Maplesville back steals the spotlightBy Drew Granthum Published 9:31am Thursday, November 22, 2012
When the St. Lukes Wildcats rolled into Maplesville last Friday night to take on the Red Devils in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs, the focus was on the running ability of the Wildcats’ George Payne.
When they left, the focus had shifted to the Devils’ running game, particularly that of junior Damian Mitchell, The Clanton Advertiser’s football player of the week.
Mitchell led the ground attack with 210 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns, including two runs of 85 and 60 yards a piece.
While Payne may have been the more highly-touted back, gathering media coverage throughout the season, but Mitchell has quietly put together a strong season, leading the Devils with 670 yards and four touchdowns on the year.
His 11.6 yards per carry are what helped the Devils to a 10-1 regular season, but coach Brent Hubbert said Mitchell’s contributions go farther than just offense.
“He returns kicks for us, and he plays safety as well,” he said. “He had seven tackles [in the St. Lukes game].”
In addition to anchoring an offense that is averaging 47.3 points per game, Hubbert said Mitchell also adds an extra element to the Devils’ teams as well; his hands—and feet—were on display Friday night, as he recorded long kick returns
With a win this week, the Devils will be one win away from a Class 1A state championship game appearance.