Entrusted with the keys to Magnolia High’s ground game, junior running back Mitch Hall not only has the Bulldogs pushing hard toward the top of the District 8-5A standings but he is currently ranked as one of the leading Class 5A rushers in the Houston area.
Through six games, Hall, a second-year letterman for head coach Craig Martin, has amassed close to 1,000 yards, good enough to top his counterparts in 8-5A. The first-year starter set the tone for Magnolia’s 42-13 road win over Willis on Oct. 11 with a 15-yard touchdown scamper.
Martin, who is in his first year at Magnolia, told Texas Scorecard that the Bulldogs’ offensive line deserves credit for the 5-foot-9-inch, 185-pound Hall successfully toting the ball.
“It starts with Mitch being a good running back to begin with, but what really helps him is that the offensive line we have here is pretty stout as well,” the coach said.
Martin added that three of Hall’s guardians in the trenches are Division I verbal commits. It is because of that luxury and Hall’s skillset that the junior is frequently tasked with carrying Magnolia with his legs.
“Mitch is phenomenal,” Martin said. “He’s a tough runner. He takes care of the football, and he’s a guy who can carry it 30 to 35 times a game and handle that workload.”
Martin and his staff first took notice of Hall’s prowess last year when he was a second-stringer.
“Realistically, he just stepped right into the roles of the guy who was in front of him,” the coach said. “He was the next man up, and he continued to carry the high standards that we try to keep at that position.”
With the ball in his grasp, Hall pounds the turf in a way that evokes images of the days of smash-mouth offense.
“He’s not a top-end speed guy, but when he hits holes, he hits them,” Martin said. “What I love about him is that he’s a hard-nosed kid.”
Hall began his junior season with an incredible 300-plus rushing yard performance in a 35-10 victory over Mont Belvieu Barbers Hill in August and duplicated the feat against Waller, whom Magnolia defeated 31-20 on Sept 27.
According to Martin, the rusher held his own against a potent Lufkin defense in the Bulldogs’ 24-18 loss to the district-leading Panthers. Primarily an offensive player for the Bulldogs, Hall occasionally hauls in passes and blocks during passing situations.
“He’s a pretty solid, all-around player for you,” Martin said.
Aside from touting Hall as a vital offensive cog, Martin praised the junior for his affability and humility.
Magnolia was preparing for a road game against College Station as of press time. Given how competitive the district is, Martin expects Hall to continue embracing a leadership role, as well as exhibit consistency. The coach also believes that both units playing at an exceptional level will take the Bulldogs far.