TRINITY — Mitchell coach Scott Schmitz wrapped his right arm around the neck of his former player, hugging him close the way a father would hug his son.
The two have had their disagreements, but Schmitz wanted Sterling Ross to know how he felt about the running back transferring to Ridgewood.
"I told him this was a good move for both of us and that I'm proud of him," Schmitz said. "He ran hard. He was a warrior out there tonight. …I've got a pretty good one, too."
The Mustangs spoiled Ross' homecoming in a 16-13 Mitchell victory. The Rams put plenty on the shoulders of Ross, who ran 25 times for 122 yards and scored two touchdowns. He also had a touchdown run called back in the third quarter on a holding penalty.
The penalty was one of many miscues that doomed the Rams (3-3) on Thursday night.
"We have to be smarter than that," Rams coach Chris Taylor said. "We made a lot of mistakes in the second half. …Our kids have to start playing the game the way it's supposed to be played."
The "good one" Schmitz referred to was Mustangs sophomore Ricky Trinidad. The talented athlete made stunning plays on both sides of the football, but did his most damage rushing for 170 yards and a touchdown. He also intercepted a Jimmy Mattos pass on the Mustangs' 16-yard line late in the game.
The Mustangs' (4-2) youth movement was in full effect from the start.
Mitchell quarterback junior Cody Van De Boe put Mitchell up 7-0 in the second quarter after he engineered a 14-play, 63-yard drive capped by his 1-yard sneak he called on the sideline.
Ross jump-started the Rams less than two minutes before halftime after catching a pass from Mattos and running the better part of 56 yards, dodging and dancing to avoid tacklers before breaking across the goal line to tie it at 7.
Mustangs kicker Cody Folesome gave Mitchell the edge it needed with a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter.