USC-bound Mitchell fights on

MISSION HILLS, Calif. -- Steven Mitchell was on his back behind his team's bench, right leg in the air, water bottle in hand. Cramps were the last thing he needed Friday night, but they bit him hard throughout.

The USC receiver commit talked his way onto the field shortly thereafter, making a pair of crucial catches and breaking an electrifying touchdown run that would fool anyone into believing he's a ball carrier.

There was more, though. After a thrilling 49-42 league-opening victory against Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, Mitchell lifted his jersey, revealing a bulk of padding intended to protect a hip injury suffered a week prior.