by Christopher Mohr
October 25th, 2010 (La Mesa) - Domination. That word best describes how the Highlanders of Helix High School played last Friday night (10/22) in their homecoming game at Jim Arnaiz Field against the Foothillers of Grossmont High School. Not only did the Foothillers not score in this game, they could not get a first down from their own effort until near the end of the third quarter. The Highlanders' offense was as good at scoring points as their defense was at denying them and the end result was a 41-0 blowout win.
Domination also describes the Highlanders' historical record against the Foothillers. Helix has a 36-17-2 record against Grossmont in what is known as the 'Musket Game'. Since 1951, whenever the two teams play each other in football, they play for a musket trophy -- and the bragging rights that accompany it.
The Foothillers have not had the musket since 1992. Their last win against Helix was a 28-14 win back in 1991. In spite of the schools' proximity to each other, league realignment and non-league scheduling have prevented the Musket Game from being an annual occurance. The two teams last faced each other in a non-league game in 2006, which Helix won 20-16.
In the first quarter it appeared that this would be a low scoring game. The first two drives for either team either ended with a punt or the ball going over on downs. Even the first drive that Helix scored on did not get off to a good start, with delay and false start penalties that are usually symptomatic of an offense whose players are not in sync with each other.
It seemed as though a switch that could make an offense execute effectively had been turned on, however when Brandon Lewis found Romello Carbuccia on a screen pass that went for 63 yards and a touchdown that gave the Highlanders a 6-0 lead. Lewis would have a productive game with two more touchdown passes and a touchdown run from one yard out.
"We've been studying their defense all week and designed plays to run against their defense," Carbuccia said about the play.
According to Lewis, the screen play was in response to a Foothillers defense that may have been too aggressive in trying to blitz him.
"We saw that they were trying to bring the rush and we knew that they were going to come, they were going to blitz, so we dumped the screen pass."
The Highlanders' rushing attack was another reason for their win. Darrien Hancock rushed 15 times for 103 yards and sat out much of the second half. His replacement, Michael Adkins, had a better game statistically with 7 rushes for 124 yards and one touchdown.
Unlike the Highlanders, the Foothillers could never break out of the early offensive futility. The only first down they had in the first half came from a roughing the passer penalty against Helix. The offense went from not scoring to giving up points when Helix defender Gary Thompson intercepted a pass from Desean Waters and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. Thompson had a stellar performance on defense, adding two sacks to his 'pick six'.
"We came out and did our job. Coach gave us the plays, and we executed them well," said Thompson about the defense's performance.
With the loss, Grossmont drops to 6-1 overall, 1-1 in Grossmont Hills league play. The Foothillers will play their next game at home, a league game, against the Eagles of Granite Hills High School. Last Friday, the Eagles (5-2, 1-1) squeaked by West Hills 28-27.
Helix improves to 7-0 overall, 2-0 in Grossmont Hills league play. Their next game is a league game at home against the Norsemen of Valhalla High School. Valhalla (3-4, 0-2) lost their last game to Steele Canyon, 35-14.
"We had it before, but it feels better that I had an opportunity to help keep it," Lewis said about winning the musket.
Christopher Mohr is a freelance writer in the San Diego area and is an avid Chargers, Padres and
H - Carbuccia 63 pass from Lewis (kick failed)
H - Pruitt 10 pass from Lewis (Reed kick)
H - Merideth 8 pass from Lewis (Reed kick)
H - Thompson 30 interception return (Reed kick)
H - Lewis 1 run (Reed kick)
H - Adkins 58 run (Reed kick)