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Neugebauer sets MHS career rushing record

HURON--Heading into a rivalry game against the Huron Tigers, senior running back Spencer Neugebauer needed 225 yards to become Mitchell's all-time leading rusher.

Mitchell's Spencer Neugebauer (8) breaks free for a touchdown during a game against Huron on Thursday night at Tiger Stadium in Huron. (Matt Gade/Republic)
Mitchell's Spencer Neugebauer (8) breaks free for a touchdown during a game against Huron on Thursday night at Tiger Stadium in Huron. (Matt Gade/Republic)

HURON-Heading into a rivalry game against the Huron Tigers, senior running back Spencer Neugebauer needed 225 yards to become Mitchell's all-time leading rusher.

In one half, the speedster racked up 266 rushing yards.

No. 8 continued to put his name atop the MHS record book as he broke Trevor Hohn's career rushing record of 2,955 yards (2001-02). The records are for the playoff era (since 1981).

Neugebauer now has 2,996 career rushing yards and 1,529 rushing yards on the season. He is 95 yards short of Hohn's single-season rushing record of 1,624 (2001).

"I'm still waiting till the end of the season," said Neugebauer, reflecting on the record. "I've had a lot of people come up to me, but I'm just really proud of my team."

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The 6-foot-1, 185-pound running back and linebacker entered the season with 1,467 career rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. Heading into the playoffs, he has 1,529 yards in eight games this season and is 95 yards short of Hohn's single-season rushing record of 1,624 set in 2001.

"I think the offensive line takes great pride in having a record-breaking type of running back running behind them," Mitchell head coach Kent VanOverschelde said. "His consistency and his poise (stands out). He was able to get his yards."

Against the Tigers, Neugebauer also added a 58-yard touchdown reception and has eight catches for 204 yards and four touchdowns. He's already the school's career rushing touchdown leader with 44 and now has 32 total touchdowns this season.

He'll continue his assault on the Kernel record book in the postseason as Mitchell hosts Sturgis on Thursday at Joe Quintal Field.

Kernels take No. 1 seed, finish regular season with best record since 1986

It's been 30 years since Mitchell has finished the regular season with a record this good. The No. 2 ranked Kernels will enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in Class 11AA with an 8-1 record.

It's the best regular season record since 1986, when the Kernels had a perfect regular season but fell in the state championship game.

"I'm very proud of their effort, dedication and sacrifice for our football program," VanOverschelde said. "We're excited about the position we're at going forward. We owned up to what we needed to do, now we have to go earn it and find a way towards that state championship."

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The last time Mitchell reached the DakotaDome was 1993, but the team finished the regular season with 1-6 record before closing out the season at 5-7.

The 2016 regular season has been Mitchell's strongest regular season since 2011, when the Kernels finished the regular season with a 7-2 record and ended the season 8-3 overall.

"It's nice. It'll be a lot nicer after the season looking back on it," Mitchell safety Jed Schmidt said. "We're upset with our one loss, but right now we're just looking forward to whoever we play in the first round. We know we have three games to get it done."

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