Lancaster Paraclete proved its win over Mater Dei Catholic in last year’s SoCal 3A football final wasn’t a fluke as the Spirits rolled into Cathedral Catholic High on a sweltering Saturday afternoon and beat San Diego’s best.
Ranked No. 52 in the state by MaxPreps, Paraclete weathered some early adversity and defeated Helix — ranked No. 1 in San Diego and No. 12 in the state — 23-6 in the Honor Bowl.
“Helix was blitzing like crazy in the first half,” said Paraclete quarterback Brevin White. “They were bringing the house, coming from all over. And we made some mental errors on trick plays. It was tough. But the defense picked us up.”
Helix had six first-half possessions and advanced into Paraclete territory every time, reaching the 16, 42, 33, 45, 46 and 13. The drive at the 16 came to an end when quarterback Carson Baker’s fourth-and-4 pass was incomplete. A fumble killed the drive at the 13.
“This is a huge wake-up call,” said Helix coach Robbie Owens. “I was really proud of the defense in the first half.
“Really, we had a chance to be up 28-0, but we didn’t do it.
“You’re only as good as your last game. We were good last week (a 35-0 win over Herriman of Utah). This week ... not so much.”
The Highlanders have a bye Friday. Owens said that’s good and bad.
“It’s bad because we have two weeks to sit on this,” Owens said. “It’s good because we have two weeks to prepare for some tough games.”
Helix hosts Cathedral Catholic in two weeks, then plays St. Augustine.
Baker finished the day completing 14 of 29 passes for 137 yards. Helix didn’t score until 1:45 left in the game when Baker hit Chris Rivera with a 14-yard pass.
White finished 19 of 37 for 210 yards and three TDs.
“This win is a testament to our preparation,” White said. “We knew how tough Helix was, so we worked hard in practice.
“Sure it was hot today, but it was 103-108 every day at practice in Lancaster. We practice on grass and it was really hot on the turf here. But you slap yourself in the face, pour water down your back and keep playing.”