Back to back wins against Valhalla push Helix on in playoffs

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Not all wins are pretty, but the Helix Highlanders will take whatever they can get. And on Nov. 18, they got their first playoff win of the season from the Valhalla Norsemen.

The home game, which came after a bye week, was also their second consecutive game against the Norsemen, who they beat 40-13 on November 4. Their playoff win was 14-0.

Valhalla’s head coach Charles Bussey said he the team really stepped up, despite the eventual loss.

Not all wins are pretty, but the Helix Highlanders will take whatever they can get. And on Nov. 18, they got their first playoff win of the season from the Valhalla Norsemen.

The home game, which came after a bye week, was also their second consecutive game against the Norsemen, who they beat 40-13 on November 4. Their playoff win was 14-0.

Valhalla’s head coach Charles Bussey said he the team really stepped up, despite the eventual loss.

“We lost to these guys 40-13 a couple weeks ago and we had our chance at revenge and we just kind of blew it short,” he said. “But I’m proud of the kids. We played lights-out defensively. I don’t think anybody expected that.”

Valhalla’s on-fire defense, and multiple unfavorable calls towards Helix, made it a low-scoring game for the Highlanders. Those 14 points were the fewest Helix has racked up in any winning game this season.

Helix head coach Robbie Owens praised the Norsemen for keeping the Scotties on their toes the whole night. Penalties, he said, also played a factor in their low-score.

“Offensively, we just struggled because of penalties,” he said. “We got seven holding calls and when you get holding calls it kills drive. We had some opportunities to score and we got ourselves out of scoring position.”

Several of those calls came in or within yards of the end zone, making for a frustrating evening for senior wide receiver Evan Perkins, who caught two touchdown passes that were later discarded by officials.

Offense may have been underwhelming, but both teams flexed their muscles defensively. Helix junior cornerback Rashad Scott and junior linebacker Tyreece Tarrant-Patane sacked Valhalla’s quarterback Bryan Madriz on a third down for a seven-yard loss. Valhalla senior defensive lineman Tyler Eastlick returned the sack against Highlander quarterback Carson Baker for a nine-yard loss. Baker was in for a tough night, also getting the sack from junior defensive end Josh McNish-Heider and then again from senior linebacker Jerome Johnson.

Owens said the break week may have interrupted the team’s focus, but they are not going to complain about a win.

“It’s playoff time,” he said. “When you win, you get to move on. It doesn’t matter how ugly it is.”

The Highlanders are going to use this week to correct mistakes, said Perkins.

“We had a good time (tonight) but we’ve got to set a better tone,” he said. “Offense didn’t dominate the line. And it’s not just them. Defense, we gave up some big plays that we didn’t need to give up. Overall, it was not our best game, but we still pulled through.”

Perkins said he has every confidence in their next game against Rancho Bernardo on Friday, November 25.

“It’s gonna be a great game. It’s gonna be one for everyone to come out and watch,” he said.

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