Don Bauder 9:30 p.m., July 25
Game of the Week: Santa Fe Christian at Helix
Highlanders dominate Eagles to stay undefeated
LA MESA – Even early in the season, No. 2 Helix is playing complete football. The Highlanders used a big second quarter on their way to dismantling Santa Fe Christian 49-10 on Friday night.
“We played assignment football and we executed really well on defense and offense and we answered to adversity,” said Helix defensive lineman Sam Meredith.
In the second quarter, Helix (2-0) broke a tie game open with big plays on offense and stifling defense. With 1:31 left in the half, Highlanders quarterback Brandon Lewis connected with Darrion Hancock on a screen pass, which Hancock took 62 yards to the house for the third Helix score of the quarter.
“I started to get the flow of it and everything just slowed down,” Lewis said.
Lewis settled in after throwing an interception on his first attempt of the game that Santa Fe Christian defensive back Barrett Floyd returned 49 yards for a touchdown. Helix scored on the ensuing drive, on a Lewis 38-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Pruitt, to tie the game at 7.
“We wanted to come out and throw the ball but I make a mistake on that first pass so we kind of had to it down,” Lewis said. “But then I got the feel for it and we started rolling in the second half.”
After halftime, Helix extended its 28-7 lead by scoring on its first two possessions to squash any chance of an Eagles’ comeback. While the Highlanders rolled on offense, their defense shut down Santa Fe Christian’s misdirection-based Wing T attack, holding the Eagles to only a field goal in the second half.
“I thought we were going to have a better start,” Meredith said. “But our defense picked it up and a couple series later it was good.”
For Santa Fe Christian (1-1), it was a frustrating night. Eagles head coach Nick Ruscetta called the matchup with Helix a reach game.
“We want to play the best and they were available; they’re unbelievable,” Ruscetta said. “I told the kids they just got beat by a great football team. I would love to see a team that’s going to beat them this year.”
While Santa Fe Christian is one of the best small school teams in the section, it was clear Friday night that Helix’s speed was too much for them to overcome. Ruscetta said the Highlanders had an answer for the Eagles every phase of the game.
“To me it’s three things – coaching, scheme and kids – and they have all three of them,” Ruscetta said. “The fact that we were able to schedule them is going to make us a better football team.”
In the first two weeks Helix has stormed out of the gates, beating its opponents by an average of 46 points. After losing in the title game the past two seasons, Meredith said the Highlanders’ goal this season is to return to the title game – and win.
“We still have that whole team from last year and we have a strong team,” Meredith said.
The Highlanders play at Cathedral Catholic (0-2) next Friday. Last year, the Dons beat Helix 41-19 at home.
“It’s definitely motivation. We just have to play assignment football, play a little bit cleaner and I think we can do it,” Meredith said.
Helix receiver Jimmy Pruitt leaves Santa Fe Christian defensive back Barrett Floyd in the dust