Mitchell’s Record-Setting Night Drives Hawks Over Bengals

Rudy Mitchell (34) delivers the stiff-arm to Brian Brown. (Photo/Ross Burton)

Rudy Mitchell (34) delivers the stiff-arm to Brian Brown. (Photo/Ross Burton)

BLYTHEWOOD – The Westwood offense against Region IV-4A rival Blythewood Friday night centered on Rudy Mitchell.

It wasn’t that Mitchell sparked the offense or made the right run at the right time. Mitchell was the Redhawks offense in a 35-31 victory over the Bengals.

Mitchell carried the ball 41 times and rushed for a school-record 467 yards and four touchdowns. The rest of the Westwood offense amounted to one score — quarterback Jalen Smith’s 4-yard run in the second quarter — and 68 yards: 3 passing yards and the rest on the ground.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity they (the offensive line) gave me,” Mitchell said. “I knew both teams were going to come out firing on all cylinders. I’m just thankful we could come out with a win.”

Mitchell had two touchdown runs, of 92 and 76 yards, that accounted for 168 of his rushing total. He finished the night with 11.4 yards per carry.

Westwood needed Mitchell’s contribution entirely, as the Bengals stayed in the game until the final possession.

Mitchell got the ball from the start and moved Westwood (8-1, 3-0) into scoring position, but he lost the ball before crossing into the end zone.

Blythewood (5-3, 0-2) defender Eric Weber scooped up the loose ball, and before anyone on the field realized the play was still live, Weber was racing down the right sideline for 79 yards. Three plays later Osei Thomas put Blythewood up 7-0 with a 10-yard TD run.

Over the next two periods, Mitchell scored on runs of 12, 92 and 3 yards, and Jalen Smith added a 4-yard TD run.

Kyle Wright scored twice on runs of 5 and 2 yards for the Bengals, as Westwood held a 28-21 halftime lead.

Blythewood got a 12-yard touchdown run from Thomas in the third quarter to tie the game at 28, then Cody Turner’s 27-yard field goal made it 31-28 Blythewood at the 9:08 mark of the fourth

Eighteen seconds later, Mitchell rushed in again on a 76-yard scamper to make it 35-31.

That lead held because Mitchell moved the ball for Westwood as the Redhawks ran out the clock.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s amazing. The kid can run,” Westwood head coach Rodney Summers said. “He’s got all the tools, speed, strength. Our defense made some stops when we needed and we got the ball back. I told the kids, the team that has the ball last is going to win tonight.”

Blythewood kept pace with Westwood throughout the game, and actually held Mitchell to 41 yards on nine carries in the third quarter, but Mitchell was back to form in the fourth, when he added his game-winning 76-yard score.

“It was not a good night for us defensively. Our tackles were atrocious, our effort wasn’t there,” Blythewood head coach Dan Morgan said. “We made some adjustments at halftime and thought it was going to be good enough, but we started sputtering.”

 

BHS: 7-14-7-3 – 31

WHS: 7-21-0-7 – 35

First Quarter

B – Osei Thomas 9 run (Cody Turner kick). 5:45.

W – Rudy Mitchell 12 run (Brandon Howard kick). 4:20.

Second Quarter

W – Jalen Smith 4 run (Howard kick). 10:48.

B – Kyle Wright 5 run (Turner kick). 8:25.

W – Mitchell 92 run (Howard kick). 8:06.

W – Mitchell 3 run (Howard kick). 3:40.

B – Wright 2 run (Turner kick). 1:50.

Third Quarter

B – Thomas 12 run (Turner kick). 10:01.

Fourth Quarter

B – Turner 27 field goal. 9:08.

W – Mitchell 76 run (Howard kick). 8:50.

 

Team Stats

                                          BHS                        WHS

First Downs                        13                           26

Rushes-Yards                     32-188                   60-529

Passing Yards                     142                         3

C-A-I                                      8-16-1                   1-2-0

Fumbles-Lost                     1-0                          2-2

Penalties-Yards                 12-98                     7-60

Punts-Avg.                          2-28.0                    1-42.0

 

Individual Statistics

RUSHING: BHS – David Isreal 13-64, Osei Thomas 9-47, Kyle Wright 10-77. WHS – Rudy Mitchell 41-467, Jalen Smith 17-71.

PASSING: BHS – David Isreal 8-16, 142 yards, INT. WHS – Jalen Smith 1-2, 3 yards.

RECEIVING: BHS – Jacob McGuire 2-27, Jordyn Adams 2-17, Osei Thomas 2-13, Trae Churn 1-64. WHS – Montrae Miller 1-3.