East County Sports

Highlanders feel at home in shutout

Helix's Isaac-Taylor Stuart goes up for a ball on Friday night. / photo by Chris Parks - scenesofyourlife.com




By Gene Yale 

Special to EastCountySports.com


EL CAJON  – Valhalla had its Homecoming celebration two weeks ago, but the Norsemen had a second Homecoming of sorts Friday evening (November 3) as they hosted Helix and welcomed back former Valhalla students CARSON BAKER, ISAIAH WOODEN and JACOB NANTON, all Highlander stalwarts who had moved on from Valhalla to the greener pastures of Helix Charter High School.


Helix sophomore ELELYON NOA rushes against Valhalla Friday night. / photo by Don De Mars

And now, for the rest of the story.  Ho-hum, Helix won.  Imagine that.  49-0.


Senior quarterback Baker had a big night for the La Mesa team, completing 9 of 13 passes for 136 yards and 3 touchdowns.


Baker also was impressive with his footwork, picking up 49 yards on the ground.


Young Mr. Wooden also impressed, right from the beginning, when he scooped up the opening kickoff at the Helix 30-yard line and scooted down the field to the Valhalla 13 yard line for a 57-yard return, putting the visitors with their sights on the not too distant goal line.


On first down, Baker handed off to sophomore running back ELELYON NOA, who bulled straight ahead into the end zone not even 30 seconds into the game.


Helix senior KEATON CHASE punts on Friday night. / Chris Parks – scenesofyourlife.com

Senior kicker KEATON CHASE (7-7 PAT) made it 7-0 and Helix never looked back.


Noa carried the ball 13 times for 125 yards and 3 touchdowns.


Following Chase’s kickoff that went out of bounds, Valhalla started at its 35 yard line.


Senior running back TY SCHIMKE picked up 4 yards on 1st down.


After a 4 yard loss on the next play, senior middle linebacker TYREECE TARRANT-PATANE stuffed the runner for a loss, forcing the Norsemen to punt.


Helix started its next possession on its 20-yard line.


After an incomplete pass, defenders KEGAN BAKER and ETHAN FERKICH held the elusive Noa to a 2 yard gain, bringing up a 3rd and 8 for the Highlanders.


Carson Baker was heavily pressured by Kegan Baker and senior defensive back JOHNNY KOREL, but managed to throw a dart to an open receiver who couldn’t hold on, forcing a punt.


Starting this time from their 45, the Norsemen tried a little trickery to jump-start the offense with a halfback pass.


Helix senior ISAAC TAYLOR-STUART is helped to his feet by teammates after suffering an injury Friday night. / photo by Chris Parksscenesofyourlife.com

Senior defensive back ISAAC TAYLOR-STUART picked off the errant pass at the Highlanders’ 30-yard line, but was tackled immediately by the intended target, Valhalla senior wide receiver CONNOR BUCKLEY.


Seven plays later, quarterback Baker had to get rid of the ball quickly as he was being harassed by Schimke, but managed to connect with Wooden in the end zone for a 12 yard TD, increasing the lead to 14-0 with 6:04 left in the first quarter.


A couple of minutes later, Helix again had good field position with a first down at the home team’s 49 yard line.


After Noa galloped for 7 yards on first down, Valhalla defender COLE HOWARD flattened the quarterback for an 11 yard sack/loss.


Helix’s ISAIAH WOODEN races around Valhalla Friday. / photo by Don De Mars

With an obvious passing situation on 3rd and 14, Valhalla’s defensive ends JOSH McNISH-HEIDER and JACE MANNING quickly converged on Baker in the Helix backfield. Flushing him out of the pocket and resulting in an incomplete pass and another punt.


As the first period was winding down, the La Mesa lads once again got great field position following a short Valhalla punt, at the Norsemen 38 yard line.


A penalty on first down backed the Highlanders up to their own 47 yard line, but Noa remedied that in a hurry by scooting 15 yards to the Norsemen 40 yard line as the quarter expired.


Baker was flushed by Valhalla defender Ferkich on the opening play of the second stanza, but turned it into a nifty run of 19 yards before he was tackled by defensive back CALEB CLENDENNON at the 21 yard line.


Helix moves in against Valhalla Friday night. / photo by Chris Parks – scenesofyourlife.com

Then, Baker handed off to Noa, who swept around the left end and made a beeline to pay-dirt, making it 21-0 just 16 seconds into the quarter.  Unfortunately, Valhalla junior defensive lineman DIDIER ESCAMILLA suffered a leg injury and had to leave the field on a cart.


After the ensuing kickoff, Valhalla’s offense got a little momentum when quarterback KYLE GRYGIEL completed a quick-hitter to BOBBY FIELDS for an 11 yard gain to the Norsemen 32; a targeting penalty advanced the ball to the Valhalla 47, but crisp tackling by junior linebacker MICHAEL SHAWCROFT and senior defensive lineman ROBERT HUNTER squelched the drive.


Mid-way through the second quarter, a 20 yard run by Noa and a 30 yard sprint by Baker highlighted yet another Helix TD drive, with Noa finishing it on a 2 yard run.  Helix led 28-0 with 7:57 left before halftime.


Helix’s DELSHAWN TRAYLOR scores on Friday night. / photo by Don De Mars

Just before intermission, Baker was once again flushed from the pocket by a tenacious Valhalla rush, but had the presence of mind to toss the pigskin to sophomore DELSHAWN TRAYLOR just before Baker crossed the line of scrimmage.


Traylor put on quite a display zig-zagging down the field for a 36 yard TD, and giving the visitors a comfortable 35-0  advantage at the half.


Helix scored two more touchdowns in the running-clock second half, the first on a 30 yard pass from Baker to Wooden early in the 3rd quarter, and the last score on a Traylor 4 yard run early in the 4thquarter.

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