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Central defense powers road win over Mitchell

Aberdeen Central's Parker Lemer runs with the ball against Mitchell Saturday night. Lemer scored a touchdown in a 21-6 victory. Photo by Adam Thury/Mitchell Daily Republic

MITCHELL – Aberdeen Central scored two defensive touchdowns to seal off its second straight victory Saturday night, taking a 21-6 road win over Mitchell in an Eastern South Dakota Conference football contest.

The Golden Eagles returned two interceptions for touchdowns, one in each half, backing up a Parker Lemer touchdown run in the opening quarter.

After a pair of season-opening losses, Golden Eagle coach Justin Briese acknowledged it felt good to get a second straight victory after opening the season against Class 11AA powers Pierre and Tea Area.

“It’s tough when you’re playing two of the best teams in the state,” he said. “We didn’t play our best ball either, so it’s nice to come back and get two in a row.”

Lemur opened Saturday’s scoring with a 5-yard scamper late in the opening quarter. It was a bright spot in an offensive game-plan that saw the Golden Eagles turn the ball over twice on fumbles and twice more on downs.

But the defense came through strong for Central. Cordel Rychlik’s pick-six midway through the second quarter made it a 14-0 game going into the half.

Then, after Mitchell scored early in the fourth quarter on a Parker Denne 25-yard run, the Golden Eagle defense again picked off Kernel quarterback Lukas Chenoweth, this time via the hands of Brayden Comstock, who returned in 24 yards with less than 2 minutes left in the game.

“We had some big plays,” Briese said.

Despite the two lost fumbles, Briese said the Golden Eagles’ offensive line played well, helping spring some key gains in the run game.

Aberdeen Central’s Avery Ligon carries the ball against Mitchell Saturday night. Ligon led the Golden Eagles with 96 yards rushing in the contest. Photo by Adam Thury/Mitchell Daily Republic

Avery Ligon finished with a game-best 96 yards on the ground. Lemer added another 25 rushing yards, and was 7-for-14 for 35 yards through the air.

For Mitchell, Chenoweth threw for 77 yards on 5-of-8 passing, but Briese said for the most part, the Golden Eagles were able to shut down the Kernel’s options.

“Defensively, we wanted to keep their option game, their toss game under wraps,” he said. “For the most part, we did.”

Denne had 72 yards rushing and another 38 yards receiving to lead the way for the Kernels.

Central, 2-2, hosts Huron for homecoming at 7 p.m. Friday at Golden Eagles Field.

Aberdeen Central 7 7 0 7 – 21

Mitchell 0 0 6 0 – 6

First quarter

ABC: Parker Lemer 5 run (Joey Dallman kick), 5:46.

Second quarter

ABC: Cordel Rychlik 1 pass interception return (Dallman kick), 7:13.

Fourth quarter

MIT: Parker Denne 25 run (kick failed), 10:57.

ABC: Brayden Comstock 24 pass interception return (Dallman kick), 1:42.

OFFENSE: Aberdeen Central, rushing 30-120 (Avery Ligon 17-96, Parker Lemer 5-25); passing – 7-14-0 for 35 (Lemer 7-14-0 for 35); receiving (Brody Aesoph 2-20, Colby Dauwen 2-14), first downs 9; Mitchell, rushing 33-118 (Parker Denne 17-72, Lukas Chenoweth 5-24, Mick Dailey 10-18); passing 6-14-2 for 82 (Chenoweth 5-8-2 for 77; TJ Jellis 1-5-1 for 5); receiving (Denne 1-38, Dailey 3-33), first downs 10.

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