MARSHVILLE — Coming off one of its most satisfying victories in recent memory over rival Mountain Heritage two weeks ago, the Mitchell Mountaineers football team was forced into a bye week after its next week’s opponent Madison had to pause activities due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Patriots program.
The following week, as MHS was preparing to get back on the field to take on Polk in a pivotal 1A home game set for April 2, word came down that Polk was forced to suspend its football activities due to the virus.
To prevent having to sit out two weeks of games despite having a healthy ballclub, the Mountaineers placed some phone calls and lined up in short order a non-conference game against the Forest Hills Yellow Jackets of the Rocky River 2A/3A Conference on Thursday, April 1.
Despite the short turnaround time, the Mitchell defense was stout throughout the game, bending but not breaking as it denied FH from reaching the end zone on multiple trips to the red zone en route to holding FH scoreless. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers offense scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns in a 14-0 shutout win to improve to a perfect 5-0 for the season.
MHS quarterback Ty Turbyfill completed 4-of-10 passes for 49 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Turbyfill also did damage with his legs, as he ran for 100 yards on 17 carries.
The Mountaineers opened the scoring in the first quarter as Tanner Duncan found the end zone on a 4-yard run. Cole Woodard’s PAT staked Mitchell to the early 7-0 advantage with 8:19 to play in the first period.
Later in the quarter, MHS struck for its second, and what proved to be final, score of the night, as Turbyfill connected with wide receiver Ty Sparks on a 25-yard touchdown pass with 1:23 to play in the stanza. Woodard’s PAT provided the final margin of victory by game’s end.
Forest Hills had success at various times during the game moving the football in its spread offense, utilizing its screen passing game and finding opportunities to move downfield. When the field shortened, however, Mitchell bowed its collective neck and defended the goal line with tenacity, repeatedly turning the Yellow Jackets’ attack away without points.
Mitchell gained 277 rushing yards on 43 carries in the win, while gaining 326 yards in total offense. Carter Hoyle led the defensive effort with 11 tackles and an interception, with nine tackles from Gabe Brandt and four tackles from Xander Gardner. Harrison Horney and Mason Bullis each recorded a quarterback sack in the win.
Jordan Bennett led the Forest Hills rushing attack with 69 yards on six carries, with 17 yards on seven carries from Ahmahd Stafford. Quarterback Jayden McDougall completed 15-of-35 passes for 149 yards with one interception.
Mitchell closes its regular season this Friday, April 9, where it looks to retain The AJT Border Battle Trophy at Avery.