Arlandes Mitchell earns new moniker in Van Horn rout

By Bill Althaus
Van Horn senior receiver Arlandes Mitchell sprints down the field on a 68-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open Thursday's game against Kansas City Northeast. Mitchell added four more scores as the Falcons rolled to a 43-6 victory.

Arlandes Mitchell not only had a Senior Night performance for the ages, he earned a new nickname from his Van Horn High School teammate and best friend, Sean “Showtime” Mitchell.

Arlandes returned the opening kickoff for a 68-yard touchdown, ran for a 15-yard score, grabbed a 59-yard touchdown pass from Sean and capped his big night with a pick-six, returning the interception 65 yards to the end zone to help lead Van Horn to a 43-6 victory over Kansas City Northeast Thursday night at William Chrisman High School’s Norm James Field.

“Four touchdowns! Four touchdowns, and he scored every way you can score,” an excited Sean said as he waved four fingers to emphasize his comment. “We need to get you a nickname – ‘Weapon X,’ yeah, I like that nickname.”

Van Horn senior Arlandes Mitchell (12) celebrates after scoring on a 68-yard kickoff return to open Thursday's game against Kansas CIty Northeast. Mitchell added three more scores to lead the Falcons to a 43-6 win.

While Van Horn coach William Harris was watching their postgame interview session, he quipped, “You can’t see it under my mask, but I’m smiling. And I know they’re smiling, too. Sean loves to talk, and Arlandes isn’t used to interviews. Once he’s around Sean, he doesn’t need to talk much because Sean can talk enough for both of them.”

Arlandes, no relationship to Sean, played in just two games in 2019 as he suffered an early-season shoulder injury.

“He’s flying under the radar because he played in just two games last year,” Harris said after his Falcons improved to 2-0 in dominating fashion. “Arlandes is such a great kid and a great teammate – all the guys were so happy for him tonight.”

The Falcons scored on their first six possessions of the first half, taking a 37-0 lead into the locker room.

Van Horn linebacker Omega Fualau pressures Kansas City Northeast quarterback Kuri Soto in Thursday's game at William Chrisman High School. Van Horn claimed a 43-6 win.

Following Arlandes’ kickoff return, Sean Mitchell scored on a 26-yard run. 

Arlandes then scored on a 15-yard run and then hauled in the 59-yard touchdown pass.

The Falcons then shared the offensive wealth as sophomore Da’Marcus Penson made a diving, highlight reel catch in the far corner of the end zone for a 19-yard score.

Sean Mitchell, who also kicked three extra points, closed out the first-half scoring with a 25-yard field goal.

With the running clock going the entire second half, Arlandes scored on the 65-yard interception return and, for good measure, picked off a two-point pass play following the Vikings’ lone touchdown. Dawon Lacey picked off a Mitchell pass that bounced off a receiver’s hands and returned it for a 34-yard score to allow Northeast to avoid the shutout.

“This was a fun night,” Arlandes said. “I’m not used to talking much, but I am glad I helped us win on Senior Night.”

Sean quickly added, “Ask him about his nickname.”

A grinning Arlandes said, “Yeah, I like that nickname. Now that I have a nickname I need to come up with some more big plays.”

Sean Mitchell finished the night hitting 10 of 19 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. He carried the ball eight times for 63 yards and a score.

Van Horn senior quarterback Sean Mitchell (1) sprints past the Kansas City Northeast defense during the Falcons' 43-6 victory Thursday.

“We’re hoping the best is yet to come,” Sean said. “This is the year we’ve all been waiting for and we’re off to a 2-0 start, which means we’re just going to work even harder to make this season special for all of us.”

At halftime, the Falcons honored seven seniors on the team: Arlandes Mitchell, Sean Mitchell, Jason Skivers, Treyvion Page, Augustin Reed, David Ballard and Marquan Whetstone.

It was the first home game for the Falcons, and the big night came off without a hitch.

“It’s great, all our fans, our players – everyone – practiced social distancing and that’s what we’re going to have to do to keep the season going,” Van Horn activities director Chris Corrie said.

Van Horn receiver Augustin Reed (3) makes a one-handed grab of a pass from Sean Mitchell (1) in Thursday's game against Kansas City Northeast at William Chrisman High School. The Falcons built a 37-0 halftime lead on the way to a 43-6 win.
Van Horn senior quarterback Sean Mitchell, left, honors his best friend and teammate Arlandes Mitchell, by holding up four fingers. Arlandes scored four touchdowns in unique fashion as he took the opening kickoff for a 68-yard score, ran for a 15-yard touchdown, caught a Sean Mitchell pass for a 59-yard TD and returned an interception for a 65-yard pick-six in the Falcons’ 43-6 win over Kansas City Northeast.