By JON REITER
There wasn’t any euphoric hangover from the Providence Pioneers football team after last Friday’s upset of Jeffersonville.
The hosts scored on their first two plays from scrimmage and proceeded to blow out visiting Mitchell 67-0 at Murphy Stadium. The Pioneers’ defense, which forced seven turnovers in the 35-13 win over Jeffersonville, held the Bluejackets to 34 yards on the ground and 91 yards of total offense.
On the offensive side of the football, Providence rushed for nearly 400 yards in the win and saw four different rushers reach the end zone in the contest, which was pretty much decided from the opening kickoff.
“We played pretty well tonight,” Providence (4-3) coach Larry Denison said. “There are still a few things we need to clean up, but overall I think we played well. During the summer I thought there we could be a very good defensive team, and we’re starting to show some signs of that.”
Behind what is becoming a dominant Pioneer offensive line, Providence quarterback Owen Mattingly scored four first-half touchdowns on the ground, rushing six times for 172 yards.
Mattingly scored on Providence’s first play on a 47-yard run and added three others from 8, 31, and 76 yards.
Conner Johnson had nine carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns in mop-up duty for the Pioneers, and Matt Bell and Dorian Noel both reached the end zone on scoring scampers.
In winning by such a large margin, the Pioneers scored in a variety of ways.
Tony Corrao also intercepted a pass from Mitchell (1-6) quarterback Luke Jakub and hauled it into the end zone midway through the second quarter for a 48-yard interception return, and reserve quarterback Luke Fougerousse connected with Mason Hublar for a 21-yard touchdown catch late in the first half.
Meanwhile, the beleaguered Mitchell offense only collected four first downs in the first half — two of which came off Providence penalties — and had 19 yards of total offense at intermission.
All those things added up to a long night for Mitchell.
“The defense, I think in the first half, really held them down,” Denison said. “Even after the New Albany and Floyd Central games [both early-season losses], we still believed we had a good defense. We just didn’t play very well in either of those two games.”
Providence hosts Charlestown, a 35-0 winner over Corydon Central at Friday, at Murphy Stadium next week.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Denison said. “I know they’ve changed a few things up and that they’ve been playing well, so we’re going to have to play a good ballgame to win.”
PROVIDENCE 67, MITCHELL 0
Providence 26 20 14 7—67
Mitchell 0 0 0 0— 0
P — Mattingly 47 run (pass failed), 9:43.
P — Bell 41 run (Koetter kick), 8:04.
P — Mattingly 8 run (kick failed), 4:35.
P — Mattingly 31 run (Koetter kick), :00.
P — Mattingly 76 run (Koetter kick), 9:04.
P — Corrao 48 interception return (Koetter kick), 4:08.
P — Hublar 21 pass from Fougerousse (kick failed), 1:57.
P — Noel 1 run (Koetter kick), 8:28.
P — Johnson 3 run (Koetter kick), :17.8.
P — Johnson 34 run (Koetter kick), 10:48.
Providence: Fougerousse 1-1-21.
Mitchell: Jakub 6-19-57-1.
Providence: Mattingly 6-172, Bell 5-55, Noel 4-56, Hayes 6-37, Johnson 9-105.
Mitchell: Jakub 6-10, Duncan 8-9, Key 3-2, Burris 6-11, Chastain 4-3.
Providence: Hublar 1-21.
Mitchell: Duncan 1-16, Key 1-13, See 1-12, Burris 2-16.