Strong second half propels Helix into first

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Photo by Colin Grylls. Junior running back Elelyon Noa runs back to the sideline after scoring a 28-yard touchdown in Helix’s 56-21 win over Granite Hills.

Helix clinched at least a share of the Grossmont Hills League football championship with a 56-21 win over Granite Hills last Friday.

The Highlanders (6-3, 4-0) outscored the Eagles 28-0 in the third quarter to pull away as the defense did not allow a first down in the period. Junior Delshawn Traylor intercepted a pass as a defensive back and scored two rushing touchdowns at quarterback.

Helix clinched at least a share of the Grossmont Hills League football championship with a 56-21 win over Granite Hills last Friday.

The Highlanders (6-3, 4-0) outscored the Eagles 28-0 in the third quarter to pull away as the defense did not allow a first down in the period. Junior Delshawn Traylor intercepted a pass as a defensive back and scored two rushing touchdowns at quarterback.

“I feel like during the first half it was just more miscommunication, not really our alignment and stuff like that,” Traylor said. “And then when after we went into the locker room we really hunkered down and focused on our jobs. Just played team defense, really.”

Helix’s first-half penalties didn’t help the cause either. A roughing the passer penalty tacked 10 extra yards onto a 25-yard pass from Granite Hills junior running back Cody Wilson to junior receiver Richard Harris, setting up a 10-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Cristopher Ostreng to Wilson to make it 7-7.

With the Highlanders leading 14-7, another roughing the passer call negated an interception by sophomore Jaiden Brown on third-and-11 from the Eagles’ 16-yard line. Two plays later, another roughing penalty moved Granite Hills (8-1, 3-1) to midfield.

Ostreng again made the most of the second chance, completing passes for first downs on third-and-11, third-and-10 and fourth-and-6 before capping the 15 play, 83-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-14 with 14.4 seconds left in the half.

“Coach had a deep talk during halftime saying we should be playing Helix football instead of stooping down to their level,” junior running back Elelyon Noa said.

Noa was the focal point for the Highlanders’ offense, finishing with 257 rushing yards on 25 carries. He also scored three touchdowns.

“As I’ve told everybody, when we get on the field offensively we know we have the best player on the field,” Owens said. “So we’ve got to take advantage of that.”

Noa, however, passed on the credit.

“It’s not me, man, it’s my O-line,” Noa said. “It starts with them up front.”

With the win, Helix took sole possession of first place in the Grossmont Hills League. If the Highlanders beat Steele Canyon 7 p.m. Friday, they will win the conference outright.

“Steele Canyon has a lot of kids that are transfers from Helix,” Owens said. “I think their whole entire secondary is Helix guys. They’ve got coaches that have coached at Helix. So there’s always gonna be that rivalry. Our kids know their kids and so we always know Steele Canyon’s gonna come out and play us tough.”

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