Helias beats Hannibal 36-10 to clinch No. 1 spot

HANNIBAL, Mo. — After garnering the No. 2 seed in district play last season, the Helias Crusaders left nothing to chance this year.

Helias clinched the top seed in Class 4 District 6 with a 36-10 thrashing of Hannibal Friday night.

“The playoff time is our time,” Helias coach Phil Pitts said. “This is what we put all the work in for.”

The Crusaders had to go on the road to win the district title last year, but that won’t be the case this year after Garrett Buschjost opened up a close game with four touchdown runs in the second half.

The first half was a dogfight with the Crusaders leading just 10-3 at halftime. It turned into a rout in the third quarter thanks to Buschjost.

Buschjost scored on a 5-yard run with 7:30 left in the quarter to put Helias up 17-3. Following a Hannibal fumble, he scored from 1-yard out to put Helias up 24-7 less than a minute later. He scored a 5-yard touchdown run with 1:32 left in the third quarter. That made it 30-3. For good measure, Buschjost added a 16-yard toudchdown run in the fourth quarter to make it 36-3.

Helias’ first-half scores came on a 28-yard field goal by J.C. Szumigala and a 16-yard touchdown pass from Wyatt Porter to Hale Hentges.

Buschjost, who finished with 154 yards on 22 carries, had some help on the offensive end as Porter finished 19-of-23 for 235 yards.

The Crusaders (7-2) outgained the Pirates (6-2) 511-212.

Helias opens district play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Adkins Stadium against Marshall (2-7).

Pick up the sports section in Sunday's News Tribune for additional details including game stats.

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