Helias to face Rock Bridge [with PODCAST]

Homecoming is a time for parades, dances and an easy victory against an overmatched opponent on the football field.

Helias has the parade and dance covered. The overmatched opponent part ...

“It’s not like we have a lot of easy games on our home schedule,” Helias coach Phil Pitts said as the Crusaders (3-2, No. 5 in Class 4) prepares to face the Rock Bridge Bruins (4-1, No. 5 in Class 6) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Adkins Stadium.

“The way the schedule turned out, this was the week for Homecoming.”

If Helias fans were looking for that easy victory, a trip last Saturday to St. Louis more than sufficed. The Crusaders led 35-0 after one quarter and 63-6 at the half on their way to a 77-6 win against the Vashon Wolverines.

“We got to work on some things we wanted to work on,” Pitts said. “And a lot of guys got to play and you never know when an injury might pop up and somebody has to step in.

“It’s good to get that varsity experience.”

That experience against Vashon could carry over to Saturday night’s game against Rock Bridge.

“They do some similar things scheme-wise,” Pitts said.

It’s safe to say the Bruins do those things a lot better.

Rock Bridge, which averages nearly 39 points per game, is led by junior quarterback Logan Twehous. Twehous (5-11, 185) has thrown for 1,500 yards and nearly 20 touchdowns.

Helias got a good look at Twehous last season in Columbia. As a sophomore, he was 26-of-41 through the air for 290 yards and three touchdowns in Rock Bridge’s 35-6 victory.

“He directs their offense very well,” Pitts said. “He does a great job dissecting things and it’s an offense he runs very well.”

Getting pressure on Twehous will be a key for Helias.

“We’ve got to keep him in the pocket because we can’t afford to let him scramble back there,” Pitts said. “Rock Bridge’s receivers are too good to have to cover for 10-12 seconds.”

Alex Ofodile (jr., 6-3, 190) and Zach Reuter (sr., 6-3, 190) have combined for more than 60 receptions and double-digit touchdowns this season.

“Most teams have just one receiver that you believe you have to try to shut down, but Rock Bridge has two of them,” Pitts said. “We have to make sure we stay sound and make sure they don’t get the big play on us.”

Eli Stout (5-9, 175) leads the Bruins in rushing with nearly 500 yards on the ground.

“We have to try and make them one-dimensional, because if they can either run or pass, it’s going to be tough on our defense,” Pitts said.

The Rock Bridge defense operates out of a 4-2-5 look, similar to what Hickman used against Helias a couple of weeks ago.

The Bruins are giving up nearly 25 points per game.

“We’re going to try and attack them,” Pitts said. “Our skill guys are going to have to be ready to go. We realize we’re going to have to play well on the offensive side.”

Senior linebacker Ross Alexander (6-2, 230) is one of the top defensive players in Central Missouri, Pitts said.

“He’s a big, strong, physical football player that we’re going to have to account for all over the field,” he said.

Helias isn’t going to let the distractions surrounding Homecoming get in the way Saturday night.

“All of those other things are nice, but for this team, it’s about the football game,” Pitts said. “A big win on Homecoming would be great and that’s what we’re planning on happening.”

Notes: Helias and Rock Bridge have one common opponent — Hickman. The Crusaders saw a 17-0 halftime lead evaporate in a 27-17 loss to the Kewpies two weeks ago. Last week, the Bruins bounced the Kewpies 27-10. ... Rock Bridge opened the season with wins against DeSmet (41-35), Fort Zumwalt West (48-14) and Har-Ber of Springdale, Ark., (55-29) before falling to Raymore-Peculiar (31-21). ... Helias’ last victory against Rock Bridge was a 31-28 decision in 2010.

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