Buri, Fields lead Bobcats' rally past Kernels

Josh Buri runs the ball during the Bobcats' 44-25 defeat of the Kernels on Friday night in Mitchell. (Matt Gade/Mitchell Daily Republic)

MITCHELL – Josh Buri and Keegan Fields had monster games as the undefeated Bobcats rallied past the Kernels for a 44-25 victory Friday night at Joe Quintal Field.

Brookings outscored Mitchell 30-6 in the second half.

“We knew we were going to be tested, and Mitchell tested us early,” said BHS coach Brady Clark, whose team trailed 6-0 after a quarter and 19-7 late in the second quarter. “We responded really well. The boys just really fought hard and persevered.”

Buri picked up 266 yards on 19 rushes – 14 average – and scored two touchdowns while adding an 18-yard reception.

“He puts in the work and he’s a tough runner,” Clark said. “Like I say all the time, he’ll be the first one to thank his offensive line.

“He’s an electric player and he wants to score every time he touches the ball. He had a very nice game.”

Fields saw an expanded role due to injuries and took advantage.

The senior, playing his first year of varsity football, ran six times for 106 yards and a TD and had two catches covering 86 yards with a pair of scores. Fields also went 5-of-6 on PAT kicks and added a field goal

“That was huge. He took on that role and never looked back,” Clark noted. “He’s only going to get better, so it was really great to see; I was really excited.”

After getting bottled up early, Buri turned things around with a 61-yard burst to paydirt with 34 seconds remaining in the first half. Fields’ PAT kick cut the deficit to 19-14.

Jaxon Bowes hit Max Struck for a 3-yard score early in the third period to give Brookings its first lead. Fields booted a 27-yard field goal with 3:04 left in the stanza, making it 24-19.

The Kernels responded on the first play of the fourth quarter as Josh Grosdidier found the end zone from 5 yards out to give the home team its final lead at 25-24 with 11:55 showing on the clock.

Buri put Brookings on top for good three plays later, scampering 46 yards to make it 31-25 with 10:47 left.

Fields helped put the game away down the stretch, sprinting 68 yards for a TD with 7:11 to play and adding an 11-yard scoring reception from Bowes with 3:50 left.

Mitchell quarterback Tucker Vilhauer, who totaled 86 yards on 20 carries, had TD rushes of 1 yard (23 seconds first) and 20 yards (3:49 second) to put the Kernels ahead 12-0.

Bowes was 8-of-18 for 162 yards with three touchdowns. He and Fields also connected for a 75-yard touchdown in the second quarter, leaving the score at 12-7.

Parker Phillips, who finished with 134 yards on 22 attempts, answered with a 37-yard scoring scamper to make it 19-7 1:48 before halftime.

Brookings held a 531-280 advantage in total yards of offense, including 369-231 on the ground. The Bobcats lost one fumble and the Kernels lost two.

Wes Koenig led the ‘Cats with seven tackles, including three for loss (one sack). Struck and Parker Theobald (3 1/2 for loss) added six stops apiece.

Perry King and Noah Bayer recovered fumbles. John Noordsy notched 2 1/2 tackles for loss with a sack.

Joseph Van Overschelde logged a game-high 12 tackles for Mitchell, which dropped to 3-3.

Brookings (6-0) is host to three-time defending state champion Pierre (4-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. The Governors were the only team to beat the runner-up Bobcats in 2019.

Elsewhere in Class 11AA action, Yankton defeated Sturgis 20-3 to move to 6-0.

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