East County Sports

Highlanders satisfy on night of greats

Helix's Dylan Butler wraps up a Mira Mesa ball carrier. / Nicole Noel - SDFNL


No. 16 HELIX 28, MIRA MESA 20


EastCountySports.com staff report


LA MESA – The Helix Highlanders hosted its former players from all generations as the program celebrated 70 years of football on Friday night.

In addition to the announcement of all-decade teams from the 1950s through the 2010s, the Scotties also celebrated their championship teams from the program’s illustrious history.

Also honored were Helix coaching greats Jim Arnaiz, Rick Ash, Donnie Van Hook, Dave Van Matre, James Cook, and Demaja Jones.

And the current Highlander team impressed, or at least satisfied, their cadre of alumni players and coaches on this night by holding on for a 28-20 victory over the Mira Mesa Marauders on Arnaiz Field at Hart Stadium.

Helix running back Christian Washington, a senior who will be a headliner on Helix’s all 2020s team, rushed for 202 yards on 27 carries and scored three touchdowns.

Washington, possibly the top back in the county at the moment, also had three receptions for 34 yards.

Washington had a 56-yard run with 4:41 left in the game to shift the field position as the Highlanders clung to a 15-12 lead, however, he had to leave the game for the second time with leg cramps.

Sophomore Kevin Allen rushed for a touchdown for the Scotties with four minutes left in the game on a 16-yard run to extend the advantage to 21-12.

Mira Mesa botched a punt snap with two minutes to go, giving the Helix a 4-yard field. Washington returned to the game for his thrid score.

It was the special teams that left something to be desired by the Highlander faithful.

The Marauders’ Makai Thompson returned the opening kickoff of the second half 97 yards for a touchdown after he had to go back to pick up the football before starting his dash upfield. That drew Mira Mesa to within three points.

Late in the game, after Washington’s third score, Chris Brown returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown for Mira Mesa. The score brought Mira Mesa to within eight points after a successful two-point conversion pass.

Helix recovered a wild smash up on the ensuing onside attempt by the Marauders.

Senior James Johnson had four receptions for 27 yards for the Highlanders. He also defended a deep pass just in front of the goal line with 6:28 left in the game.

Sophomores Jordan Gash and Daniel Larsina recorded sacks for the Highlanders.

After Helix owned the ball nearly the entire first quarter outside of one series, senior Noah Horvath opened the scoring with 1:58 left in the first quarter on a 33-yard field goal.

Moments later, junior Adren Parker had an interception for Helix near midfield.

Washington scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:04 left in the first half, as Helix continued to dominate the play for the first quarter and a half, allowing the Marauders just a handful of plays.

Following a 12-yard punt by Mira Mesa, Washington took the first handoff of the next series and rushed through a big hole for a 40-yard score, giving Helix a 15-0 lead.

Mira Mesa started to edge back into the game with a late drive in the first half, getting a touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the first half from star receiver Tajon Evans from quarterback Alex Zappia.

Helix got a nice return from Washington on the ensuing kickoff but the Highlanders ran out of time after getting down to the MMHS 2.

Helix will travel to face 11th-ranked upstart Otay Ranch (1-0) next Friday.

Mira Mesa (1-0)... 0  6 6  8 - 20
Helix (1-0)....... 3 12 0 13 - 28

H РFG Horvath  33
H – Washington 1 run (PAT failed)
H – Washington 40 run (PAT failed)
MM – Evans pass from Zappia (PAT failed)
MM – Thompson 97 kickoff return (PAT failed)
H – K.Allen 16 run (PAT failed)
H – Washington 4 run (Horvath kick)
MM – Brown 90 kickoff return (pass good)


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