Kernels overwhelmed by No. 2 Brandon Valley

Lynx roll to nearly 550 total yards, 324 on the ground in 54-0 win.

Action from the Mitchell High School football game against Brandon Valley and lights out show afterwards on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 at Joe Quintal Field. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Facing the undefeated and second-ranked team in South Dakota’s largest football class, the Mitchell Kernels were overmatched on Friday night.

As Mitchell coach Kent VanOverschelde put it: “What a task to put in front of our guys here tonight.”

The Kernels (1-6) fought with defending Class 11AAA state-champion Brandon Valley (7-0) for much of the first half, but couldn’t find crucial scoring or chain-moving plays when necessary in a 54-0 home defeat on Senior Night at Joe Quintal Field.

“I think it was our lack of ability to stay with it. We let little things get to us and those things snowballed,” VanOverschelde said.

Mitchell gashed the Brandon Valley defense on its opening drive, picking up four first downs on five straight running plays to start the game. But the Lynx defense found its footing once the Kernels reached a goal-to-go situation, holding the Kernels to no gain on three straight downs before blocking a short field goal before blocking a short field goal attempt.


The visitors responded with a nine-play, 91-yard drive capped by a 1-yard plunge by running back Jordan Johnson.

After a long kick return, Mitchell looked to threaten the Brandon Valley defense once again, but Max VanWesten intercepted a deep pass intended for Jace Larson to thwart the Kernels chances. Once again, the Lynx responded, this time with a 83-yard pass from quarterback Jack Thue to receiver Sam Scholten.

Mitchell was unable to create much offensive momentum, as the Lynx added an 8-yard interception return and a second Thue to Scholten score, this time from 34 yards out, to take a four-score advantage into the locker room.

Brandon Valley amassed 185 yards passing and 135 more on the ground in the opening half, on its way to well over 500 total yards on the night.

Payton Egan and Delvoun Spears-Witte added short scoring runs in the third quarter, as Scholten found the endzone for his third touchdown of the evening on a rushing attempt to start the fourth quarter and Dreavin Hodge capped the scoring with a 7-yard fourth quarter scamper.

The Lynx rushed for 324 yards, led by 98 and a touchdown on 11 carries by Egan. Thue was 9-of-14 passing for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Josh Grosdidier led the Kernels with 77 rushing yards on 14 attempts. Treyson Schulz went 5 of 20 for 41 yards, with two completions going to Jagger Tyler for 30 yards.

With two games remaining, away to both Watertown and Huron, the Kernels have little time to get back on track before the playoffs start, but VanOverschelde is optimistic his team can put prior results behind it moving toward the final stretch of the regular season.


“Our guys have to work together to find that thing that’s going to take us over the hump,” VanOverschelde said. “We know we have some tough teams ahead, but there’s football left to play and we’re going to go play it.”

Mitchell is at Watertown on Oct. 15 before finishing the regular season at Huron on Oct. 21.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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