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Prep football roundup: Mitchells help propel Van Horn to opening win

By The Examiner staff

Van Horn football coach William Harris didn’t know what to expect of his team in its season opener without any preseason hitting or a preseason jamboree.

Turns out his Falcons were just fine.

Senior quarterback Sean Mitchell ran for an early touchdown and then threw for four more to lead Van Horn to a 44-20 rout of host Kansas City East Friday night.

“We knew coming in – because we didn’t have a jamboree or a lot of contact with other teams – that we would have some flaws and we would have some blemishes that we would have to fix,” Harris said. “We were lucky to come out with the W (win), but we saw some things we need to fix and we saw some things we need to improve on.”

Mitchell got the Falcons off to a 6-0 lead with an 8-yard TD run with 4:27 left in the first quarter.

Mitchell then connected with Arlandes Mitchell on a pair of touchdowns – sandwiched around an East score – for an 18-6 lead with six minutes left in the third quarter.

DaMarcus Penson then struck for two touchdowns in the final 1:48 of the third quarter – on a 55-yard pass from Mitchell, and the second on a 60-yard romp with four seconds left in the period – to make it 32-6.

Demetrius Wilson scored on a 35-yard pass from Mitchell early in the fourth quarter and freshman Lamonte Belshe capped it with a TD run with 5:34 remaining to put it out of reach.

“Our young guys, without those scrimmages and things like that, didn’t get a whole lot of reps in the summertime,” Harris said. “We knew if we got everything going the way we wanted to, those guys would be able to make some plats, and they showed up and made a lot of plays for us tonight.”

GRAIN VALLEY 34, SMITHVILLE 24: Senior quarterback Cole Keller had a triumphant return from a knee injury late last season.

Keller ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as Grain Valley knocked off host Smithville Friday night in its season opener.

Keller put the Eagles ahead 7-0 with a 6-yard touchdown run with 6:49 left in the first quarter. Grain Valley would never trail in the game, though Smithville made it close twice.

After Keller’s 59-yard scoring strike to Payton Bosserman with 3:48 left in the first half made it 20-6, Andrew Hedgecorth threw a pair of touchdown passes to Rhett Foster. A failed two-point conversion and a missed extra point kick allowed Grain Valley to maintain a 20-18 lead.

The Eagles pulled away, though, with Hunter Newsom’s 21-yard touchdown run and Keller’s 8-yard run for a 34-18 lead to put it out of reach.

Keller completed six of his seven passes for 162 yards and rushed for 42 yards. Jaxon Wyatt added 61 yards rushing on 14 carries and Bosserman had four catches for 121 yards to help lead the Eagles (1-0) to the non-conference win.

Hedgecorth was 19 of 30 passing for 263 yards and three scores, and Foster had nine receptions for 137 yards to lead Smithville (0-1).

WINNETONKA 42, WILLIAM CHRISMAN 17: When Sir’Rahn Felix grabbed a pass from Dayne Herl and went 30 yards for a touchdown, Chrisman was within three at halftime.

But leading 20-17, Winnetonka pulled away in the second half with 22 unanswered points for a non-conference win in the season opener Friday.

Mitchell Cory booted a 25-yard field goal with 5:53 left in the first quarter to put Chrisman ahead 3-0.

Kameron Thompson scored on a 3-yard run in the first quarter. After Felix’s touchdown, the Bears were shut out the rest of the way.

SUMMIT CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 31, ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL 15: St. Michael scored on its opening drive of the second half to cut the deficit to 15-13 but Summit Christian scored the game’s final 16 points to pull away for a win in the season opener Friday night at Raymore-Peculiar High School.

Ellis Edwards scored on a 15-yard touchdown run with 10:38 left in the third quarter to pull the Guardians within two points.

St. Michael took an early 7-0 lead when Aamir Carter scored on a 30-yard pass play from Dillon Zaun. Max Ellis kicked the extra point to put the Guardians (0-1) ahead.

Joseph Cunningham Jr. rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries to lead Summit Christian (1-0).

OAK GROVE 47, BOWLING GREEN 19: Oak Grove was supposed to kick off its season Friday in Lawson.

Instead, the Panthers played host to Bowling Green from eastern Missouri and claimed a non-conference victory.

Jacob Andell ran for a pair of touchdowns and the Panthers built an early lead to roll to the victory.

Adrian Whitehead put Oak Grove up 6-0 when his interception set up his own 3-yard touchdown run with 8:29 left in the first quarter. Andell scored on a 3-yard run with 37 seconds left in the opening period and Hunter Jones threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Clynton Stewart at the 8:46 mark of the second quarter for an 18-6 lead.

The Panthers recovered a fumble in the end zone and kicker Ricardo Delgado scrambled for a two-point conversion for a 26-6 lead.

Jamison Kirk scored on a run and Whitehead ran in the two-point conversion to make it 34-6.