Beacon 70 Football Player of the Week: Keyport’s George Mitchell
Every week this season, Shore Conference football fans will have their chance to vote for the Beacon 70/Shore Sports Network Football Player of the Week on our website.
The Week 4 Player of the Week is Keyport senior quarterback/linebacker George Mitchell, who had a hand in all three of the Red Raiders' offensive points as they rallied for a 17-14 victory over Pinelands to improve to 4-0 and match their best start since the 2009 season. Mitchell and all Player of the Week winners this season will receive a $25 gift card to Beacon 70 Restaurant.
Last Friday, Keyport made the 66-mile drive from the Bayshore to Little Egg Harbor for a National Division contest against the Wildcats and found themselves in an 11-point hole at halftime. Mitchell kicked a 28-yard field goal to give Keyport an early 3-0 lead, but Pinelands took the lead on a rushing touchdown in the first quarter and another in the second quarter out of their double-tight, double-wing offense.
Mitchell spearheaded the Red Raiders' rally by completing 11 of 18 passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns and also rushing for a team-high 76 yards on just nine carries. He also made three tackles on defense.
The comeback began in the third quarter when Mitchell threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver DJ Thomson. The two-point conversion attempt failed but Keyport was now within one score trailing 14-9. The go-ahead touchdown came early in the fourth quarter when Mitchell connected with senior wide receiver Zivon Crank for a 38-yard touchdown that put the Raiders up 15-14. The defense did the rest, adding a late safety for the dramatic 17-14 victory.
Mitchell has been great for Keyport this season, completing 61 percent of his passes for 510 yards with eight touchdowns and only one interception. He has also rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown on an average of 6.9 yards per carry. On defense, Mitchell has posted 22 tackles and one sack.
Keyport hasn't started 5-0 since its 11-1 season of 2003 and will try to do so on Saturday afternoon when it welcomes Monmouth Regional to Jackson Street for a massive National Division game. Both teams enter with a 3-0 mark within the division and the winner can clinch at least a share of the division championship with a victory.
It was another close week of voting with Mitchell securing 12.36 percent of all votes cast to win over Red Bank's Sean Masonius with St. John Vianney's Pete Pezzullo, Rumson-Fair Haven's Geoff Schroeder, and Southern's Jaden Brown comprising the top five.