Westwood’s offensive performance against Blythewood on Friday night boiled down to Rudy Mitchell.
Mitchell coughed up the football at the goal line early on at Westwood Stadium, but Blythewood couldn’t keep the Redhawks running back contained, or out of the end zone.
Mitchell rushed for a school record 467 yards and four touchdowns and Westwood took out its Region IV-4A rival Bengals 35-31 at Westwood Stadium.
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.
Mithchell took the field and kept his legs driving. Westwood’s initial drive was stopped at the goal line, but the Redhawks star kept getting the ball and had 319 yards at the half. In the third quarter, Blythewood held him to 41 yards on nine carries in the third quarter. But in the fourth, Mitchell plowed through the Bengals defense for a 76-yard touchdown run that proved to be the game-winner.
Rudy Mitchell: Made a strong case for player of the week title with 467 yards and four touchdowns on 41 rushes.
Eric Weber: Weber’s fumble recovery in the end zone and 79-yard return stopped a Westwood scoring drive and set up Blythewood’s first score of the game.
Kyle Wright: The Blythewood running back rushed 10 times for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
THEY SAID IT
“It’s unbelievable. It’s amazing. The kid can run. 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 is going to win tonight.” – Westwood head coach Rodney Summers
“It was not a good night for us defensively, our tackles were atrocious, our effort wasn’t there. We made some adjustments at halftime and thought it was going to be good enough but we started sputtering.” – Blythewood head coach Dan Morgan
“I’m thankful for the opportunity they (the O-line) gave me. I knew both teams were going to come out firing on all cylinders, I’m just thankful we could come out with a win.” – Westwood running back Rudy Mitchell
THREE KEY NUMBERS
122: Yards Mitchell rushed after one quarter.
3: passes Jalen Smith attempted in three quarters.
39: Westwood’s offensive plays in the first half.
HOW THEY SCORED
B – Osei Thomas 9 run (Cody Turner kick) 5:45
W – Rudy Mitchell 12 run (Brandon Howard kick) 4:20
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
B – Thomas 12 run (Turner kick) 10:01
B – Turner 27 field goal. 9:08
W – Mitchell 76 run (Howard kick) 8:50
Rushing: Blythewood – David Isreal 13-64, Osei Thomas 9-47, Kyle Wright 10-77. Westwood – Rudy Mitchell 41-467, Jalen Smith 17-71.
Passing: Blythewood – David Isreal 16-8-1. Westwood – Jalen Smith 2-1-0.
Receiving: Blythewood – Jacob McGuire 2-27, Jordyn Adams 2-17, Osei Thomas 2-13, Trae Churn 1-64. Westwood – Montrae Miller 1-3.