East County Sports

Highlanders take Hillers’ best shot




EastCountySports.com staff report


LA MESA – The battle for The Musket was a good, old-fashioned shootout Friday night at Helix High.

In the end, the Highlanders were the ones still standing against their longest-standing rival, Grossmont, 49-35, at Arnaiz Field.

As the game grew longer, the Foothillers’ chances at victory seemed to grow larger until the Scotties finally took away Grossmont’s seemingly endless supply of ammunition for their own muzzleloader.

Freshman quarterback Ryland Jessee and junior receiver Xavier Van connected on two touchdown completions for the hosts.

Van also caught a touchdown pass from helix junior running back Christian Washington to give Helix a 42-35 lead.

Van amassed 160 on his scoring receptions combined.

Jessee passed for 224 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Darius James in the fourth quarter which gave Helix its final touchdown.

Grossmont quarterback Justin Brown had a huge night, as did his leading receiver, Nathan Acevedo.

Brown was 30-of-49 for 482 yards and four touchdowns – three of them to Acevedo – who hauled in eight passed for 250 yards.

“Big Moves” Washington also played his more usual pivotal role in the backfield, rushing for 138 and two touchdowns. His 2-yard score tied the game at 21-all not quite 90 seconds into the second half. A 44-yard run made it 35-28 with 5:46 left in the third quarter.

However, the Highlander ground game as a whole was running roughshod over the Hillers, as Helix senior Alejandro Van Holten gained 104 yards on 16 carries, including a score from 33 yards out that gave the Scots a 42-28 advantage.

Brown connected with Ryan Rodieck for a 69-yard touchdown to tie the game with 7:57 left in the third quarter.

Acevedo had a 61-yard score to give Grossmont a 21-14 lead early in the third quarter. Acevedo had a 20-yard touchdown play that gave Grossmont a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.

Jessee and Van hooked up on a 40-yard score that tied the game at 14-all. Earlier, the duo opened the scoring on a 70-yard connection.

Brown also scored a touchdown rushing in the first quarter from 6 yards away.

The Helix defense forced three fumbles and recorded an interception one week after scoring seven turnovers against their more recent league rival, Steele Canyon, in a 14-0 win.

It was quite the contrast on Friday night against Grossmont.

Grossmont junior Jacob Benevente recorded an interception, while teammate Ryan Odom has a team-high 13 tackles and a sack.

Senior Isaac Laing went 7-for-7 on point-after kicks.


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