EC Preps






LA MESA – For the first time in four years when they lost to the El Capitan Vaqueros, the Helix Highlanders lose a Grossmont Hills League contest.

No one in the County really gave the Steele Canyon Cougars any shot to go into Helix and come away with the victory. In fact, it didn’t look like it would happen as the Highlanders led 14-3 at intermission.

Also, the Highlanders had beaten the Cougars eight straight times since 2009 and as mentioned 19 straight league victories.

However, the momentum took a swing over to the Cougars in the second half when Nathan Barnett on the second play of the half would scamper his way and find the house for the 89-yard score and bring the Cougars within one score 14-10.

Helix would steal the momentum back thanks to a Delshawn Traylor 8-yard score a few minutes later to make it 21-10.

Trailing by a couple of scores in the third quarter the Cougars made a surge thanks to Wesley Neely and his 7-yard score with just over 2 minutes remaining to pull within 21-16.

After a couple of stops on the defensive side of the ball by the Cougars, the Highlanders were forced to punt with very little time remaining in the ballgame.

Everything was on the line as Cougars return man Chance Johnson fielded the punt and shifted his way all the way to the Helix 24-yard line giving the Cougars hope and also a great chance.

With the ball in Highlander territory, the run game for the Cougars came alive as they ran the ball via multiple players and were able to move down to the 1-yard line of Helix. On the next play, the Cougars called a sweep to the outside by Neely who was able to punch it in for the go-ahead score 22-21. Steele Canyon tried to go for the two-point conversion but was unsuccessful.

Helix had one last chance to do something but with under a minute Cougars defensive back Willie Page stepped in front of a Daniel Amon pass and picked it off to nail the coffin of the Highlanders.

With the victory for the Cougars, the Grossmont Hills finishes with a three-way tie or Tri-Championship for the Crown between Helix, Steele Canyon and Granite Hills who all finish with a 4-1 record in league.

The Highlanders with the loss are more than likely knocked out of the Open Division Playoffs which they won last season and have participated in since the inception.

The last time the Steele Canyon Cougars won a league crown was back in 2005 and they go back to the playoffs looking to repeat last years magic of a CIF crown and also a State title.

Barnett for the Cougars racked up 115 yards rushing while Neely tallied 80 yards. For the Highlanders, Elelyon Noa ran for 274 yards and 2 touchdowns.

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