SANTA ANA, Calif. -- As the final seconds of his high school football career ticked off the clock, Steven Mitchell inched closer to the sideline, taking short steps away from the rest of his teammates. He stared at the turf, searching for answers following a late-game collapse that cost Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany a spot in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division semifinals.
More than anything, Mitchell was in shock. The USC receiver commit believed Alemany had done enough to win. They had battled back to take an 11-point lead on Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei in the fourth quarter before falling 53-42 on Friday night at the Santa Ana Bowl.
Mitchell stood alone as the last horn sounded -- the nearest teammate some 15 yards away.