CIF Open Division Championship: Helix Highlanders 44, St. Augustine Saints 30
The most anticipated game of the year proved to be worth the wait. The top 2 football teams in San Diego duked it out to the finish in front of a crowd with nearly 10,060 in attendance.
On the first drive, Helix marched down the field to end with a 2 yard score by #2, the Silver Pigskin nominee Nathen Stinson. On the Saints opening drive, they knotted it at 7 with a QB keep by Rodney Thompson going for 42 yards.
Immediately after, Stinson took it 80 yards to the house to go up 14-7, still in the 1st quarter. Saints’ QB Thompson took control during the 2nd quarter, leading St. Augustine down the field with his arm but ending the drive with his legs, this time running it in from 3 yards out. Before the end of the half, Thompson had another 2 yard TD run to put the Saints up. But the lead didn’t last long as Helix’s QB Michael Austin called his own number for an 8 yard TD run. It was tied at 21 at the half.
The third quarter was a completely different story. Scotties’ Evan Perkins intercepted the Saints on their first drive, which led to a 76 yard catch and run for the score from Austin to Stinson. Saints threw another INT on the next drive, this time Highlanders’ Jihad Woods got it. This set up another long Stinson run going for 69 yards, Helix was up 35-21. After an intentional grounding call on the Saints who were throwing out of their endzone, the Scotties were rewarded with a safety.
But here come the Saints. After recovering a Helix fumble, Elijah Preston ran it 10 yards into the endzone to cut the lead to 37-27 to end the 3rd quarter. Midway through the 4th, St. Augustine scored 3 on a 27 yard FG by Liam Griste. With less than 10 minutes left, it was 37-30 Scotties.
Helix was marching down the field looking to score again when the Saints stopped them on 3 downs at midfield. It was 4th and 1 and all 10,000 plus fans were on edge. Stinson received the ball on the handoff and went 52 yards up the middle virtually untouched to find the endzone.
After an INT by Helix’s Ezekiel Noa, the Scotties iced their win. The final from Southwestern College was 44-30 Helix over St. Augustine. Michael Austin ended the night with 1 rushing TD and 1 passing TD. Nathen Stinson had 231 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns along with the 76 yard catch and run score. Coach Starr will end his last season with Helix as Open Division champs.
This Saturday, Southwestern College will be the background for what may be the most anticipated game in San Diego prep football. #1 Helix Highlanders and #2 St. Augustine Saints will battle it out for the title of best football team in San Diego.
Helix (10-1) is coming off of a 42-14 win against Cathedral Catholic last week. The Scotties have only lost one game all season to Chaparral, a team from Arizona, by a score of 23-19. Every Friday night after their season opening loss, has belonged to Helix. They have outscored opponents by a margin of 487-126. This Highlander team is looking to win out for their beloved coach, Troy Starr, who will be resigning at the end of the season.
The St. Augustine Saints (10-2) handed Mission Hills their one and only loss of the year last week, beating them 48-14. Similarly to Helix, the Saints have only lost to out of town schools. The Saints are last years’ reigning Division I Champs and the year before that they were Division II winners. This team knows a thing or two about winning championships.
This game features 2 premier running backs that are also both Silver Pigskin Nominees. Nathen Stinson of Helix has 1,468 rushing yards on the season while Saints’ Elijah Preston has racked up 2,089. Expect to see a lot of offensive production on the ground.
Who will be the 2015 CIF San Diego Open Division Champs? Watch a special extended sports broadcast on KUSI-TV this Saturday at 10:45pm to catch up on all the championship action.