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No. 2 Kernels rout No. 5 Spartans

It took two plays for the No. 2 Mitchell High School football team to take the lead over No. 5 Spearfish. It remained that easy for the Kernels to score on the Spartans the rest of the first half as Mitchell rolled Spearfish 55-20 in front of a l...

Mitchell's Kyle Foote (32) tackles Spearfish quarterback Corey Hoffman (12) for a loss during a game on Friday night at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Mitchell's Kyle Foote (32) tackles Spearfish quarterback Corey Hoffman (12) for a loss during a game on Friday night at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)

It took two plays for the No. 2 Mitchell High School football team to take the lead over No. 5 Spearfish.

It remained that easy for the Kernels to score on the Spartans the rest of the first half as Mitchell rolled Spearfish 55-20 in front of a large homecoming crowd on Friday at Joe Quintal Field.

Executing at a high level, the Kernels would finish the first half with 55 unanswered points and outgained Spearfish 321-86 in the first half.

"Offensively, I can't say enough," MHS head coach Kent VanOverschelde said. "The ability to make plays and do it with some certainty, it's a good sign moving forward."

After the Mitchell defense forced a three-and-out on Spearfish's first possession, Spencer Neugebauer took his first carry 59 yards and scored his first rushing touchdown on the very next play to give the Kernels an early 7-0 lead.

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"Our offensive line has been going hard this year and it comes down to being physical up front," Mitchell left tackle Chris Corbett said. "It all starts with us and we have great running backs. Everything worked well for us tonight."

The Spartans (3-2) looked poised to tie the game as Spearfish marched down the field into the red zone. There, Carson Max forced a Spearfish fumble and the Kernels took over. Neugebauer capped Mitchell's longest drive of the game (10 plays, 92 yards), scoring on a 13-yard touchdown run to put the Kernels up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

"We just didn't come out and do what we were capable of," Spearfish head coach Chad McCarty said. "I'm not taking anything away from Mitchell, they're a good football team. We didn't execute the way we wanted to and they beat us up front."

The second quarter was all Mitchell, as the Kernels improved to 4-1 on the season.

With the wind at their backs, the Kernels routinely took over on offense on the Spearfish half of the field. Mitchell used the good field position and capitalized each time, scoring six total touchdowns in the quarter.

"All aspects of that first half seemed to be clicking and working," VanOverschelde said. "Hats off to our kids. They did a great job."

Sam Michels started the second quarter scoring spree with an 8-yard touchdown and Neugebauer added a 9-yard touchdown run and a 21-yard touchdown to push Mitchell ahead 34-0 after a missed extra point. Seth Paulson finished the game making 8-of-9 extra points and had four touchbacks after Mitchell touchdowns, forcing the Spartans to continuously start at the 20-yard line.

"Hopefully, that's something that'll be a big part of our football games moving forward," VanOverschelde said about Mitchell's field-position advantage. "We want to put (opposing) offenses back deep and let our defense make plays. It was nice to see us create some turnovers as well."

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The scoring continued when Jed Schmidt intercepted a Corey Hoffman pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. Drew Kitchens added rushing touchdowns of 27 and 9 yards, as the Kernels entered halftime with a commanding 55-0 lead.

"Our line was huge," said Kitchens, who finished the game with 57 yards. "Everything was clicking. We need to keep the energy up and keep clicking."

The Kernels' second string played the entire second half and Spearfish broke the shutout late in the third quarter when Hoffman found Devan Fox for a 5-yard touchdown pass. After a missed PAT, Mitchell led 55-6 at the end of the third quarter. Hoffman and Fox connected again for a 17-yard touchdown and Hoffman scored his third touchdown when Jaxon Rosencranz hauled in a 35-yard touchdown to make the score 55-20.

"The second half is what it is," VanOverschelde said. "With the lead that we had, our kids continued to play hard throughout the four quarters and Spearfish did the same."

Defensively, Kyle Foote led the Kernel defense with eight tackles, three tackles for a loss and one sack. Kitchens added eight tackles, while Schmidt finished with seven tackles and an interception.

Spearfish finished the game with 253 yards of offense (107 rushing and 146 passing), while Mitchell racked up 346 yards of offense with 333 coming on the ground. Mitchell attempted three passes in the win, with Kiel Nelson going 1-for-2 passing for 11 yards and added two runs for 35 yards.

Neugebauer finished the game with 158 rushing yards on 10 carries and four touchdowns.

"Any opportunity Spencer Neugebauer gets as a running back, there's an opportunity for him to make good things happen," VanOverschelde said. "There's trust and there's belief and I think that was indicated in the performance."

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For the Spartans, Hoffman went 9-of-22 passing for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Rosencranz and Fox each finished with four catches and Jackson Bogue had 10 carries for 52 yards rushing.

Mitchell faces Sioux Falls Lincoln at 7 p.m. on Friday at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.

NOTES: Mitchell homecoming king Taylor Reichelt entered the game in the fourth quarter and participated in a play for the Kernels.

Spearfish 0 0 6 14 - 20

Mitchell 14 41 0 0 - 55

Scoring summary

First quarter

M: Spencer Neugebauer 8 run (Seth Paulson kick)

M: Neugebauer 13 run (Paulson kick)

Second quarter

M: Sam Michels 8 run (Paulson kick)

M: Neugebauer 9 run (Paulson kick)

M: Neugebauer 21 run (kick missed)

M: Jed Schmidt 30 interception return (Paulson kick)

M: Drew Kitchens 27 run (Paulson kick)

M: Kitchens 9 run (Paulson kick)

Third quarter

S: Corey Hoffman 5 pass to Devan Fox (kick missed)

Fourth quarter

S: Hoffman 17 pass to Fox (Logan Lucas kick)

S: Hoffman 35 pass to Jaxon Rosencranz (Lucas kick)

RUSHING: M: Spencer Neugebauer 10-158-4, Drew Kitchens 11-57-2, Kiel Nelson 2-35, Max Schoenfelder 5-33, Sam Michels 4-25-1, Carson Max, 2-22, Logan Sparks 5-14, Jordan Dirkes 2-0, Austin Jennings 1-(-1), Tate Larson 1-(-2), Sabastian Antaya 1-(-4), Chris Wahlen 3-(-4); S: Jackson Bogue 10-52, Boyce Harr 8-50, Carson Sleep 1-15, Brady Greger 2-7, Taten Rhoades 1-6, Reese Hansen 2-3, Jaxon Rosencranz 1-(-2), Zach Kozel 1-(-5), Corey Hoffman 7-(-7), Jordon Brinson 3-(-12); PASSING: M: Nelson 1-2-11-0-0, Reed Overweg 1-1-2-0-0; S: Hoffman 9-22-127-2-3, Brady Greger 1-2-19-0; RECEIVING: M: Reed Overweg 1-11, Larson 1-2; S: Rosencranz 4-66-1, Devan Fox 4-54-2, Jace Engesser 1-10, Carson Sleep 1-7.

Related Topics: KERNELSFOOTBALL
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