Mitchell leads Pioneers to 3-0 start
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When Southeast’s Keshaun McGaugh returned the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, the Buffaloes had some hope of winning Friday night.
Their joy lasted about 6½ minutes.
After the first drive stalled, West responded with touchdowns on five consecutive possessions — the first three by senior running back Tre’von Mitchell — for a 35-14 halftime lead.
Not much changed in the second half, as the Pioneers (3-0, 3-0) cruised past Southeast, 42-14, at Northwest High.
Pioneers coach Weston Schartz said the kickoff return jostled his team.
“That was horrible,” he said. “We just didn’t defend it well, it was a wakeup call. We were a little flat.”
West unleashed an effective rushing attack to catch up and take the commanding lead, finishing with 11 rushers gaining 294 yards on 54 carries. Leading the way was sophomore Javon Reed, who carried the ball 13 times for 111 yards.
But Mitchell delivered the opening blows for the Pioneers. He scored West’s first touchdown on a 5-yard run with 5:19 left in the first quarter, capping a nine-play, 58-yard drive.
Southeast then went three-and-out on the next possession. Mitchell fielded the punt at his 34 and outran defenders to the end zone and a 14-0 lead.
Southeast again couldn’t get a first down, and Mitchell scored on the fourth play of a 36-yard drive on a 7-yard pass from quarterback D.J. Jones.
Mitchell said he had reasons to take the game personally.
“Coach Schartz said don’t hold grudges, but my older cousin plays for (Southeast),” Mitchell said. “He always says, ‘Little Cousin, I’m going to smash you every game we play.’ So, I had to prove I’m not ‘Little Cousin’ anymore; I’m ‘Big Tre Mitchell.’ ”
On the punt return, Mitchell said it was a case of looking for his teammates’ jerseys.
“My coach told me if I ever get the ball, just look for my team’s jerseys,” he said. “I found my team’s jerseys, they blocked for me, I had make one person miss, but (punter) Jackson (Haltom), we grew up together. I knew he wasn’t going to tackle me.”
After a Southeast punt on the ensuing possession, Reed’s 35-yard run put West at the Southeast 13, and Dominic Jones scored two plays later on the first play of the second quarter for a 28-7 lead.
Schartz, telling his team to enjoy the victory Friday night, knows that Bishop Carroll looms next week. But that 3-0 mark is just fine with him.
“We played well,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been 3-0.”
SE — McGaugh 88 kickoff return (Haltom kick)
W — Mitchell 5 run (Daignault kick)
W — Mitchell 66 punt return (Daignault kick)
W — Mitchell 7 pass from D.J. Jones (Daignault kick)
W — Dom. Jones 9 run (Daignault kick)
SE — Griffin 54 run (Haltom kick)
W — Saunders 3 run (Daignault kick)
W — Saunders 4 run (Daignault kick)
Rushing — Southeast: Griffin 10-68, McGaugh 9-16, Hines 2-6, Fields 1-(-1), Williamson 4-(-10). West: Reed 13-111, D.J. Jones 5-41, Dom. Jones 6-41, Saunders 7-31, Mitchell 6-31, Collins 7-15, Thomas 1-10, Parker 2-5, Love 1-3, Patterson 2-3, Capps 4-3.
Passing — Southeast: Williamson 1-7-1-24. West: D.J. Jones 2-7-1-35; Capps 1-2-0-5.
Receiving — Southeast: Haltom 1-24. West: Reed 1-28, Mitchell 1-7, Malcolme 1-5.