Mitchell Kernels blanked by Yankton on Homecoming

Second-quarter surge sends Mitchell to 1-5

The story of the season reared its ugly head once again Friday night for the Mitchell Kernel football team.

It was another game where the Kernels were in lock-step with their opponent — and then seemingly with a flip of the switch, it got out of hand.

On Friday night, Yankton scored 28 points in under 5 minutes to stun Mitchell before halftime, leading to a 45-0 victory for the Bucks on Homecoming night at Joe Quintal Field. All of that occurred despite Mitchell rushing for 160 yards in the first half and holding the ball for 75% of the first two quarters.

The score was 7-0 in favor of Yankton with 2 minutes remaining in the first half when the Bucks’ quarterback Rugby Ryken connected with Max Raab for a 19-yard touchdown to take a 14-0 lead. On the ensuing possession, Mitchell mishandled a handoff and Jayden Lightner jumped on it on the Kernels’ 25 yard line. Three plays later, Ryken found Cody Oswald in the front corner of the endzone from 15 yards out to up the score to 21-0.

Mitchell got the ball again late in the first half but went three-and-out and had to punt to Oswald, who slithered through the Mitchell punt coverage unit for a 46-yard touchdown, completing the stunning conclusion to the first half with 37 seconds remaining.


"We just had things snowball on us," Mitchell coach Kent VanOverschelde said. "Really, we just have to do a better job across the board of responding to adversity."

It was reminiscent of the Kernels’ last home game two weeks ago against No. 1-ranked Tea Area, when Mitchell led 14-7 at halftime and was outscored 40-0 in the second half in a game that got out of hand.

Josh Grosdidier had 84 yards on 14 carries in the first half, helping power two long drives for Mitchell, of 13 and 14 plays, respectively. But after the latter of those stalled on a 4th and 2 at the Yankton 18 with 5:50 left in the first half, the Kernels gained just 17 total yards and one first down in the remainder of the half.

A rain-soaked second half was not much better for Mitchell, with zero yards of total offense, minus-2 yards rushing and no first downs. Yankton added a 25-yard field goal from Trevor Paulsen and a fumble recovery touchdown in the end zone from Charles Foote midway through the fourth quarter to create the final 45-point margin.

Yankton put the game on ice early in the third quarter, taking the ball on the kickoff to start the second half and driving down the field for Ryken to make his fourth touchdown pass of the game on a 9-yard connection with Oswald.

For Mitchell, quarterback Treyson Schulz finished 3-for-8 passing for five yards, and 41 yards rushing on nine carries. Grosdidier finished with 86 yards on the ground on 15 carries. Joe VanOverschelde finished the game with eight tackles, with Jagger Tyler adding six tackles and a forced fumble and another six tackles from Drake Jerke.

Ryken finished the game 12-for-17 passing for 112 yards, along with 40 yards rushing. Gavin Swanson rushed 20 times for 82 yards for the Bucks. Max Raab was the leading receiver for Yankton (3-3) with 46 yards on two catches, with Ryken making connections with six different Buck receivers.

Yankton finished with a 294-163 difference in total offense. The Kernels were also plagued by 11 penalties for 110 yards, including a handful of post-play infractions.


Mitchell (1-5) will host Brandon Valley for the home regular-season finale, before the Kernels head to Watertown and Huron in the final two weeks.

"We know there's two ways to go as a team," VanOverschelde said. "We can believe what everyone thinks about us and is saying about us. Or we can respond in the right way. I know we're capable of doing that."

Scoring summary

Second quarter

Y: Cameron Zahrbock 5 pass from Rugby Ryken (Trevor Paulsen kick), 5:21.

Y: Max Raab 19 pass from Ryken (Paulsen kick), 1:51.

Y: Cody Oswald 20 pass from Ryken (Paulsen kick), 1:17.

Y: Oswald 47 punt return (Paulsen kick), 0:37


Third quarter

Y: Oswald 9 pass from Ryken (Paulsen kick), 8:16

Fourth quarter

Y: Paulsen 25 field goal, 6:50

Y: Charles Foote fumble recovery in end zone (Paulsen kick), 5:55.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at
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