EC Preps






LA MESA – In one of the more anticipated matchups in the county in what was played under a playoff atmosphere with both the crowd and also the fact that if Helix (2-3) lost they would more than likely miss out on the Open Division playoffs for the first time since its inception.

Saints (4-1) came into the contest having only allowed negative rushing yards on the season and also ten points total on the season while pitching three shutouts. So something had to give as the Highlanders featured Elelyon Noa who is considered one of the top two backs in the county.

Right away Saints struck first as they would land a 42-yard pass play from Angelo Peraza to Michael Ambagtsheer which would lead to a 2-yard score from Sage Eismann to give Saints an early 7-0 lead. However, that scoring drive by Saints was answered by the Highlanders as Daniel Amon who had sat out last weeks contest against Cathedral was able to find his groove and hit Chris Rivera for the long strike to knot the score 7-7.

With the score tied the Highlanders defense would come alive and Delshawn Traylor would pick off a pass but that wouldn’t lead to anything as Helix would be forced to punt away. Saint Augustine would take advantage and drive down the field and take a 14-7 lead when Byron Caldwell found the end zone. Saints would take the one score lead to the locker room.

The halftime festivities at Jim Arnaiz field included a celebration of the 1978 Helix Highlanders football team which was the first Highlander team to win a CIF Championship. The Highlanders that season went on to beat San Pasqual 17-10 en route to a record of 10-2.


After the festivities concluded both teams came out and took the field for the second half. Helix would hunker down in the second half on both sides of the ball. Eventually, behind the running of Noa, they would tie the game at 14-14 with 7:33 remaining in the third quarter. The Highlanders would use that scoring momentum in scoring 28 unanswered points which would give them a big double-digit lead.

Helix with just under two minutes left in the third quarter would take their first lead of the contest as Traylor would keep the ball himself and find the house to make it 21-14. They would tack on to their lead as Jaiden Brown would pick off a Saints pass and take it back for the pick six to make it 28-14 with just under a minute in the third quarter.

The Highlanders had all the answers in the second half as their run game led by Noa who rushed for 167 yards on 25 carries and a score and Traylor who was able to gash for 79 yards and two scores wore down Saints over the final two quarters.

For Helix, the victory was a big step in getting back into contention for a spot in the Open Division.


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