Kernel Gameday: Mitchell hosts Yankton in Homecoming football clash
Mitchell Kernels look to end losing skid at four games
The Mitchell High School football team plays its annual Homecoming game Friday night against rival Yankton. Here’s what to know ahead of the contest:
7 p.m. Friday
Joe Quintal Field.
Mitchell 1-4; Yankton 2-3
Yankton won 30-24 in overtime on Sept. 25, 2020 at Crane-Youngworth Field. Corbin Sohler had a 15-yard touchdown run in the first overtime session to lift the Bucks to the victory.
Both teams were in action on Sept. 24, with Yankton dropping a 24-10 home game with No. 2 Pierre, while Mitchell falling at No. 3 Brookings, 43-14.
The recent series between the Kernels and Bucks has been split, with the teams splitting the last four matchups. Each of those games has been on the high-scoring side, with at least 54 points scored, including Mitchell’s 45-42 win over Yankton in 2019 at Joe Quintal Field. Mitchell earned wins in 2016 and 2017, the last time a team in the series won in back-to-back years.
With five games in the books from each team in the class, Mitchell holds the No. 7 position in Class 11AA seed points. Yankton is in a tie for fourth with Watertown. Yankton is also ranked No. 4 in this week’s South Dakota Prep Media football poll.
About the Kernels:
Mitchell is averaging 306 yards per game on offense, with about 60 percent of that yardage coming through the run game. Last week’s game against Brookings was a step forward for the passing game, with quarterback Treyson Schulz completing 13 of 22 passes for 153 yards, the most since Week 2 at Pierre. Overall, Mitchell had only 240 total yards.
Lucas Bennett has been the most popular target in the Kernel passing game, with 13 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. A.J. Siemsen has nine catches for 136 yards and Jace Larson has made nine catches for 80 yards for MHS. Five different receivers have caught a touchdown pass this season for the Kernels.
Kernel running back Josh Grosdidier might be happy to see the Yankton defense on the other side of the line of scrimmage once again. He scored all four touchdowns in the 2020 game and had 99 yards on 21 carries. Teammate Tucker Vilhauer had 116 yards on 20 carries, and as a team, Mitchell rushed 72 times for 366 yards at Yankton, completing just two passes all game.
Mitchell continues to have a lot of success defensively picking up tackles for loss. Linebacker Joe VanOverschelde has a team-high 8 1/2 tackles for loss, with Beau Foote with seven TFLs, and Carson Fahey logging 4 1/2. Other Kernels with two or more TFLs this season include Grosdidier, Kole Schelske and Adam Fahey.
Tyson Sabers, a 6-foot, 155-pound sophomore, is the Kernels’ scout team player of the week ahead of the Yankton contest.
About the Bucks:
The ball has moved up and down the field in Yankton football games this season. The Bucks, who have scored 34 points per game and allowed nearly 21 per contest, are averaging about 385 yards of total offense per game, while allowing about 340 yards when their defense is on the field on a per-game basis.
Yankton is paced by quarterback Rugby Ryken, who has helped the Bucks average more than 200 passing yards per game. The Bucks average about 19 first downs per game. Cody Oswald, a multi-faceted player for the Bucks at running back, in the return game and in the defensive backfield, will be a player to keep an eye on. Other returning all-state players for Yankton include 6-foot-3 wide receiver Cameron Zahrbock and lineman Bodie Rutledge, and the strong-legged Trevor Paulsen, a junior who got an all-state honorable mention nod in 2020, hit the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation against Mitchell in 2020 and made a 45-yard field goal last week against Pierre.
Last week, Yankton trailed 14-3 at halftime at home to Pierre and was plagued by a three-turnover game for the offense. The Bucks yielded 435 yards of total offense to Governors’ quarterback Lincoln Kienholz — 213 passing and 222 rushing. Ryken found Oswald for a 36-yard touchdown pass late in the game for the Bucks’ only touchdown.
Next: Both teams are in action on Friday, Oct. 8, Yankton drawing winless Sturgis for a home game and Mitchell hosting Class 11AAA No. 2-ranked Brandon Valley.