LEDGER — The Mitchell offense, which had sputtered in its last outing at Andrews, returned to Memorial Stadium to open its Western Highlands Conference schedule against the Madison Patriots and exploded offensively to the tune of 56 first-half points in a 63-20 blowout victory.
Mitchell tallied 42 second-quarter points to blow open what was once a one-possession contest, boasting a pair of 100-yard rushers as quarterback Ty Turbyfill ran for 120 yards on 12 carries and teammate Chase Duncan rushed for 108 yards on nine carries. Turbyfill also completed 4-of-8 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Dalton Hollifield caught a pair of passes for 41 yards and a TD catch, with a reception each from Ethan Willis and Gage Young.
Defensively, Marley McCourry led the Mountaineers with six tackles, with five tackles each from Ethan Willis, Dillon Barnett, Kadan Phillips, Gabe Honeycutt, Gage Young, Enrique Huaroco, Nate Stamey, Chandler Horney and Xander Gardner. The Mitchell defense also limited the Patriots to only 142 yards in total offense, while the Mountaineers racked up 510 yards in total offense, including 439 rushing yards.
Mitchell opened the scoring less than midway through the opening quarter when Carter Hoyle crossed the goal line on a 2-yard touchdown run. Ben Wessinger’s extra point kick gave the home team the first lead at 7-0 at the 7:25 mark of the first period.
Madison emphatically and immediately answered the Mountaineers score with a score of its own by way of special teams, as Zander Fender took the ensuing kickoff and dashed 92 yards for a kick return touchdown. The extra point kick was unsuccessful, leaving the Mountaineers with a 7-6 lead.
In the closing minute of the first quarter, Mitchell extended its lead when Chase Duncan capped a scoring march with a 3-yard touchdown run. Wessinger’s PAT extended the Mountaineer lead to 14-6.
The Mitchell offense kept the scoreboard operator busy in the second quarter. A 48-yard scurry by Turbyfill added to the Mitchell lead less than two minutes into the stanza, increasing MHS’s lead to 21-6. Madison fired back less than a minute later, however, with its lone score of the quarter when it executed another big play, this time a 51-yard touchdown pass from Caden Hilemon to Peyton Wallace. The successful point-after kick cut Mitchell’s lead to 21-13 with 9:36 to play in the first half.
For the remainder of the half, Mitchell literally ran away from the Patriots on the field and with the lead. Gage Young scored on a 9-yard run less than a minute following the Madison score to take a 28-13 advantage. Turbyfill followed with a dazzling 48-yard run two minutes later to cap the Mountaineers’ next possession to lead 35-13. Not to be outdone, teammate Chase Duncan also torched the Patriots defense on a 48-yard run to build a 42-13 lead with 4:11 to play in the period. In the final minute of the quarter, Mitchell tallied another pair of touchdowns, a Duncan 14-yard run and a 32-yard pass completion from Turbyfill to Hollifield, giving the Mountaineers a 56-13 lead at the half, triggering a running clock for the remainder of the contest.
In the second half, each team found the end zone once. Madison scored on a 51-yard touchdown pass from Hilemon to Fender to cut Mitchell’s lead to 56-20, with Mitchell scoring the final points of the contest with just 46 seconds to play in the game, when Marley McCourry scored on a 15-yard run.
Mitchell (3-2, 1-0 WHC) travels to Swannanoa this Friday, Sept. 24, when it takes on the Owen Warhorses.