East County Sports

Dons stun Highlanders with comeback

Helix's MUGEN BLUE rushes Friday night against Cathedral Catholic. / photo by Chris Parks




By Ramon Scott
© East County Sports.com


SAN DIEGO (9-17-16) — In a rematch of last year’s Open Division semifinals between Helix and Cathedral Catholic, the No. 3 Dons got their revenge on the No. 2 Highlanders after it looked like the Scotties were going to dust the Dons early on.

The Scotties scored on a 6-play, 78-yard drive, capped by CARSON BAKER’s 41-yard touchdown pass to running back EZEKIEL NOA for an early lead on the first series.


EZEKIEL NOA sees the hole for Helix Friday night. / photo by Chris Parks

After stopping the Dons’ offense on their first drive, Helix’s MUGEN BLUE punctuated a long scoring drive with a 12-yard touchdown run, putting the Highlanders up 14-0 in the first with just 34.4 seconds remaining.

The Highlanders extended the lead to 21-0 in the second with an 8-play, 69-yard march with Baker hitting SCOTT YOUNG on a slant for a 1-yard score.

It appeared that the Highlanders were on their way to beating the Dons for the third time in two years. However, that was not to be. They stumbled down stretch, blowing a 28-7 advantage and falling to Cathedral 35-28.

Dons quarterback Tate Haynes led his offense on an 18-play, 80-yard drive with Jordan Genmark-Heath ending it with a 1-yard touchdown run, as Helix took a 21-7 lead into the locker room.

After the Dons’ first drive of the second half was killed by the Highlanders defense, RASHAD SCOTT returned a punt 65 yards to give Helix a three-touchdown lead just a little over two minutes into the second half.


Helix’s CARSON BAKER throws a pass during the second half Friday night against Cathedral Catholic. / photo by Chris Parks

However, Cathedral would score 21 unanswered points to end the third quarter, with Haynes throwing touchdowns to Antonie Lee (29 yards) and Shawn Poma (27 yards), and running back Adam Eastwood tying the game at 28-28 with a 3-yard blast with 13.5 seconds left in the third quarter after a bad snap on a Helix punt gave CC the ball at the Helix 13.

In the fourth, on a 2nd-and-8 for the Highlanders on their own 32, Baker threw an interception on a deflected pass to cornerback Je’von Figaro, who returned it 37 yards to the end zone to give the Dons the lead, 35-28.

With about 5 minutes left, the Highlanders drove nearly into the end zone, as Noa got a first down on the Dons 1.

The Dons’ defense made a goal line stand, stuffing Blue, then a mishandled pitch by Noa resulted in a loss, and finally an incomplete pass in the corner of the end zone stopped the threat.

Haynes was 11 of 14 for 193 yards.

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