PLANO — Plano Prestonwood Christian Academy had one Mitchell too many for Liberty Christian on Friday night.
Sophomore quarterback Mickey Mitchell rushed for a game-high 235 yards and one score and threw two touchdown passes, while his older brother, senior Mike Mitchell, returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to lead the Lions to a 41-24 victory over the Warriors.
Mickey Mitchell’s 58-yard run came on the first play of the fourth quarter, and Grayson Warren, who added 146 yards rushing, sealed the victory with a 16-yard scoring run with 4:08 remaining for the Lions (5-0) in the TAPPS Division 1-1 opener for both teams. Mickey Mitchell and Warren accounted for all of Prestonwood’s rushing, combing for 381 yards on 54 carries.
Liberty Christian (3-2) had several big plays of its own, just not enough to rally against Prestonwood, which reached the final four of the state playoffs last season and won championships in 2010 and 2009, defeating the Warriors in the 2009 state final.
Liberty’s Jon Aaron Howell rushed for 111 yards on eight carries, including scores of 62 and 2 yards, and Foster Ford threw for 110 yards and ran for a 55-yard TD for the Warriors, who also intercepted two passes that led to scores.
Prestonwood finished with 468 yards total offense, while the Warriors had 272 yards total offense.
The Lions built a 28-10 lead midway through the second quarter after safety Austin Tankersley intercepted a Ford pass and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown.
But the Warriors came up with two big defensive plays to help cut into the deficit to four by halftime.
Liberty’s safety Christian Burks intercepted a Mickey Mitchell pass and returned the ball to the Liberty 45 with 3:20 left in the first half.
On the next play, Ford ran a keeper to the right side and scampered 55 yards for a touchdown to cut the Lions’ lead to 28-17.
On the Lions’ next possession, junior cornerback Gavin Menichini intercepted a Mitchell pass and Liberty took over at the Prestonwood 21. Four plays later, Howell scored from 2 yards out and Liberty trailed 28-24 at halftime.
But the Warriors could not build on the momentum going into the second half. They fumbled on the first play of the third quarter and punted on all four of their other second-half possessions as the Lions’ defense stymied the Warriors.
Liberty’s defense also came up with key plays, including forcing a Mickey Mitchell fumble in the red zone. Mitchell, though, was able to break loose on his 58-yard run up the middle on the first play of the fourth quarter to push the Lions lead back to double digits, 35-24. Warren added his 16-yard score late in the period.
Plano Prestonwood Christian 41, Liberty Christian 24
PC — Mike Mitchell 99 kick return (Gabe Lozano kick), 11:46
LC — Jon Aaron Howell 62 run (Mikael Sroka kick), 10:13
PC — Stephen Riegel 12 pass from Mickey Mitchell (Lozano kick), 8:30
LC — Sroka 42 field goal, 5:52
PC — Christian Morgan 24 pass from Mickey Mitchell (Lozano kick), 9:50
PC — Austin Tankersley 63 interception return (Lozano kick), 6:18
LC — Foster Ford 55 run (Sroka kick), 3:09
LC — Howell 2 run (Sroka kick), 1:49
PC — Mickey Mitchell 58 run (Lozano kick), 11:50
PC — Grayson Warren 16 run (kick failed), 4:08
Rushing — LC:Jon Aaron Howell 8-111, Foster Ford 6-27, Camron Cornett 8-15, Jett Miller 6-9; PC – Mickey Mitchell 26-235, Grayson Warren 28-146.
Passing — LC: Foster Ford 7-18-1 110; PC: Mickey Mitchell 11-17-2 87.
Receiving — LC: Mitchell Rowsell 3-47, Hunter Griffith 1-33, Graham Richardson 2-25, Hunter Reece 1-5; PC : Christian Morgan 2-31, Raleigh Beougher 1-17, Michael Irvin 1-13, Stephen Riegel 2-11, Grayson Warren 3-8, Jake Reed 2-7.