East County Sports

Scotties bring Dons back down to reality

Helix head coach Robbie Owens addresses the Highlanders following the win. / SDNFL





By Jim Lindgren

Special to EastCountySports.com


LA MESA – After consecutive wins over nationally ranked top 10 teams, Cathedral Catholic had reached rarified air for a San Diego Section team in the regular season, rising to No. 3 in the state and No. 9 in the country.

And Helix just breezed on by them.

Blew ’em out like candles on a birthday cake.

Fittingly since it was Coach Robbie Owens’ 46th birthday.

Late the game on Friday night, the Scotties were lapping the Dons and wound up with a stunning and convincing, 45-27, victory on Jim Arnaiz Field at Benton Hart Stadium.

“This is really big,” quarterback Kamryn Brown said. “It’s incredible. Our team definitely deserves it.

“We shocked the world. That’s been our motto for the past two weeks.”

No. 1-ranked in the San Diego Section, Cathedral (3-1) began the year with a revenge win over La Costa Canyon (42-9) and big upsets of Scottsdale Saguaro (18-10) and Corona Centennial (44-41). Saguaro had been ranked No. 1 in Arizona and No. 9 in the nation. Centennial was No. 3 in California and No. 6 nationally.

Last year, the Dons won the section Open Division before losing to Folsom, 21-14 in overtime, in the state championship game. Two years ago, Helix lost to Folsom, 49-42, in a state championship game.

“If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” Helix senior Delshawn Traylor said.

Happy birthday, Coach Owens!

“This is really special,” Owens said. “I told the guys yesterday, that’s all I want for my birthday.”

No. 3-ranked Helix (2-1) had leads of 24-7 in the first half and 45-21 late in the game.

Brown, a senior starting only his third game at QB, completed 13-of-17 passes for 164 yards, including a 30-yard TD to sophomore Christian Washington and a 44-yard TD to Elelyon “Fatto” Noa, who caught five passes for 79 yards.

Washington also had a 93-yard kickoff return to set up a score after the Dons had pulled to 24-21 with two long touchdowns (41 and 62 yards) in the third quarter by Christian Hall.

“The kick return was a huge play,” Owens said. “That sort of brought the momentum back to our side.”

Noa also rushed 21 times for 116 yards and two TDs as the Scotties totaled 380 yards.

Noa now has 5,218 career rushing yards and moved past Christian’s Lawrence Walker (5,112) and Rancho Buena Vista’s Markeith Ross (5,158) into ninth place on the all-time section rushing list.

Traylor opened the scoring with a 62-yard sprint down the right sideline, and Keionte Scott added a 33-yard score on a gutsy, fourth-down reverse play near the end of the first half.

“Having two weeks to prepare, we had a great game plan,” Brown said. “We were sure of it being successful.

“The guys really played hard. They played their hearts out. It was incredible.”

Brown has been the Highlanders’ quarterback for, oh, only about five weeks now.

He was a 5-foot-10, 165-pound receiver until showing some QB skills and moxie on the scout team preparing for the season opener against San Bernardino Cajon. Near the same time, projected starter Geoffrey Schrock was injured with a mysterious nerve damage in his foot.

Traylor is a tremendous running QB who helped the Highlanders to a runner-up finish in Division I last year, but Owens wants more passing from the position.

He took a shot with Brown, who played quarterback in youth football, and Brown responded with a breakout game against Cathedral.

“It was kind of like a destiny deal, with Geoffrey getting hurt and Kamryn showing us what he could do,” Owens said. “It’s been neat to see Kamryn blossom into a quality quarterback. It’s been great seeing him develop. I don’t know where we’d be without him.”

Brown completed his first seven passes for 80 yards and finished the first half 10-of-12 for 100 yards and a touchdown to Washington to give Helix a 14-7 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Andre Salcido recovered a fumble at the 14-yard line, but the Highlanders could not capitalize, missing on a fourth-down pass by Traylor from the 5-yard line.

After a short punt, Noa gained 7 and then 17 yards, but Helix had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Elijah Laing and a 17-7 lead.

Late in the half after a big fourth-down stop, Helix faced a third-and-19 from midfield, and Brown found Noa for a 17-yard pass. On fourth-and-2 from the 33, Brown and Noa rolled left, and Brown flipped the ball back to Scott reversing the other way.

Scott’s score made it 24-7 just before halftime.

Cathedral opened the second half with Hall’s two long scores and suddenly it was 24-21.

“I knew at some point they were going to make a comeback,” Owens said, “but I didn’t think it was going to be that quick.”

Washington is the backup kick returner for Helix. He came in to replace regular returner Keionte Scott, who was winded. Washington’s 93-yard return set up the first of three straight touchdowns by Noa, and Helix was back up by 10 at 31-21.

After two more touchdowns by Noa, Helix had a comfortable 45-21 lead. The Dons got one final score on a 10-yard pass from DJ Ralph to Colman Smith, but that came with 3:10 left to play.

Cathedral attempted an onside kick, but it was recovered by Helix – specifically a guy named Kamryn Brown.

“We didn’t play good, and they’re great,” Cathedral coach Sean Doyle said. “That’s a super team. They had two weeks to prepare for us, and they did a great job. They’re very well-coached.”

The Dons feature one of the best offensive lines in the state and came in averaging 386 yards per game. They got 381 on Friday. Hall had 108 rushing yards, and Zavien Watson added 91.

Still, the Scotties’ defense came up with a number of big plays and stops when they needed them most.

Anthony Lombardo and Shawn Martinez were stellar on the defensive line, John Carroll was a beast at linebacker, and Traylor made a number of big tackles as a defensive back who attacks the ball.

“I felt like our defensive line did a great job,” Owens said. “And John Carroll was a warrior out there.”

Helix began the year with a big 28-22 win over state power Cajon. The Highlanders then lost in overtime, 26-19, to Herriman, ranked No. 6 in Utah. Now, they’ve beaten section No. 1 Cathedral. Over the past 10-plus seasons, Helix improved to 6-6 against Cathedral.

“They’re a great team,” Traylor said, “and we had enough time to prepare for them. And we just came out and played like a family. That’s what it takes to beat a team like this.”

Continuing its grueling nonconference schedule, Helix plays No. 2-ranked St. Augustine (4-0) next week at Mesa College before hosting Westlake Village Oaks Christian, ranked No. 12 in the state.

St. Augustine is ranked 17th in the state. Helix beat the Saints, 25-14, in the regular season last year, but lost to them in the section Division I championship, 21-20, in overtime after fumbling a 2-point conversion attempt from 1½ yards out.

“Fifty-four inches,” Owens told his team after Friday’s win to get them fired up for the next test.


Cathedral Catholic 7  0 14  6 – 27

Helix              7 20  7 14 – 45

H – Delshawn Traylor 62 run (Elijah Laing kick)

CC – Zavien Watson 2 run (Trevor Wahl kick)

H – Christian Washington 30 pass from Kamryn Brown (Elijah Laing kick)

H – FG Elijah Laing 30

H – Keionte Scott 33 run (Elijah Laing kick)

CC – Christian Hall 41 run (Trevor Wahl kick)

CC – Christian Hall 62 run (Trevor Wahl kick)

H – Elelyon Noa 4 run (Elijah Laing kick)

H – Elelyon Noa 44 pass from Kamryn Brown (Elijah Laing kick)

H – Elelyon Noa 3 run (Elijah Laing kick)

CC – Colman Smith 10 pass from DJ Ralph (pass failed)



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