Mitchell takes Morrill down
     2011-09-01      By Terry Gaston   
Three Mitchell rushers led the Tigers on a rushing rampage Friday night, amassing nearly 500 yards in total offense to open the football season with a 64-26 victory over an undermanned Morrill Lions squad.

Junior Tyler Golden had two touchdown runs of 35 and 55 yards, seven carries for 199 yards and a 19-yard pass reception for another score from classmate Brendon Swanson on the quarterback's only throw of the game.

Senior Alberto Alvizar had four touchdown rushes for 44, 8, 32 and 48 yards and gained 175 yards on nine rushes. Alvizar also ended Mitchell's scoring with an 86-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.

Senior Bryce Wiedeman added scores on 26- and 28-yard rushes and finished with 69 yards on four carries.

"Those are really gifted kids who are good rushers and played well," said first-year Mitchell coach Chad Bailey, whose team led 32-0 after the first quarter and 51-0 at halftime. "Overall, the kids played really hard.

"Our first group had two or three penalties, which isn't all that bad, and we didn't turn the ball over. Now we have to play fundamentally strong and physical defense. If we do those things, we will be sitting pretty good."

The Tigers rolled up 404 total yards (385 rushing, 19 passing) by the break while Morrill had 141 yards but nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. By game's end, Mitchell had 477 rushing yards on 32 carries -- a whopping 15.4-yard average per attempt -- and 496 total yards with the TD pass.

"Mitchell has some backs who are quick and shifty,” Morrill coach Chad Libsack said. “We had 15 kids suited up and the guys just got tired, going both ways they were pretty spent.”

In spite of the lopsided loss, the Lions proved potent offensively by game’s end, rolling up 385 total yards. Senior Larry Uttecht rushed for 232 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries and also had nine tackles on defense. Junior Alex Gonzalez had 89 rushing yards on 10 carries with one touchdown, and senior Brandon Hessler had a rushing TD.

“We need to cut back on penalties, we had some costly ones when we were moving the ball,” said Libsack, who started freshman Jorge Lara at quarterback for injured junior Taylor Lackey. “Jorge did a great job for being a freshman. Toward the end of the game, he had some great runs and was really starting to figure it out.”

Mitchell faces a daunting task in its home opener Friday when it faces Scottsbluff, a team that beat the Tigers 54-0 last year but lost its opener Friday at home 28-7 to McCook. Morrill is off this week and will play host to Kimball on Sept. 9.

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