MITCHELL — The top-ranked team in South Dakota’s largest football classification certainly played like it on Friday night.
Class 11AAA No. 1 Sioux Falls Jefferson scored touchdowns on five of its first 13 offensive snaps and played suffocating defense throughout the first half in a 49-7 win over Mitchell at Joe Quintal Field, spoiling the Kernels’ Homecoming celebration.
It was the first-ever meeting between the two schools, but Mitchell’s fifth-straight loss to a Class 11AAA opponent dating back to 2017.
In an early indication of how the night was going to play out, Jefferson’s first quarter was immaculate. On defense, the Cavaliers forced five straight three-and-outs and scored in three plays or fewer on each of the ensuing possessions to build a 35-0 lead after 12 minutes that would reach 49-0 by halftime.
Mitchell’s two most productive plays of the first half both came during the second quarter with the Kernels deep in their own territory. First, running back Bryce Palmer threw a pass to A.J. Siemsen for a 26-yard gain. Then, on Mitchell’s next drive, quarterback Treyson Schulz recovered from a snap over his head to throw to Tyson Sabers for a 21-yard gain.
Later on that same drive, the Kernels benefited from Cavalier missteps. A personal foul gave Mitchell a free first down on what would’ve otherwise been fourth-and-10 and was followed only moments later by a mishandled punt that the Kernels recovered in the red zone. However, Jefferson’s defense stood tall again, pushing Mitchell back one yard on three plays and forcing a 37-yard field goal attempt, which fell short.
After forcing a Jefferson punt on the first possession out of halftime, the Kernels drove 70 yards in eight plays for their first and only points. The sequence was capped by a 7-yard flip from Schulz to Palmer on third-and-goal. With a running clock due to the point difference, neither team scored over the final quarter and a half.
Schulz completed 10 of 21 passes for 74 yards. Tyson Sabers, who played with Mitchell’s starters and reserves, caught three passes for 68 yards, while Jagger Tyler caught three for 36 yards and added 10 yards rushing. Parker Denne carried eight times for 23 yards to lead the Kernels on the ground.
For Jefferson, Camdyn Frederes had six carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns, with Niyongabo Yohana close behind at seven totes for 92 yards and two more scores. Taylen Ashley went 5-of-9 passing for 122 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, finding Griffin Wilde four times for 83 yards and two trips to the endzone.
Mitchell (1-4) is away from home next week on its longest trip of the season to take on Spearfish on Sept. 30, with the Spartans coming off of a 40-12 road win at Belle Fourche on Friday night. Jefferson (5-0) returns to Sioux Falls for a showdown with Class 11AAA No. 2 O’Gorman, which defeated No. 4 Sioux Falls Lincoln, 35-28, on Friday.