East County Sports

Eagles win Hills title in 4 OTs over Helix

Granite Hills' Josh Zander. / Manorack Sukhaseum



No. 6, GRANITE HILLS 46, No. 5 HELIX 44


ECS staff report

LA MESA — In a thriller that will be remembered for decades to come, everything was on the line in Friday’s (Oct. 28) regular-season football finale at Benton Hart Stadium.

In a battle between a pair of Top 10 ballclubs to determine the Grossmont Hills League championship, 7th-ranked Granite Hills was able to snuff out a two-point conversion attempt in the fourth overtime period, giving the Eagles a historic 46-44 triumph over the perennial champion and 5th-ranked Helix.

The Highlanders are also the defending CIFSDS Division I titlists.

The four overtimes equals the longest contest in East County history and pushed the case for Granite Hills to gain the top seed when the CIF-San Diego Section Division II championships start next week.

Granite Hills will receive a first-round bye as the top seed. The Eagles will host either the La Jolla Vikings or Sante Fe Christian Eagles on Nov. 11.

Meanwhile, Helix, which was all but mathematically eliminated from the CIFSDS Open Division field a couple of weeks ago, still grabbed a first-round bye in Division I. The Highlanders will host either the Eastlake Titans or St. Augustine Saints in two weeks.

Helix held a 17-14 lead at the half, but a 10-0 advantage in the third quarter placed Granite Hills in front, 24-17.

However, a rushing touchdown by Scotties running back Jason Sisneros pulled the hosts even on a 1-yard run with five minutes remaining. Granite Hills also gained an opportunity to win in regulation on its final drive, but Scotties linebacker nIsaiah Gonzalez forced a fumble just as the Eagles entered the Helix red zone with three minutes left.

In the first set of OT periods, it looked like the special team would decide the outcome, but both kickers capped both possession by exchanging field goals.

Included were long boots to extend the game, as Granite’s Robert Petrich hit from 40 yards to cap the first overtime, then Helix’s Joshua Hossmann-Lee connected from 43 yards to end the second overtime at 30-all.

Finally, Granite Hills continued its ground assault to tally both the TD and two-point conversion. Helix matched the TD on a pass but fell short on the rush attempt for two to extend the battle into a fifth extra period.

Eagle junior Josh Zander was the star of the game. He caught two touchdown passes, finishing with six receptions for 169 yards.

Granite Hills senior Nico Tomasello had the most significant performance of his career, passing for 180 yards and the two touchdowns.

Pablo Jackson, an Eagle sophomore, rushed for two touchdowns. He finished with 57 yards on the ground.

Maxwell Turner, a sophomore, added a rushing touchdown for Granite Hills.

Senior Royce Harper had an interception and a sack for Granite Hills.

Junior Nokoi Maddux added an interception for the Eagles.

Jordan Glaze and Derrek Ibarra both had five solo tackles for the Eagles. Four of Ibarra’s tackles were for loss.

The decision gave the Eagles their first-ever GHL crown and the school’s first league title since 2015-17 when they captured three consecutive Grossmont Valley League titles before gaining promotion.

In the Spring 2020 season shortened due to the pandemic, no official league titles were rendered, but Granite Hills did finish with East County’s best overall record and were ranked third overall in CIFSDS play by the media. The Eagles claimed a mythical GHL title that year.

Helix junior Ryland Jessee passed for three touchdowns, including two to senior Quincy Herron.

Herron had 11 receptions on the night for 91 yards.

Junior running back Kevin Allen III rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown for the Highlanders.


Granite Hills (8-2, 3-0).. 7  7 10 0 3 3 8 8 - 46
Helix (7-3, 2-1).......... 7 10  0 7 3 3 8 6 - 44

Hel — Herman 9 pass from Jessee (Carlson kick)
GH — Turner 2 run (Petrich kick)
Hel — Allen 2 run (Hossman-Lee kick)
GH — Jackson 5 run (Petrich kick)
Hel — FG Hossman-Lee 42
GH — Zander 72 pass from Tomasello (Petrich kick)
GH — FG Petrich 26
Hel — Sisneros 1 run (Hossman-Lee kick)

First Overtime
Hel — FG Hossman-Lee 22
GH — FG Petrich 40

Second Overtime
GH — FG Petrich 20
Hel — FG Hossman-Lee 43

Third Overtime
Hel — Herman 12 pass from Jessee (Hermann pass from Jessee)
GH — Zander 25 pass from Tomosello (Tomosello pass from Riley)

Fourth Overtimr
GH — Jackson 2 run (Zander pass from Tomosello)
Hel — Arrington 25 pass from Jessee (pass failed)


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