East County Sports

Helix’s “Dem Boys” have Hills title on lockdown

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Helix’s Ezekiel Noa brings down the Vaqueros’ Phoenix Cates Friday night. / EastCountySports.com photo

By Ramon Scott

© East County Sports.com

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Helix quarterback Michael Austin breaks away on a long touchdown run during the first quarter of the Highlanders’ Homecoming win over El Capitan Friday night. / EastCountySports.com photo

LA MESA (11-7-15) — When SCOTTIE YOUNG, ISAIAH WOODEN and the rest of the Helix Highlanders’ “Dem Boys” defensive backfield come back for Homecoming at JIM ARNAIZ Field in Benton Hart Stadium one day, they will always bring up Friday (Nov. 6) night’s 48-7 Grossmont Hills League title-clinching win over the El Capitan Vaqueros. EC at H Score

After taking a 13-7 first quarter lead over the visiting Vaqueros, Helix lit up the scoreboard in the second quarter with a 28-point splurge, then saved the fireworks in celebration of Homecoming and the recapturing of the Grossmont Hills League crown that likely had very little to do with revenge for last year’s league title-game loss in Lakeside.

Helix (9-1) won its ninth-straight game and secured the league title outright, while the Vaqueros came into town still picking up the pieces late in the season from last year’s senior-laden championship run.

Helix’s performance, meanwhile, leading up to last night’s championship game already had the Highlanders penciled in as the No. 1 seed in the San Diego CIF Open Division playoffs.

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Scottie Young, of Helix, makes a tackle to prevent El Capitan from getting into the end zone during the first quarter Friday night. / EastCountySports.com photo

It was another big offensive night for quarterback MICHAEL AUSTIN, who completed 10 of 12 passes for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. The senior signal caller also scrambled for a 71-yard touchdown run to break a 7-7 tie in the first quarter, giving the Highlanders a lead they never lost. He finished with 85 yards on four times carrying the football.

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Helix stops the Vaqueros, but El Cap would find the end zone on the next play. / EastCountySports.com photo

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El Capitan QB Phoenix Cates surveys the green scene Friday night. / EastCountySports.com photo

Young had a 65-yard interception return to give Helix a 27-7 lead early in the second quarter, while Wooden had a 66-yard punt return after Helix stopped El Capitan on the opening drive of the second half, which gave the Highlanders the final margin.

Helix opened the scoring on a 75-yard drive capped by an 9-yard TD run by NATHEN STINSON at 3:32 of the first quarter. It was the first of two touchdowns for Stinson.

El Capitan appeared to be stopped on its first drive just short of midfield, but the Vaqueros ran the ball with upback CHANCE COLSON out of punt formation to earn a first and extend the drive. The march stalled three plays later, but good special teams work pinned the Highlanders back to their own 2.

El Capitan put a hard hit on star back Stinson, forcing a fumble, which was recovered by Colson at the Helix 5.

Quarterback PHOENIX CATES scored on a 2-yard scramble keep from the left hash to the right side, diving to the goal near the right pylon to get the outstretched ball over the line as he was being wrestled by TYLER CLANTON. The PAT by RUBEN GUZMAN gave the Vaqueros a 7-6 lead late in the first quarter.

Helix stopped El Capitan’s ensuing possession after Austin dazzled the Vaqueros with a shifty move along the right side of the line of scrimmage on the last play of the first quarter. MASON VINYARD had a 65-yard touchdown on a pass from Austin to put Helix ahead 20-7, as the 6-foot-5 senior receiver easily got past a mismatch to appear wide open as he hauled in the pass inside the 40 and easily scored.

Following a fumble recovery by the Highlanders with three minutes to go in the second quarter, Austin threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to MEKHI STEVENSON to give Helix a 41-7 lead at halftime, while Stinson scored on a 2-yard run to put the Highlanders on top, 34-7 just moments before the fumble.

Helix was led up front on the offensive line by seniors NICK WRIGHT and DE’RON SMITH, and juniors MARIO BERNAL and BLAYKE DE LA ROSA


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Ezekiel Noa, of Helix, grabs an El Cap ball carrier Friday night. / EastCountySports.com photo

Helix finished with 324 yards, playing with a running clock the majority of the second half.


On the defensive side the Highlanders limited the Vaqueros to 59 yards total offense.

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