put ourselves in that position, I’d make that decision every time.”
With one timeout remaining, the Kernels attempted an onside kick, but Dell Rapids recovered. The Quarriers also took a risk and it resulted in the final dagger.
Dell Rapids quarterback Colin Rentz connected on a quick screen to Logan Wood, who scooted up the right sideline to seal the game.
“Their alignment -- we felt like we had seen it there,” Dell Rapids head coach Jordan Huska said. “A guy made a block, a guy made a catch and throw and we got a first down.”
Mitchell also had plenty of scoring chances throughout the game, but each time, Dell Rapids found a way to keep points off the scoreboard. The Kernels were 1-for-5 in red zone possessions.
It started with the first possession of the game and a drive that ended when Coby Maeschen jumped a Austin Kerr pass at the 1-yard line. After a Tucker Vilhauer interception gave Mitchell the ball back, a high snap doomed a once-promising drive and failed fake field goal halted it on the spot.
“I think it was just execution,” VanOverschelde said. “Getting to the blocks and they were physical up front. Unless we get there, we’re not going to have any experience. The experience gained here -- we had opportunities, we just had to finish them.”
Phillips had 96 yards on 24 attempts, while Kerr was was 6 of 14 for 66 yards and ran for 59 yards on 17 carries.
Rentz was 6 of 9 for 62 yards and Maeschen had a rushing touchdown and 17 tackles.
Mitchell hosts Yankton at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27 at Joe Quintal Field. Dell Rapids faces Tri-Valley on Sept. 27 in Colton.
DR: Coby Maeschen 1 run (Aiden Boechler kick)
M: Parker Phillips 2 run (run failed)
PASSING (C-A-INT-YDS): M: Austin Kerr 6-14-1-66; DR: Colin Rentz 6-9-1-62.
RUSHING (ATT-YDS): M: Parker Phillips 26-96, Austin Kerr 17-59, Carter Jacobsen 1-9, Totals 44-164; DR: Logan Stone 10-38, Coby Maeschen 9-36; Tyler Wood 5-11, Carter Rentz 2-8, Brayden Gee 1-8, Colin Rentz 5-7, Logan Ellingson 2-3, Totals 34-111.
RECEIVING (REC-YDS): M: Carter Jacobsen 2-35, Caden Hinker 2-22, Parker Phillips 2-9; DR: Tyler Wood 3-36, Logan Ellingson 3-26.