2016 11AA Championship: Mitchell Wins First State Title

Last Updated by Nate Wek on

The Mitchell Kernels defeated the Harrisburg Tigers 41-6 on Friday night in Vermillion, SD for the 11AA state football championship. This is the first state football title for Mitchell and their first visit to the dome since 1993.


On the first drive of the game Sam Michels of Mitchell picked off Harrisburg quarterback Hunter Headlee, which gave the Kernels good field position for their first offensive try. It led to a 32-yard Seth Paulson field goal that gave Mitchell the early 3-0 lead.

End of 1st Quarter: Mitchell 3 Harrisburg 0

At the 5:34 mark of the second quarter, Mitchell capped off a 38-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown run by Spencer Neugebauer to put the Kernels up 10-0 on Harrisburg.

The Tigers got their spark when Michael Curry blocked a Mitchell punt and then recovered it into the end zone. The extra point was no good, but with 1:46 to play in the half the Kernels led Harrisburg 10-6.

Both teams traded interceptions on their next two drives, Cole Tiegen took one away for Harrisburg and then Neugebauer grabbed the ball back for Mitchell. That led to a 25-yard field goal by Paulson, giving Mitchell a 13-6 lead heading into halftime.

Halftime: Mitchell 13 Harrisburg 6

The Kernels started the second half with the ball. Facing a third a long from the 28-yard line, Kiel Nelson gets his first completed pass of the game, and it was a touchdown. Cody Reichelt hauled it in one handed to give Mitchell a 20-6 lead with 7:06 to play in the third quarter.

Neugenbauer began to explode. Midway through the third quarter, he broke free for a 40-yard touchdown scamper, and then again for 83-yards on the next Kernels drive. This gave Mitchell a 34-6 lead heading into the fourth over Harrisburg.

End of 3rd Quarter: Mitchell 34 Harrisburg 6

Mitchell wasn’t done yet… Quarterback Nelson took a keeper 90-yards to the house with 7:54 to play in the game. This is a state record for longest run in an 11AA state title game.

Final: Mitchell 41 Harrisburg 6 

Spencer Neugebauer of Mitchell is the 11AA Joe Robbie MVP with 236-yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns.

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