EC Preps

HIGHLANDERS TAME THE LIONS TO CLAIM 1-AA REGIONAL

EASTCOUNTY PREP FOOTBALL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONAL DIVISION I-AA

By Adam Paul

HELIX 28 (12-1), OAKS CHRISTAIN 13 (12-3)

About a week after the Helix Highlanders defeated the Mission Hills Grizzlies in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division Championship they were slated to take on the Oaks Christian Lions whose alumni include Jimmy Clausen who went on to play at Notre Dame. It didn’t matter who they were to play the Highlanders knew they had another part of their journey to complete.

The Highlanders who had come into the contest having won 11 straight games and the Lions having won 9 games in a row something had to give between the two teams. In front of a full side of stands of fans that had traveled the long trip to see their team play the Highlanders didn’t disappoint as they were able to strike first but it wouldn’t come easy.

Helix on their opening drive was forced to what looked like a three and out but facing a fourth and 11 with 7:14 in the first quarter Carson Baker went to pass but instead decided to take off and run with it and that he did as he was able to squirt his way down the field and into the end zone for the 30-yard score to put Helix up 7-0.

Oaks Christian would hold Helix and actually convert a pair of field goals to pull within 7-6 with about 9 minutes left in the first half. However the Highlanders would be forced to punt and on the punt a bad snap would occur and Oaks Christian would block it and recover the ball at the Highlander 8-yardline and be in business. They would get it down to the one when Zach Charbonnet would punch it in to make it 13-7 Lions, which would be the score at the intermission.

Helix would kick off to start the second half and the Lions would start at their own 14-yardline to start things off. However lightning would strike as Helix who was used to getting the big play would as Rashaad Scott would step in front of the pass and return it to the house for the 27-yard pick-six to give Helix the lead 14-13. It was pretty amazing as Scott was coming off of an Achilles injury suffered in the Open Championship last weekend but came back to make the big INT in the game.

The Lions now looked to refocus and do something to retake the lead but were unable to as the Helix defense stepped up and was able to force a turnover of possession. Now with the ball at 29-yardline of Oaks Christian Carson Baker was able to find Scott for a pass and get out for a good gain and on the very next play he would find Isaac Taylor-Stuart for the 16 yard touchdown pass to make it 21-13.

Helix would strike the big blow to shut the door when Elelyon Noa scampered his way through the Lions defense down the left side for a 62-yard touchdown to make it 28-13.

On the night, Noa ran for 188 yards on 23 carries and the score while Baker was 11 of 18 for 127 yards and a touchdown.

The Highlander defense came up huge as they had multiple interceptions including one by Michael Shawcroft and also Ray Sanchez.

Another big reason how the Highlanders won was the fact that William Payne the left tackle held Kayvon Thibodeuax a five star recruit without a sack on the night after he had his way last weekend.

With the win the Highlanders will now face an undefeated Folsom squad led by Kaiden Bennett their quarterback and also brothers Joe and Daniyel Ngata.

Folsom who is 15-0 and ranked third in the state and are averaging 48 points per game last won a state tittle back in 2014.

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