On the third play from scrimmage, Helix quarterback Carson Baker hit Rashad Scott, in stride, on a swing pass almost parallel to the line of scrimmage. One of Helix’s bevy of sprinters, Scott sped down the right sideline, not stopping until he completed a 63-yard touchdown.
It was a sign of things to come. Playing a dominant opening half in which they stretched the lead to 43 points, Helix sped to a 62-41 victory over San Marcos in the San Diego Section Open Division semifinals.
The second-ranked Highlanders (11-1) advance to Saturday’s championship game where they’ll meet No. 1 Mission Hills, a 20-17 winner over Torrey Pines.
By ground and by air, Helix throttled San Marcos’ defense. Sophomore running back Elelyon “Fatto” Noa carried 35 times for 302 yards and scored four touchdowns, from 3, 40, 1 and 48 yards.
“Young man, you play three times your size,” San Marcos coach Jason Texler told the 5-foot-8, 175-pound Noa after the game. “You’re a helluva player.”
Informed of his yardage total at Helix’s midfield, Noa’s eyes swelled wide and he said, “Whoooooa!”
Baker, who will attend UC Davis, completed 12 of 17 passes for 225 yards and the one TD. He also rushed for two scores.
In the first half, when the Scotties bolted to a 48-6 lead, Helix’s defense was every bit as solid as its offense. The Scotties intercepted two passes and recorded three sacks.
To its credit, San Marcos (9-3) did not fold in the second half, scoring 35 points. Junior quarterback Miles Hastings finished completing 22 of 35 passes for 410 yards and 4 TDs.
“l told them (at halftime),” said Texler, “all you have is you have 24 minutes to play. Play hard. Play for each other. They left everything on the field.”
With No. 1 Mission Hills and No. 2 Helix set to square off Saturday at Southwestern College, it’s the matchup many fans wanted to see, including Helix second-year head coach Robbie Owens.
“Being at Helix, you want to play the best,” said Owens. “Since we lost (to Lancaster Paraclete), on a 100-degree afternoon, we’ve heard a lot about Mission Hills, that they’re the championship team.
“I feel people have forgotten about us.”
Norcross is a freelance writer.
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