Piedra Vista's Jarrod Mitchell again gashes Highland with some big runs

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com
Piedra Vista's Jarrod Mitchell fights for extra yards against Highland's Nathan Lopez (10) and Paul Elumba (4) during Friday's 5A state football playoff opener at Hutchison Stadium in Farmington.

FARMINGTON – Jarrod Mitchell was happy to see district foe Highland to start the 5A playoffs, considering he gashed the Hornets for some big runs last time around.

In the previous meeting down at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque, Mitchell had a couple big runs in the first half. He busted through the middle for a 30-yard touchdown run and later had 51-yard run to set up another easy PV score.

Facing the Hornets again in tonight's 5A state playoff opener, Mitchell did it again. He drew first blood darting down the left side for a 29-yard touchdown run.

"It was pretty open when my two linemen in the middle went down on the linebacker. I knew there was a big huge crease on the left, and I just took that crease," Mitchell said.

He later added 13-yard and 19-yard touchdown runs, and he kept slashing and pushing his way through the creases for decent gains.

And similar to the last meeting, Mitchell had good spacing in setting up those runs.

"It was just unbelievable, just a once-in-a-lifetime thing you can do," Mitchell said. "I had to see my blocks and read my blocks, and then I could make a cut off of them."

Highland's bigger defensive front meant workable creases would become smaller, but Mitchell said he made some quick jump cuts to go through them.

From there, he started distancing himself from the pack, especially when he darted to the outer lanes.

"When we just kept getting open and open, they just couldn't stop our runs. I was just kind of happy they couldn't stop us at all," Mitchell said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.