Run-pass threat Mitchell Schneider looked post-season comfortable in Friday’s non-conference season opener at Northeastern.
Proving he’s a serious dual threat, the 5-foot-7 quarterback with fleet feet and a rifle arm completed 11 of 22 passes for 319 yards and five touchdowns, pacing Kenton Ridge High School to a 48-19 blowout.
“We’ve got a good line and we’ve got some great athletes on the outside,” said Schneider, who had the Cougars up 21-7 before many in the sellout crowd had settled into their seats.
“We’ve got some speed on the outside. They tried to press in on us so we decided to make ‘em go get it.”
A second-year starter in the pocket, Schneider hit Jayden Davis for a 7-yard TD just 45 seconds into the game, then hooked up with Brandon Davis on an 80-yard floater down the left sideline at 7:38 that gave the Cougars a 14-0 lead and set the game’s quick-strike tone.
“I feel a lot better (at QB) than last year,” Schneider added. “I’ve had 365 days to improve, and I’ve gotta give my line credit. All our hard work paid off.”
Northeastern’s Kyle Myers, a 5-9 senior running back, put the Jets on the board with a 10-yard run at 3:52, but Schneider answered, this time hitting Justin Conley for a 22-yard score.
“That’s not anything we wouldn’t typically do,” Kenton Ridge coach Joel Marratta said of the aerial fireworks. “They were pushing in on us (trying to stop the run) and we were able to get a step behind them (in the secondary).
“We weren’t able to physically move them off the ball up front. They stopped the run, but they gave up the pass.”
The Cougars exploded for 21 points in the third quarter after a scoreless second to put the game out of reach, 42-7.
Brandon Davis, a 5-8 junior wide receiver, hauled in three catches for 132 yards and two TDs.
“We knew they could do both (run and pass), and they’ve got a good option,” said Northeastern coach Scott Rolfe. “If we don’t stop the run they’ll run all over us.”
The loss proved extra painful for the Jets, who lost junior quarterback Alex Robbins to a dislocated left shoulder midway through the game.
“We still have to be able to operate,” Rolfe said. “We feel bad for Alex. We want to get him healed up because we’ll miss him tremendously.