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One box checked for Mitchell, now on to the next

For Mustang seniors like Tyler Williams, they’re used to making the playoffs, but they’d like to win more than just one postseason game in a year.
The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]
Published Nov. 9

TRINITY — Mitchell continued its postseason success Friday night, winning its third playoff game in four years, this one against Loxahatchee Seminole Ridge. The Mustangs fired on all cylinders as a team, finishing with 369 yards of total offense in the Class 7A, Region 3 quarterfinal and winning 33-7.

Things started off quickly for Mitchell (10-1), which scored on a blocked punt by junior Dimitri Edmond in the first quarter and followed up shortly with a 45-yard throw from junior quarterback Ezra Brennan to senior receiver Rob Graham to make the lead 13-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Brennan completed 11 of 18 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns to Graham and junior Jonathan Fairbank, who led the team with four catches. Brennan also kept it himself on the ground in the second quarter for a 13-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 20-0.

“We always set a goal of going further than we’ve gone before,” Mitchell coach Andrew Schmitz said. “Now that we’ve won a playoff game, the goal is to win two. That’s been our goal since January.”

The Mustangs were able to control the tempo of the running game with 39 attempts between senior Tyler Williams (99 yards) and sophomore Andy Treto (97 yards), bending the Seminole Ridge defense to their will.

Williams has made the playoffs all four years he has played at Mitchell, but has never won more than one playoff game in a season. “I’m trying to do big things and reach that point that none of our guys have gotten to,” he said.

Seminole Ridge (6-4) struggled mightily in the passing game, only completing 1 of 11 attempts, but did rush for 223 yards. Junior Brandon Schabert finished with two touchdowns and led the team in rushing with 81 yards. Senior Israel Rosiles added 71 yards of his own as the main rushing option for the Hawks. More than 100 of those yards came on chunk gains on their two last offensive possessions while trailing by 26 points in the fourth quarter, however.

Seminole Ridge coach Rick Casco is only in his second year at the helm of the Hawks, but he’s happy with the progress his team has made. “This is my first real group of seniors, and these guys played hard all year long,” he said. “It’s a stepping stone for the next group.”

Mitchell will host Bradenton Manatee next week after the Hurricanes defeated Pinellas Park 35-7.

Region football semifinals

All games 7:30 p.m. next Friday.

Class 2A, Region 3

• No. 3 Seffner Christian at No. 2 Northside Christian

• No. 4 Admiral Farragut at No. 1 Cambridge Christian

Class 3A, Region 3

• No. 5 Clearwater Central Catholic at No. 1 Berkeley Prep

Class 4A, Region 3

• No. 4 Clewiston at No. 1 Lakewood

• No. 3 Tampa Catholic at No. 2 Delray Beach American Heritage

Class 5A, Region 3

• No. 8 Chamberlain at No. 4 Jesuit

Class 5A, Region 2

• No. 4 Nature Coast at No. 1 Orlando Jones

Class 6A, Region 2

• No. 5 Clearwater at No. 1 Gaither

• No. 3 Lake Minneola at No. 2 Largo

Class 7A, Region 3

• No. 3 Manatee at No. 2 Mitchell

Class 7A, Region 2

• No. 5 Bloomingdale at No. 1 Armwood

• No. 6 Tampa Bay Tech at No. 2 Lakeland

Class 8A, Region 2

• No. 4 Steinbrenner at No. 1 Sarasota Riverview

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Nature Coast's Dedric Hall does a little bit of everything for the Sharks, which is why they're in the second round of the playoffs. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    The junior can burn you in the running game. He’s nifty in the passing game. And if you’re not careful, he’ll pick off your quarterback, too.
  2. Admiral Farragut's Martel Mott takes off after intercepting a pass by Cambridge Christian's Titan Williamson during the teams' Sept. 13 regular-season matchup. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    One thing is certain in the playoffs under the new format: rematches from the regular season.
  3. Not only is Riverview's Alyssa Hendrix a two-times state champ in cross country, but her latest title follows two earlier this year in state track. Hendrix, pictured here from the spring, won the 3,200- and 1,600-meter titles in May. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The final tally: Two individual champs, three team champs and a host of individual medalists.
  4. Clearwater Central Catholic’s Jordan Niles, right, hugs Calvary Christian’s Richie Ilarraza after the Marauders’ playoff win. Niles is a former Calvary player. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Sunday Morning QB: Clearwater Central Catholic, Steinbrenner and Chamberlain are just a few of the standouts in the region quarterfinals.
  5. Plant senior Birdie Frierson, here in a match earlier this postseason, says on Saturday the Panthers "were just a little bit off. The serves were just a little bit off. The sets were just a little bit off. Nothing felt like ‘This is it. This is our point.’ It was that kind of day.” SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Both Tampa teams sustain road losses in the state semifinals.
  6. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Packers, missing a few playmakers while a few more take their lumps Friday, shut out Countryside.
  7. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Next up for the Blue Jackets is top-seeded Cambridge Christian, who beat them during the regular season.
  8. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Crusaders refocus, finding offensive balance down the stretch to knock off Zephyrhills Christian.
  9. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    The Tigers score six rushing touchdowns to set up a rematch with Chamberlain.
  10. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Cowboys aren’t perfect, but they nab their first playoff win in almost a decade by beating Boca Ciega.
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