East County Sports

Eagle freshmen defeat Helix for first time in 50 years



By Dave Dickens



EL CAJON (10-18-2018) – Some records are broken quickly and others may take a half of a century to be conquered.

Twenty-four hours prior to the game of the week between the undefeated Granite Hills Eagles varsity and the “King of The Hills” Helix Highlanders, unfortunately, the veteran Eagles did not achieve the same success as the freshman version, but that is an entirely different story.

Granite Hills and Helix freshmen in action. / photo by Country Boi Photography

There are many great attributes of being involved in athletics at Granite Hills High School. Sure, it has the history of all the outstanding athletes that have moved on to become professional athletes in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and even professional wrestling, among others.

Eagle baseball tops out with greats like Shane Spencer, Tom Fordham, Donnie Carroll, along with Brian and Marcus

However, one of the biggest to come out of Granite Hills High athletics has got to be former running back Tommy Vardell, who ended up a Cleveland Brown and had fantastic years with the San Francisco 49ers.

No Jimmy, how could we forget all your great accomplishments on the track, Mr. Johnson.

Bottom line is, Granite Hills has had some outstanding varsity acts that are hard to follow.

But on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, the Granite Hills High freshman football team accomplished something that some may not know, or just became overshadowed by so much success, especially as of late, a three-time Grossmont Valley League varsity football champion, a fantastic postseason varsity baseball team, a very talented boys basketball team, and most recently, a volleyball league champion.

Folks, the 2018 Granite Hills Eagles freshman team defeated the Helix Highlanders Freshman, 26-22, Thursday night, a milestone reached for the first time in a half of a century. That is huge!

“Our defense played lights out, and stepped up in big situations,” said Eagles freshman head coach Jesse Shepard.

Granite Hills on offense against Helix. / photo by Country Boi Photography

Some of the key plays for the Eagles were spectacular on their way to scoring four times against Helix.

To start the first march, the Eagles went with the aerial assault on a laser from quarterback MATT BIZJAK to ALEX
GIBAUD to pick up the first en route to a nice sweep untouched into the end zone for six, thanks to great blocks from not only the offensive line but credit due to Eagle receiving corp sticking their necks out.

“On our second scoring drive, we decided to try and catch the Scotties off guard with one of our specialty packages,” said Shepard. “We ran a few QB sweeps with Alex Gibaud and once the safety came down to bite, Gibaud tossed it to our wideout CHANDLER BOYER on a seam route for our second score.

“Our third drive of the night scoring-wise was huge. Helix was up 22-14, so we decided to go with our biggest package. Our RB PATRICK BRADY, hit some good holes on some long, hard, runs. Even when Brady was stopped, he made positive yardage falling forward to make this package effective. On third down, we changed up the package and ran a QB sweep with Gibaud and scored, we were now down only 22-20 due to great blocking up front and some great moves by Alex. We opted to go for 2 and were unsuccessful.”

The Eagle offense got the rock back with 1:30 left in regulation.

On the first play of the drive, the Eagles ran a counter with running back Patrick Brady putting on the afterburners for a 32-yard gain. The Eagles were in great position to score and wise to chew up some clock and keep the ball out of the Scottie offenses’ hands.

Granite Hills and Helix collide in the freshman game on Thursday. / photo by Country Boi Photography

Unfortunately, Brady was injured on the play after having a great night on the ground assault team. As they say, “the show must go on,” and we hope Brady is healthy.

Running back BRANDON KLEIST would come in for the injured Brady.

An incomplete pass, a short Gibaud run to chew some clock, and a bad snap from center to Bizjak, although he recovered to hand off clean to Kleist on a counter. Kleist hit the hole and into the end zone for a 20-yard burst and a touchdown for the Eagles. This would put Granite on top for the win 26-22 over the Scotties.

“Helix is a well-respected program across the county,” said Sheard. “Beating Helix was a great win for our freshman program, but watching our boys play as a team and finish the game against a team like Helix was more enjoyable as a coach

Granite Hills Freshman squad is now 4-5, and 1-1 in league and Helix is 2-6 and 1-2 in league.

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