Helix earns place among San Diego Section’s top 10 football teams

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Four weeks into the 2016 high school football season, San Diego County’s top 10 rankings have begun to solidify. The Helix Highlanders are squarely in the mix while the Grossmont Foothillers and Valhalla Norsemen are both knocking on the door.

Helix, last year’s San Diego Section Open Division champion, kicked off the 2016 season at the top in the weekly San Diego Sportswriters/Sportscasters poll. But the Highlanders dropped to No. 2 following a season opening 28-21 loss to Utah’s Timpview.

Four weeks into the 2016 high school football season, San Diego County’s top 10 rankings have begun to solidify. The Helix Highlanders are squarely in the mix while the Grossmont Foothillers and Valhalla Norsemen are both knocking on the door.

Helix, last year’s San Diego Section Open Division champion, kicked off the 2016 season at the top in the weekly San Diego Sportswriters/Sportscasters poll. But the Highlanders dropped to No. 2 following a season opening 28-21 loss to Utah’s Timpview.

Wins over Clayton Valley Charter (13-0) in the Honor Bowl in Mission Viejo and Eastlake (42-7) in ensuing weeks kept the Scotties at No. 2. But last Friday’s 35-28 non-league loss at third-ranked Cathedral Catholic moved the victorious Dons up to the No. 2 slot and bumped Helix to No. 5.

The now fifth-ranked Highlanders will host the unranked Bonita Vista Barons (0-4) in their next home game on Sept. 30.

Helix kicks off Grossmont Hills League play Oct. 7 against visiting Steele Canyon High School.

St. Augustine (4-0) remains the section’s top-ranked team following last Friday’s 44-14 non-league win over Otay Ranch at Mesa College. The Saints play at Eastlake (1-3) this Friday.

The Oceanside Pirates (4-0) entered this week ranked No. 3, followed by the defending state bowl champion Rancho Bernardo Broncos (4-0) at No. 4. The Madison Warhawks (3-1) followed Helix in the weekly rankings at No. 6. 

The seventh-ranked Mission Hills Grizzlies (3-0), eighth-ranked Poway Titans (4-0), ninth-ranked Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders (2-1) and 10th-ranked Mt. Carmel Sundevils (4-0) round out this week’s rankings.

The Foothillers (3-0) and Norsemen (4-0), both undefeated, just missed the top 10 cut along with the San Marcos Knights (3-1), Bishop’s Knights (3-0) and Carlsbad Lancers (1-3, including forfeits).

There are seven undefeated teams in the current top 10 poll, including six with 4-0 records.

Go green

Quarterback Carson Baker completed 14 of 22 passing attempts for 168 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the win at Eastlake while Ezekiel Noa rushed 12 times for 136 yards and scored two touchdowns.

Rashad Scott had five catches for 103 yards while Scott Young caught six passes for 24 yards and scored two touchdowns, including one on a fumble recovery in the end zone.

Mugen Blue (one carry, 12 yards) and Duce Reynolds (nine carries, 30 yards) each scored one rushing touchdown to round out the Helix scoring.

Scott accumulated 163 all-purpose yards in the game (103 receiving, 27 kick return and 33 punt return). Baker also rushed three times for 61 yards in the victory.

The Scotties zoomed in front 28-7 in last Friday’s clash between the county’s second- and third-ranked teams only to have the host Dons record an amazing comeback with 28 consecutive second-half points to post a dramatic one touchdown win over Helix.

Two mistakes cost the Scotties in the game. A bad snap set up a short 13-yard scoring drive by the Dons late in the third quarter to tie the game 28-all.

The back-breaker proved to be a 37-yard interception return by Ja’von Figaro. Baker had initially hit Young on a crossing pattern but the ball bounced off Young into the hands of Figaro for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.

The Highlanders drove to the Cathedral one-yard line late in the game but were denied by the Dons on fourth down.

Cathedral quarterback Tate Haynes led the stunning comeback by passing for 193 yards and two TDs.

Baker amassed some fantastic numbers in the loss – 329 passing yards, an 81.8 completion percentage and two touchdowns against one interception.

Blue led the Highlanders on the ground with nine carries for 72 yards and one touchdown while Young made 14 catches for 164 yards and one TD. 

Noa rushed three times for just three yards but caught four passes for 63 yards and one touchdown. Scott had eight catches for 88 yards.

The Dons limited Helix to 78 total rushing yards and one touchdown while weathering 329 passing yards and two scores. The Scotties also scored on a 67-yard punt return by Scott to account for their four touchdowns in the game. 

Young led the team with 211 all-purpose yards in the loss – 164 receiving and 47 on kick returns.

On the season, Baker has thrown for 972 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also rushed for 55 yards and carries a 109.4 quarterback rating.

Noa leads the Highlanders with 160 yards on 20 carries and has scored three rushing touchdowns. Reynolds has rushed for 125 yards on 33 carries and has scored one touchdown while Blue has rushed for 84 yards on 10 carries and has scored two touchdowns.

Leading receivers include Young with 34 catches for 453 yards and four touchdowns, Scott with 18 catches for 254 yards and one touchdown and Noa with eight catches for 92 yards and one TD.

Young leads the Scotties in overall scoring with five touchdowns (four receiving and one fumble return) and 562 all-purpose yards. Noa has four touchdowns to his credit (three rushing and one receiving).

Up-and-coming

Grossmont plays at Lincoln (3-0) this Friday after a bye week. Hunter Gaines has thrown for 632 yards and six touchdowns while Shevell Sterling Jr. has rushed for 338 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Foothillers. 

James Mackey has rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns while Dominique Guevara has 20 receptions for 296 yards and four touchdowns.

The Grossmont defense has five sacks, three interceptions and six fumble recoveries in three games.

Valhalla routed host Mar Vista, 45-0, last Friday as Jerome Johnson scored two rushing touchdowns, D.J. Madara and Connor Moser each caught scoring passes and Khyree Poole scored on a 65-yard punt return.

Bostyn Thomas also scored on one touchdown run while Jacob Paape kicked a 35-yard field goal and successfully converted six extra-point tries.

Mar Vista had entered the game undefeated at 3-0.

The Norsemen will host Patrick Henry (1-3) in a non-league game this Friday. Kick-off is 7 p.m.

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