Kernel Film Room: Perimeter blocking keys Kernel touchdown runs

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is the third installment in a weekly series examining a key play in the previous week’s football game for Mitchell High School.

In a game that featured 87 points and 880 yards of total offense, there was not a shortage of big plays during Friday’s contest between Mitchell and Yankton at Joe Quintal Field.

Most of the Kernels’ big gains ran through Parker Phillips and the ground game. Phillips accounted for 259 of Mitchell’s 363 yards on the ground and four of its five rushing touchdowns.

The Kernels may have thrown the ball eight times, but their wide receivers still managed to impact the game through blocking, while Phillips displayed his ability to read blocks and find running lanes in the 45-42 win.


Blocking on the perimeter

This diagram depicts the assignments for the Mitchell offense during a first-quarter touchdown run by Parker Phillips (41) against Yankton on Friday at Joe Quintal Field. (Nick Sabato / Republic)

Slot receiver Carter Jacobsen was on the receiving end of all four of Austin Kerr’s completions in the contest, but he affected the game much more through his run blocking.

Lined up with fellow senior Isaac Rew to the outside, the tandem keyed a pair of Phillips’ touchdown runs in the first half.

The first touchdown of the game came on a fourth-and-2 play with 7:43 left in the first quarter that saw Phillips follow fullback Joe VanOverschelde outside. Jacobsen was able to seal a Yankton linebacker and safety simultaneously, while Phillips cut inside.

As the defense pursued, Phillips cut inside a Rew block and outraced the remaining defenders down the left sideline for a 35-yard touchdown.

“Rew has been ‘Mr. Consistent’ with that and Jacosben had a great night of blocking,” MHS head coach Kent VanOverschelde said. “That was something that was noticed on the field as well. When everyone gets to their responsibilities, it creates those big plays.”

Vision in the open field

In the second quarter, with Mitchell leading 14-7, Phillips broke another touchdown run on third and 4 from the Yankton 44 yard line.


Once again, Phillips followed the lead of fullback Jake Helleloid, who sealed off the Yankton linebacker and cut inside. Jacobsen and Rew both delivered outside blocks, and for a brief moment, Phillips contemplated heading for the sideline.

While it would have been a sizeable gain had he continued that route, Phillips instead saw Jacobsen turning Yankton safety Cole Rumsey to the outside and slip inside the block. The result was an untouched sprint to the end zone.

“There was a 45-degree cut and another 90 cut in there,” VanOverschelde said. “That’s just great vision on his part. Some people call it a jump step or a cut step, but that’s something that’s been ingrained in him. Putting that foot in the ground, firing off and he has that innate ability to explode out of it.”

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