HURON -- Mitchell pushed Huron’s Jayden Beck out of bounds just before he crossed the goal-line for what would have been the game-winning two-point conversion in overtime, securing a 21-20 victory and the Kernels’ place in the Class 11AA postseason picture on Thursday night at Tiger Stadium.
After an initial signal from the officials that Beck was short, discussions amongst the officiating staff and Mitchell coach Kent VanOverschelde made everyone wait to know the contest’s true final outcome.
Then it was made known: Beck was short. Mitchell had won.
“I had him out-of-bounds, no doubt,” VanOverschelde said. “When they came to me, there was a discussion about out-of-bounds, but from where I was, it looked like he was out.”
Josh Grosdidier powered the Mitchell offense all night long. The senior running back scored what would turn out to be the game-winning score on fourth-and-5 in overtime, his third touchdown of the contest. It capped a career night where Grosdidier carried 39 times for 247 yards and three scores. The Kernels finished the game with 325 yards on the ground, outrushing Huron by over 200 yards.
“That was the plan, there wasn't any doubt in our mind we were going to run the football,” VanOverschelde said. “I think everybody just rallied behind the fact that we were going to give the ball to Josh and let him do his thing. Josh is a heck of a player and we needed some guys to step up tonight.”
Huron answered Grosdidier’s overtime touchdown with a one-yard plunge by Beck. Having already missed an extra point earlier in the game, the Tigers elected to go for two and the win on their home field. Beck took a pitch to the left and dove for the goal-line, only to be ruled out by the narrowest of margins.
Lucas Bennett ran for 37 yards while Jagger Tyler ran for 22 yards. Treyson Schulz completed two passes for 15 yards.
Mitchell (3-6) had 20 first downs, 21 more offensive plays and had the ball for nearly 17 more minutes than Huron (2-7), but it was the penalties that kept this game in arms reach for the Tigers. Mitchell committed 10 penalties for 71 yards and didn’t capitalize on two separate opportunities to score within their own 20-yard line. Despite these mishaps, Mitchell held Huron scoreless in the first half and the defense stopped them on four separate occasions on third and short.
“We played with a level of confidence today,” VanOverschelde said. “Our defense came up big. I look back at that first drive and maybe a field goal to get some points, but there are no ifs or buts. We had the lead at the half because of our defense, and in the second half, it was our offense.”
The Kernels notched up their second-straight victory after a six-game slide, picking up crucial seed points and momentum ahead of an opening-round game at Yankton (5-4) to be played Thursday, Oct. 28.