Helix ball carrier Nathan Stinson tries to elude Granite Hills defender Michael Ledesma.
LA MESA Final score: Helix 45, Granite Hills 13
Key plays: On homecoming night Friday, Adrian Petty opened the second half with a 91-yard kickoff return for a TD, and Jalen Davis returned a punt 75 yards for a TD on the final play of the third quarter. In the first half, sophomore Michael Austin heaved a couple of deep passes to Davis (46 yards) and Dashawn Keirsey (60-yard TD) as Helix took a 17-6 lead into halftime.
Key stats: Austin was 9-of-12 for 150 yards, and Nathan Stinson rushed seven times for 97 yards as Helix totaled 363 yards on only 34 plays. Sophomores accounted for 331 of those yards. Davis now has five returns for TDs this season — three kickoffs and two punts.
Quotable: “I had a big mistake on offense when I fumbled,” said Petty, leading to his kick return. “I felt like I needed to make it up to the team.”
Quotable II: “I couldn’t let (Petty) show me up,” Davis said of his punt return. “But I love to see those young stars shine.”
Famine and feast: Remarkably, Granite Hills hasn’t won a playoff game on the field since 1986. Over the same span, Helix has 38 postseason wins, including a state championship, four section titles and 10 trips to Qualcomm Stadium. In what used to be a fierce rivalry, Helix is 25-2-1 against the Eagles since ’86.
Beat it: While many kickers march to the beat of a different drummer, Helix punter Alex Rowley does so literally. He’s also a drummer in the marching band, often skipping halftime pep talks to play with the band on the field. Quipped Granite Hills coach Kellan Cobbs, “With their offense, he probably gets more of a workout at halftime.”
Fast learner: Cobbs got an unusual start in coaching. A former QB and safety who graduated from Granite Hills in 2005, Cobbs played lacrosse at San Diego State before spending 2½ years as a football student assistant under Chuck Long and Brady Hoke.
Chip off the ol’ Granite: Though just a sophomore, Granite Hills’ Jacob Burton looks a lot like his pop, Brad Burton, who along with his twin, Mitch, starred at Granite Hills and SDSU in the 1980s. Jacob, a two-way starter at tight end and defensive end, is already 6-feet-5, 220 pounds. Uncle Mitch is the offensive coordinator.
Helix alumni: Karl Dorrell (Class of 1982) and Dan Hammerschmidt (’82) are assistant coaches for the Houston Texans who will take on Alex Smith (’01) and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Last week, Dorrell (QB coach) and Hammer (offensive assistant) matched wits with Chuck Cecil (’83), the secondary coach of the St. Louis Rams.
Double dipping: The guy who threw a famous “Hail Mary” TD pass to Dorrell in UCLA’s 1986 win over USC, Matt Stevens is the Scotties’ quarterback coach as well as UCLA’s radio color analyst on Saturdays.
Double Prilosec dose: Mamood Moayedi, who owns a Round Table Pizza in La Mesa, supplies plenty of pies and crew members to help raise funds for Helix. Ordered a slice of sausage and pepperoni from Jessica and wondered why other schools don’t try this yummy approach.