Van Horn football rolls Southeast to stay unbeaten

By Bill Althaus
Van Horn quarterback Sean Mitchell sheds a Kansas City Southeast defender for a big run in the Falcons' 55-13 win Thursday.
Van Horn freshman running back Lamonte Belshe broke free for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries in the Falcons' 55-13 win Thursday.
Van Horn defensive lineman Jason Skivers celebrates a stop during his team's win Thursday.

If you think Sean Mitchell can orchestrate something special with Van Horn High School’s offense, check out the senior quarterback’s orchestration of a postgame interview Thursday night.

He grabbed teammates Jason Skivers, Joseph Kroeger – who starred on the defensive side of the ball – center David Ballard and their “little brother,” freshman running back Lamonte Belshe, and held court following the Falcons’ 55-13 mercy rule win over Kansas City Southeast at Norm James Field on the William Chrisman campus.

“Our defense won this game tonight,” said Mitchell, as the Falcons kept the Knights off the scoreboard for three quarters after the visitors took an early 13-7 lead on a pick-six interception by Dremel Jackson and an 11-yard touchdown pass from Devon Dudley to Rayford Parks.

“Our coach told us he wanted to see us down, to see how we would respond, and you saw how we responded,” Mitchell said after the Falcons remained unbeaten at 3-0. “Three quarters of shutout football while we’re lighting up the scoreboard offensively – especially our little brother.”

Belshe finished the night with 15 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

“This one belongs to the big boys on the line and our defense,” Mitchell said. “I love how we responded after we got down. We don’t like to get down, but we like to respond the way we did tonight.”

His teammates all nodded in agreement following that statement.

The win was especially big for Skivers, a senior who finished the night with nine tackles, including two for loss. He had to sit out last week’s senior night game after being ejected from the season opener for throwing a punch.

“We looked on our game film and never saw a punch,” coach William Harris said, “but the officials said he threw one and he had to sit out last week. We knew he’d be fired up tonight.”

And he was.

“I couldn’t wait for tonight’s game,” said Skivers, who spent as much time in the Knights’ backfield as their quarterback and tailback. “I’ve had a problem with my temper, and it cost me last week’s game, so all I’ve been thinking about is tonight’s game, and I knew we were going to come out fired up and play a great game.”

Kroeger was quick to add, “We haven’t been down all season, and we just said among ourselves that we weren’t going to let them score again, and we did it.”

Mitchell was quick to apologize for the Knights’ first score as Jackson picked off his first pass and returned it 62 yards to the end zone.

“That was on me,” said Mitchell, who responded with nine carries for 75 yards and one score.

“The big men on the line,” he said, patting Ballard on his shoulder pads, “they set the tone tonight for the offense. They opened the holes and Belshe had a big night, a huge night!”

Even though he was wearing a mask, it was evident that Belshe was sporting a postgame smile.

“I feel pretty good that I could contribute tonight,” Belshe said, as his teammates roared their approval. “This was a big game for us; they’re all big when we win.”

The Falcons scored seven points in the first quarter, 27 in the second, seven in the third and 14 in the fourth.

“I wanted to see how we would respond when we were down early, and I liked what I saw,” said Harris, whose team has outscored its opponents 142-39. “Our defense really played well tonight, and our offense did what it has been doing all season – scoring a lot of points.

“But we need to keep working hard because our opponents are going to keep getting more and more difficult.”