After rushing out of the gates with a blowout win over Deep Run, Mechanicsville ran into a wall in its home opener against Powhatan.
Playing for the first time this season, the Indians shut out the host team in the first half. But a late Mechanicsville rally forced the game into overtime, where an extra point from Powhatan kicker Tucker Thomas sealed the 21-20 victory.
“Tonight I saw a lot of heart, a lot of courage, a lot of fight,” said Powhatan coach Mike Henderson, “but I also saw a lot of mistakes and a lot of things we need to work on, because this game should not have been this close.”
While the start of the game saw the Mustangs struggle to get going through the air, the Indians had their own problem — giveaways, including a handful of fumbles and an interception.
But it was the visitors who found their way to the end zone first. Following a long completion by quarterback Dylan Trevillian, he connected with 6-foot-3 Ethan Dowdy to give Powhatan the early lead.
Although Trevillian’s arm proved a powerful asset — he finished the night with 209 yards — teammate Mitchell Johnson was a force to be reckoned with for Mechanicsville.
Sturdy, fast and unafraid of a scrum, Johnson ran for 124 of Powhatan’s 127 yards on the ground. Then, to start the fourth quarter, he caught another missile from Trevillian to help bump the score up to 14-6.
Henderson said Thursday night’s showing was a confirmation of what they can expect from Johnson this season, but both agreed that there were still elements that needed to be fine tuned.
“It was a little rough in the beginning,” Johnson said. “There were a few mistakes to nip in the bud, but I feel like we all came together and cleaned it up when it counted.”
The Mustangs had some dangerous running backs of their own with Colby Messe and Cole Varner.
Varner carried the ball most of the way on Mechanicsville’s first scoring drive, though Tyler Stevens secured the score after Powhatan forced a fumble. Varner collected a touchdown of his own in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter, and Messe’s run on the ensuing conversion attempt tied the score at 14 to force overtime.
Mustangs quarterback Jordan Callahan connected with Hunter Ostein for 6 points in overtime, but a low snap couldn’t be settled into a solid hold, and Callahan was unable to reach the end zone on the conversion attempt.
When Powhatan took the field, there was a chance that the extra point wouldn’t make a difference. A sack and a delay of game penalty pushed Trevillian back, leading to fourth down.
But a 16-yard completion to Johnson evened the score, and Thomas made good on his third point-after attempt of the game.
“It’s hard to explain what the first game back means,” Johnson said. “Obviously we’ve been here before, but it’s a new group of guys and after last year… It’s surreal. As a brotherhood, there’s nothing else like it, and I’m excited to keep it going.”
Powhatan 0 7 0 7 7 — 21
Mechanicsville 0 0 6 8 6 — 20
POW — Dowdy 10 pass from Trevillian (Thomas kick)
MECH — Stevens fumble recovery (kick failed)
POW — Johnson 12 pass from Trevillian (Thomas kick)
MECH — Varner 5 run (Messe run)
MECH — Ostein 11 pass from Callahan (kick failed)
POW — Johnson 16 pass from Trevillian (Thomas kick)
POW — Mitchell Johnson 17-124, Andrew Cheatham 3-3; MECH — Colby Messe 20-113; Cole Varner 14-82; Jordan Callahan 9-51
POW — Dylan Trevillian 12-22-209-1; MECH — Jordan Callahan 9-13-66
POW — Ethan Dowdy 3-62, Jason Worthington 2-49, Mitchell Johnson 3-42, Zach Warinner 2-32, Jayden Ford 1-16, Andrew Cheatham 1-8; MECH — Hunter Ostein 4-32, Josh Morris 4-29, Shomarie Turkvan 1-5