After carrying the ball 41 times against Blythewood, Rudy Mitchell got some much-needed rest during Monday’s practice.
Westwood coach Rodney Summers held Mitchell out of most of the drills, but that didn’t stop Mitchell from getting some extra running up the hill after practice as the junior running back wanted keep his edge following his 467-yard effort in Friday’s win over Blythewood.
“It was crazy,” said Mitchell, who took an ice bath and went right to bed following the game. “The offensive line did a good job blocking up front, and the wide receivers did great on the outside blocking, too. They made holes for me to do that well.”
Mitchell’s performance was the largest rushing total in the state this year, and broke Christian Brown’s school record of 395 yards set in a 2013 playoff loss against Greer.
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The junior admitted he was a little sore after the game, but credits his coaches keeping them in good shape for times like the ones against Blythewood.
Mitchell wasn’t the only Midlands player to turn in a huge performance Friday. Chapin quarterback Logan Bailey accounted for 464 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns in the win over Dreher and will share this week’s State Offensive Player of the Week award with Mitchell. It is the second time this season both Mitchell and Bailey have earned Player of Week honors.
The honor is just the latest for Bailey, who is a finalist for Mr. Football and was named to the Touchstone Energy North-South Game on Monday. He also picked up his first college offer from Newberry on Saturday.
“We came out a little flat but once we got the ball rolling we started to show what kind of team we are,” Bailey said. “We got athletes all over the field who can make plays. This was probably one of our best games played second-half wise.”
Bailey was 8-of-15 through the air for 253 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran 20 times for 213 yards and three touchdowns, which included him going airborne on a 19-yard TD late in the fourth quarter.
Chapin coach Justin Gentry said Bailey did something like that during his JV career and hoped he wouldn’t do it again. Bailey told his coach he was just trying to avoid the Dreher defender and get into the end zone.
“Scoring was the only thing going through my mind,” Bailey said.
While he wasn’t happy about Bailey going in the air, Gentry has become accustomed to Bailey making plays like that in his two years as a starting quarterback.
“The play is never dead with Logan back there,” Gentry said. “He is going to be able to make plays when you don’t think there is a play. He has gotten out of a lot of tight situations.”
Mitchell’s effort didn’t have any high-flying moves, but it did include a 92-yard run in the second quarter and 76-yard TD run that was the eventual-game winner with 8:50 left in the fourth quarter.
Mitchell, who began the year backing up Andrew Plante, basically was Westwood’s offense against the Bengals as he had 467 of the team’s 529 yards. The run-oriented Redhawks attempted just three passes in the game.
“We just keep feeding it to him. I didn’t have any idea he had that many carries,” Summers said. “Just an unbelievable night and performance by him. He is an outstanding runner. He is strong and fast, can run inside and outside. We were able to make some holes for him, and he was able to do things on his own.”