EC Preps

SAINTS OUTLAST HIGHLANDERS TO CLAIM DIVISION I CROWN

2018 PREP FOOTBALL

BY ADAM PAUL

ECPREPS.COM


CIF DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP

#4 SAINT AUGUSTINE 21, #3 HELIX 20 (OT)

For the longest time the Helix Highlanders had the Saint Augustine Saints number but tonight the Saints would reverse the trend of Highlander dominance.

Coming into the contest Saints had a record of 2-8 against Helix with their last victory coming back in 2004 and prior to that in 1953.

The two teams last met in a title contest 2015 in the Open Division title contest with Helix coming away with the victory.  The last regular season contest was a few weeks ago with Helix procuring the 35-14 win.

Helix came into the matchup looking to come away with another title as they won the Open Division last season over Mission Hills 26-19 and also was appearing in their fifth straight section title game.

With the Open Division being pared down to only four teams instead of the eight as it had been in past seasons both Saints and Helix would be top seeds in Division I.

With two of the prominent programs in San Diego meeting again you knew it would it be an atmosphere and indeed it was as there was over 8,000 people in attendance and everyone in attendance wasn’t disappointed.

PHOTO BY VANILLA GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

In what was a defensive effort put on by both squads the Highlanders took advantage of an opportunity in the first quarter when Elelyon Noa punched it in from one yard out midway through the first quarter to lead 7-0.

On the scoring drive, the Highlanders ran 11 plays and garnered 64 yards which included a big 26-yarder by Noa. The points by Helix would be the only points of the entire first half.

PHOTO BY VANILLA GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO BY VANILLA GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

However, in the second half Saints would answer in the third quarter with 9 play 69-yard drive capped by a Byron Cardwell 2-yard score. The extra point failed. Trailing 7-6 Saint Augustine wasn’t done as their defense stifled the Highlanders. With a little over a minute remaining in the third quarter, Saints would again drive the field and again score to take their first lead as Samuel Schaife III hauled in a 28-yard pass from Angelo Peraza for the score and with the 2-point conversion extended the lead 14-7.

In the fourth quarter both teams defenses went back and forth and with a little over eight minutes remaining in the contest the Highlanders broke through as they drove down the field on 12 plays covering 67 yards with Delshawn Traylor taking the handoff and getting around the corner and when it looked like he would be stopped dive and put the ball into the end zone to tie the game 14-14.

Neither team would score the rest of the way and the game would head into overtime.


Saint Augustine in the overtime period would get the first crack and they would take advantage as Cardwell would find the end zone to give Saints a 21-14 lead. Helix would have their shot to tie the game or win it. They would use a reverse pass from Tim Christopher to Chris Rivera for 19 yards which made it 21-20. The Highlanders lined up for the extra point to tie the game and it looked like it would go into a second overtime as Elijah Laing’s PAT was good. But a flag was thrown as Saints was called for roughing the kicker penalty which would put the ball at the 1-yard line.

Highlanders coach Robbie Owens decided to go for it but unfortunately, the gamble failed as the snap was fumbled and Saints recovered it ensuring the victory and the entire Saints crowd including the famous student section known as “The Pit” celebrated like there was no tomorrow. It would be the only turnover of the entire game.

Offensively the Highlanders ran for 234 yards on 54 carries and only had 39 yards passing on 2-of-6 passes.

Noa for Helix finished his night with 150 yards on 25 carries and actually came out as he was injured most likely sustained the previous week against Eastlake.

On the other side for Saint Augustine, Peraza passed for 147 yards and ran for 61. Cardwell capped his night with 2 touchdowns and 72 yards. Overall as a team Saints had 208 yards of total offense.

Defensively for the Highlanders Michael Shawcroft who will play for the SDSU Aztecs, next season tallied 6 tackles while JT Penick and Eaven Givens each had 14 tackles for Saint Augustine.

With the win St. Augustine will continue on in the State playoffs while Helix will see its season come to an end.

 

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