PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) -- On a team full of star seniors, it was a junior who shined brightest for the Bruins in the Region 4D semi-finals.
"I was just thinking, 'We're gonna win this game.' That's all that was going through my mind really," said Brian Mitchell, after his 3rd quarter pick-six gave his Bruins a 28-0 lead over Pulaski County.
Mitchell, who plays both running back and defensive back, finished with two interceptions and three total touchdowns in the game.
He even took a few snaps in the wildcat formation for good measure.
"That was something new that we did. We'd been struggling to score on the goal-line so something that Coach Johnson came up with and it worked pretty well," Brian Mitchell said.
"I played quarterback in middle school so I kind of knew."
The Cougars mounted a comeback, but with just a 7-point lead, the Bruins defense held strong on a 4th down and 2 to advance to the regional finals.
"It does feel special. Whenever we stopped them on the 4th down, it felt like a big relief and it was so stressful at the end, like a weight was lifted off our shoulders," said Mitchell.
Mitchell is no stranger to the game of football. His dad, Brian Mitchell Sr., played three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, and is now the secondary coach for Virginia Tech.
"He helps me a lot with the defensive side of the ball and also the offensive side of the ball,' Mitchell said.
"He always tells me, 'You play how you practice,' and that's something that I take to mind and then I go out and practice and it goes out into the game."
Even though he's still a junior, Mitchell says he's ready to step into that leadership role as a senior next year, "Not only have a learned from the seniors this year, but I learned from the seniors last year as well, and the freshman year too, and they've all been really good leaders and influences to me."
"We've bonded very well this year. All these kids have been playing together since rec league and they know the chemistry between each other and our confidence is very high right now," Mitchell said.