Titans host unbeaten Mitchell

McDowell running back Quantavian Moore takes a handoff from quarterback Riley Moore during last week's 3-0 loss to Patton. The Titans host Mitchell tonight in the 43rd meeting between the traditional rivals. Josh Davis/blueridgesportsphotography.com

Note: "Tonight" in the story refers to Friday night.

Once upon a time, the McDowell Titans could count on the Mitchell Mountaineers for a ‘W’ just about every season.

My, how things have changed in these old mountains.

The Titans (1-2) host their 1A neighbors tonight in a rivalry McDowell once owned (7:30 kickoff). At one point, the Titans – who won 20 of the first 23 games between the two – held a 23-7 edge in the all-time series.

But the Mountaineers (3-0) have taken nine of the last dozen from 4A McDowell, including five in a row, and the last four were blowouts, including a 42-14 game last year.

It won’t be easy for the Titans to stop the current streak.

McDowell is coming off a 3-0 loss to Patton in which the Titans managed only 87 yards of offense and three first downs. The performance stood in stark contrast to the previous week, when McDowell rolled up almost 400 yards in a 41-28 win over East Burke. But the Titans didn’t come close to scoring on Patton, and two key turnovers crippled their chances of getting to the end zone.

It was a frustrating game for the Titans, especially since the defense played well enough to win, surrendering just 233 yards and no touchdowns.

First-year head coach Darrell Brewer said it’s been important for his team to learn from last week’s mistakes.

“It wasn’t glaring things; just little things,” said Brewer, who is still recovering from surgery to fix a torn quadriceps muscle and will coach from the press box for the fourth time in as many games. “It doesn’t matter who your opponent is, penalties and turnovers will beat you, and that’s what beat us last week. We’re just not where we need to be.

“But they have responded well and worked hard. That’s one thing about these kids; they will take coaching. We (the coaching staff) have gotten after them pretty hard this week, and they’ve responded. That says a lot about the character of our young men.”

It will take every ounce of that character if the Titans are to have a chance against the Mountaineers, who have established themselves as a threat to go deep into the State 1A Playoffs every season.

Mitchell hasn’t been in a close game, and has outscored its first three foes (Erwin, Cannon/Concord First Academy, Trinity Academy, Gray, TN.) by a combined 118-19. The Mountaineers are giving up an average of just 149 yards of offense per game; eight different players have scored at least one rushing touchdown; and senior quarterback Noah Pitman has worked his will with frightening consistency.

“Noah Pitman is probably the best player we’ve seen up to this point,” said Brewer, who has known the Mitchell quarterback well since Pitman was a youngster. “His dad was an assistant for me at Avery, and he (Noah) used to run balls for us when he was little. He’s a heck of a player and he’s smart like a coach on the field. He scares me to death when he drops back, but we hope to make him throw the ball, because he scares me more running it. And, he has good people around him. They’re a very solid football team and very good up front.”

Pitman (5-10, 200) leads the Mountaineers with 402 rushing yards and two TDs on 36 carries, averaging 11.2 yards per attempt. He has also gone 19-of-39 passing for 218 yards and three scores with no interceptions.

Junior running back Tanner Duncan (5-10, 185) has run for 160 yards on 25 carries and provides a nice backfield compliment for Pitman. Senior Tyler McKinney (6-2, 200) is the leading receiver with 12 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown.

Linebacker Caius Peterson (6-4, 202) is the team’s leading tackler with 21 stops, including three for losses. Linerbacker Carter Hoyle (6-1, 170) has a team-high three quarterback sacks, and defensive back Garrison Phillips (6-1, 160) has made four of the team’s five interceptions.

There is plenty of size on the veteran offensive line, which includes seniors Mike Robertson (6-6, 295), Matthew Gilbert (5-10, 210), Logan Beaver (6-2, 290), Logan Fox (6-2, 265) and Lathan Adkinson (6-2, 295).

The Titans will counter with junior running back Quantavian Moore (43 carries, 247 yards, 3TDs) and junior quarterback Riley Moore (17-of-35 passing, 223 yards, 3TDs, INT, 30 carries, 135 yards, 2TDs). Junior Seth Baird leads the team with five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Titans have gotten big production from junior linebacker Harley Allison, who has made 50 tackles and is coming off back-to-back games of more than 20 stops. He also has an interception.

Junior defensive back Jacob Pearson (37 tackles, 2 caused fumbles, INT) and sophomore linebacker Grayson Blackwelder (23 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries) round out the top three tacklers for the Titans. Defensive end Richard Handy leads the club with four tackles for losses.

Note: The Titans have played Mitchell more times (42) than any other team…It’s also the longest-running rivalry for McDowell; the two have met every year since playing for the first time in 1977.

