East County Sports

Sabrecats settle to beat Scotties by 7

Helix captains on Saturday afternoon against Saguaro.


SAGUARO (Ariz.) 28, HELIX 21


EastCountySports.com staff report


DEL MAR – The Helix Highlanders certainly looked as talented as the third-ranked team in Arizona, the Saguaro Sabrecats, on Saturday afternoon

Helix senior MICHAEL SHAWCROFT makes a tackle on a Saguaro ball carrier on Saturday. / photo by Christopher Smith – TopDawgNetwork

The Scots may have been one top-level player, along with another bucket full of procedural penalties, away from upsetting the visitors from Scottdale at The Honor Bowl at Cathedral Catholic High.

The Sabrecats, five-time Arizona state champs, jumped out to a 28-7 third-quarter lead. Helix was the better unit in the rest of the second half.

One key sequence in the first half had Saguaro retain possession on a ball that was jarred loose and recovered by the Highlanders. Officials ruled that the ball carrier had been touched down at the Helix 30.

A couple of players later, the Sabrecats turned the break into an easy lofting pass in the end zone for a red zone score.

Helix quarterback DANIEL AMON connected with TIM CHRISTOPHER for a first-down catch on a fourth-down play to the Saguaro 24, then on the next play, Helix’s other quarterback, DELSHAWN TRAYLOR, threw a pass to MICHAEL SHAWCROFT, who had slipped out underneath and into the middle of the field. The deft touch byTraylor had Helix leading 7-0 with 3:20 to go in the first quarter.

Helix’s MEREDITH earlier had a 38-yard reception midway through the quarter.

Helix (1-2) had back-t0-back interceptions in the third quarter after spying the Saguaro QBs early intentions while dropping back into coverage.

Shawcroft, a senior headed to SDSU, timed his interception perfectly, stepping in front of the receiver, and was heading toward the opposite end zone when he tried to lateral the ball like REGGIE BUSH did to RAJIVE OTAH in the title game against Oceanside, but this time, instead of a perfect toss, it was picked up off the ground by XAVIER HAMLETT after a couple of bounces for a sort-of offensive scoop-n-score.

The sequence covered 85 yards and woke the Highlanders’ sideline with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.

Helix came right back on defense with another turnover as JACOB RAY had the second-straight intecetpion.

Amon was injured on a late hit in the fourth quarter and did not return.

Helix scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but after a stop with 3:17 to go, Saguaro’s Parker Lewis made a 55-yard punt that was downed at the Highlander 1.

Without Amon, Helix’s was devoid of passing options late, it seemed, and kept the ball on on the ground with runs as the clock was winding down, before trying a couple of passes at the end of the game still deep in its own end.

Without senior ELELYON NOA for the second-straight game

Not only did Helix suffer from too many penalties, there were five penalties in the first eight minutes of the game.

Saguaro (2-1) tied the game late in the first quarter, 7-all, on a halfback pass on the last play from scrimmage in the first quarter.

Helix connected on a double pass when Meredith made a catch on a pass from JAGGER GILES.

Giles took a pitch to the left and lofted a deep ball that only Meredith could reach, taking Helix down to the 33 just under a minute into the second quarter.

Helix was pushed back, however, on a miscue during a snap, that resulted in a fourth down situation.

Saguaro hit back with a 54-yard pass for a score with 8:16 to go in the second quarter, taking a 14-7 lead.

TYLER BEVRETT made a 15-yard score to give Saguaro a 20-7 lead with 5:28 left in the second quarter.

Helix defensive back KEVIN OLSON came up with an interception late in the first half, as he stripped the ball as the receiver was starting to come down with it.

Saguaro would come up with an interception to stop a last-mintue drive in the first half.

The Highlanders trailed 21-7 at halftime, but Saguaro recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff and quickly scored.

Hamlett had a 1-yard score to make the margin 28-21 with 4:56 left in the game.

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