by Christopher Mohr
In Friday night's game at
Natone Morgan helped the Matadors gain early momentum by intercepting a pass from Jake Reed. A.J. Stanford then did just about everything a quarterback could do to
Helix took back the momentum in the second quarter with a vengence. Cameron Lee made a spectacular one-handed catch of a pass from Reed for a 19-yard touchdown play to tie the game at seven. Reed continued to go to the air on the Highlanders' next drive and connected with Sean Linton on a 29-yard touchdown pass play to extend the Helix lead to 14-7.
The Highlanders' offense struggled to move the ball in the second half as their first two drives both ended with three-and-outs. In the meantime, Hunter added another six-yard touchdown run to extend
Although Helix was able to move the ball with some success on their next drive, the drive stalled after 11 plays and
If the previous drive stalling after eleven plays did not end any hopes of a Helix comeback, Hunter soon would. He broke free for an 82-yard touchdown run midway in the fourth quarter, to make the score 38-14 and end any hopes of the Highlanders coming back.
"One thing was the key block with Willie Morales," Hunter said about why he broke away on the big run, "I just told Willie, 'Get to that linebacker and it's over' and that's when he got the job done."
In addition to his blocking, Morales added a 34-yard pass reception and a 14-yard run.
The icing on the cake came when Hunter added another touchdown run, this time for 70 yards, to make the score 44-14. From that point on, reserves for both teams played the rest of the way. Jimmy Pruitt ran for a four-yard touchdown in mop-up duty for Helix to make the score somewhat more respectable at 44-21, but after Hunter's performance it was little more than a technicality.
Hunter finished the night with 326 yards on 29 carries. All five of his touchdowns and 279 of his rushing yards came in the second half. That's further than Usain Bolt runs in a track meet!
As to why the team had so much success with the running game in the second half compared to the first, it depends on who you ask.
One theory is that
"We threw them off with the passing game in the first half. We got to talking at the half and came out in the second half with the run and just destroyed them with it," Hunter said about the second half surge.
Stanford seems to agree: "They were sitting back in coverage waiting for us to pass, so we just came and ran the ball down their throats the second half."
From Morales' perspective, success was simply a matter of execution: "We just kept going at it and at it and it worked," he said about the team's effort, "We just kept doing what we do."
Whatever the reason for
With the win,
Helix drops to 6-4 overall with the loss and 2-3 in Grossmont South League. They will most likely play next week in the opening round of the playoffs for Division II.
We will provide coverage on the CIF San Diego Section playoffs when the brackets have been announced.
Christopher Mohr is a freelance writer in the San Diego area and is an avid Chargers, Padres and
MM - Mitchell 38 pass from Stanford (Medina kick)
H - Lee 19 pass from Reed (Sabin kick)
H - Linton 29 pass from Reed (Sabin kick)
MM - Medina FG 37
MM - Hunter 1 run (Medina kick)
MM - Hunter 6 run (Medina kick)
MM - Hunter 6 run (Medina kick)
MM - Hunter 82 run (Medina kick)
MM - Hunter 70 run (kick failed)
H - Pruitt 4 run (Sabin kick)