 

Northwestern 3A/4A Conference football standings 2019

                                             

Conf.                   Overall

Alexander Central (3A)                  0-0              2-1

South Caldwell (4A)             0-0              2-1

Watauga (3A)                       0-0              2-1

Freedom (3A)                        0-0              2-1

St. Stephens (3A)                  0-0              1-1

McDowell (4A)                     0-0              1-2

Hickory (3A)                         0-0              0-3

 

Friday, Sept. 6

Patton 3, McDowell 0

Statesville 49, Alexander Central 35

Freedom 56, East Burke 7

Newton-Conover 31, Hickory 6

Bandys 28, South Caldwell 14

W-S Reagan 63, Watauga 35

 

Friday, Sept. 13

Mitchell at McDowell

South Iredell at Alexander Central

Freedom at Patton

Hickory at Hunter Huss

St. Stephens at Maiden

South Caldwell at Hibriten

Wilkes Central at Watauga

 

Friday, Sept. 20

Olympic at Alexander Central

Freedom at Crest

W-S Reagan at Hickory

Fred T. Foard at St. Stephens

South Caldwell at R-S Central

Ashbrook at Watauga

 

Friday, Sept. 27

Hickory at McDowell

St. Stephens at Freedom

South Caldwell at Watauga

 

Friday, Oct. 4

McDowell at St. Stephens

Watauga at Alexander Central

Freedom at Hickory

 

Friday, Oct. 11

South Caldwell at McDowell

Alexander Central at Freedom

Hickory at Watauga

St. Stephens at North Iredell

 

Friday, Oct. 18

McDowell at Alexander Central

Freedom at South Caldwell

Watauga at St. Stephens

 

Friday, Oct. 25

McDowell at Watauga

St. Stephens at Alexander Central

Hickory at South Caldwell

 

Friday, Nov. 1

Alexander Central at Hickory

Watauga at Freedom

South Caldwell at St. Stephens

 

Friday, Nov. 8

Freedom at McDowell

Alexander Central at South Caldwell

Hickory at St. Stephens

Friday, Aug. 23

R-S Central 20, McDowell 12

Alexander Central 28, Hibriten 19

Shelby 41, Freedom 13

Statesville at Hickory (ppd. Monday)

Bandys 36, St. Stephens 15

South Caldwell 60, West Caldwell 7

Watauga 50, T.C. Roberson 21

 

Monday, Aug. 25

Statesville 40, Hickory 12

Friday, Aug. 30

McDowell 41, East Burke 28

Alexander Central 28, Wilkes Central 12

Freedom 60, Draughn 14

Hibriten 42, Hickory 12

St. Stephens 21, Bunker Hill 13

South Caldwell 14, Maiden 13

Watauga 56, Ashe 7

 

McDowell Titan football stats 2019

 

                          McDowell   Opponents

First downs       30               46

Rushes-yds.       91-440        152-731

Passing              17-35-1-3    9-22-4-0

Passing yds.       223             107

Total yds.          663             838

Fumbles/lost      6/3              10/4

Penalties-yds.    25-210        10-100

 

McDowell          21   20   00   12 – 53

Opponents        07   14   17   13 – 51

 

Individual stats

Offense

 

Rushing

 

Player                          Att.             Yards         Avg.           TD

Quantavian Moore      43               247             5.7              3

Riley Moore                30               135             4.5              2

Toby Finn                             05               33               6.6              0

Jesse Barrier                04               16               4.5              0

Grayson Blackwelder  04               09               2.1              0

Jacob Pearson             03               04               1.1              0

Seth Baird                             01               02               2.0              0

Gabe Marsh                 01               m6              0.0              0

Totals                          91               440             4.8              5

 

Passing

 

Player                Comp.   Att.   Yards   TD   INT

R. Moore           17          35      223                 3      1

Totals                 17          35      223                 3      1

 

Receiving

 

Player                          Rec.            Yards         TD

Baird                           05               73               1

Richard Handy            04               54               0

Q. Moore                     03               45               1

Preston Dennison        03               29               0

Finn                                      01               15               1

Bryson Effler               01               07               0

Totals                          17               223             3

 

Kickoff/punt returns

 

Player                Ret.             Yards         TD

Evan Grigsby     03               57               0

Finn                             01               28               0

Q. Moore           02               28               0

Bo Edwards       01               24               0

Handy                01               19               0

Kobe Nolan       01               08               0

 

Kicking

 

Player      XPA  XPM FGM FGA  Blk.   Long

Baird        7        5        0        0        2        00

 

Scoring

 

Player               

TD   Rush   Rec.   Ret.   FG   XP   Pts.

Q. Moore           04      03      01      00      00      00      24

R. Moore           02      02      00      00      00      00      12

Baird                  01      00      01      00      00      05      11

Finn                             01      00      01      00      00      00      06

Totals                08      05      03      00      00      00      53

 

Punting

 

Player                Punts          Avg.

Baird                  12               33.3

 

 

Defense

 

Tackles   

Player                          Solo  Asst.  Total

Harley Allison             31      19      50

Pearson                       25      12      37

Blackwelder                 13      10      23

Baird                           14      6        20

Braeden Allison           11      8        19

Handy                         7        7        14

Dennison                     8        4        12

Jarod Maynor              7        4        11

Troy Harris                 6        5        11

Trey Allison                5        6        11

 

Tackles for loss

Player                TFL

Handy                4

Pearson              2

B. Allison          2

Blackwelder       1

Max Cable                   1

T. Allison           1

Harris                1

Nick Ivy             1

Total                  13     

 

Fumble recoveries: Blackwelder 2, B. Allison, Grigsby 1

Caused fumbles: Pearson 2, Handy, T. Allison, H. Allison 1

Interceptions: Pearson, Effler, Nolan, H. Allison 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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