Porter breaks records as Helias downs MICDS

ST. LOUIS — Records are made to be broken, even if you don’t realize you’re the one breaking them.

Helias senior quarterback Wyatt Porter bettered a pair of Crusader career passing marks in Saturday’s 51-13 victory against the MICDS Rams.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” said Porter, who is now Helias’ all-time leader in touchdown passes with 44 and completion leader with 277 counting both regular-season and playoff games.

Porter eclipsed the marks of 42 touchdowns by Paul Kaiser and 272 completions by Nathan Stonner. The records may be nice, but Porter has his attention on bigger things.

“As long as we get that championship, they don’t mean anything,” he said.

The marks came during an afternoon that saw the Crusaders struggle early on offense.

“We started off a little rocky, but we got it sorted out,” Porter said.

Penalties were the big problem early. Helias came into the game averaging just four penalties, but were flagged six times in the first quarter alone. It was a combination of blocks in the back and holding calls that slowed the Crusaders.

“It was a little sloppy, we weren’t sharp and crisp,” Helias coach Phil Pitts said. “That’s on us as coaches, to make sure we’re ready to go from the start. We didn’t need to do any of that.”

Despite the flag woes, the Crusaders led 16-0 after one quarter. Garrett Buschjost got Helias on the board, capping a 4-play, 42-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. J.C. Szumigala booted the PAT and it was 7-0 with 7:03 left in the period.

Szumigala booted a 28-yard field goal with 1:30 left to make it 10-0 before Patrick Ward returned an interception 25 yards for a score about a minute later. The snap on the PAT was bad and it was 16-0.

Helias put the game away in the second quarter with three Porter touchdown passes.

“It’s not the team that we play, it’s going out there and playing to the best of our ability each game,” Porter said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Rock Bridge or MICDS.”

Porter first hit Buschjost with a 17-yard strike with 9:15 to go, then threw the last two in the final minute of the half.

Ryan Tannehill’s 14-yard reception made it 30-6 with :44.9 left before halftime. Tannehill also had a pair of 22-yard catches on the drive.

“Ryan got us going,” Pitts said. “He made plays when his team needed it.”

Instead of running the ball to get time off the clock, the Rams threw three incompletions and the Crusaders got the ball back with :13.2 remaining at the MICDS 48.

Pitts said the Crusaders were looking to get into field-goal territory, but a 14-yard pass from Porter to Michael Tannehill got the clock down to :06.5.

“We took a little too much time on the first play, so we decided to work on our Hail Mary,” he said.

The prayer was answered when Porter found Christian Hake at the back of the end zone as time expired and it was 37-6.

“That was pretty cool,” Porter said.

The Helias defense was strong throughout the half. The Rams, whose touchdown came on a 69-yard interception return by Noble Tobias with 3:30 to go before halftime, managed just 82 total yards and two first downs in the first two quarters.

MICDS didn’t get a first down in the second half until the final three minutes of the game.

“Our defense came to play from the get-go,” Pitts said.

A pair of Buschjost touchdown runs in the third quarter — from 6 and 7 yards — gave the Crusaders a 44-6 advantage heading into the final period.

MICDS (3-4) got its other touchdown in the final minute.

Helias (5-2, ranked No. 4 in Class 4) will host C.B.C. (6-1, No. 4 in Class 6) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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