Hickman rallies to down Helias

Helias cornerback John Rhea (24) and safety J.C. Szumigala attempt to bring down Hickman quarterback Mason Murray on Friday night at Adkins Stadium.

Helias cornerback John Rhea (24) and safety J.C. Szumigala attempt to bring down Hickman quarterback Mason Murray on Friday night at Adkins Stadium. Photo by Kris Wilson.

By definition, halves are equal.

But in football, they aren’t. At least they weren’t Friday night as the Helias Crusaders saw a 17-0 halftime lead evaporate in a 27-17 loss to the Hickman Kewpies at Adkins Stadium.

“Offensively in the second half we didn’t get the job done,” Helias coach Phil Pitts said. “As the play-caller, that’s on my shoulders.”

The Crusaders dominated the Kewpies on both sides of the ball in the first half. Helias racked up 166 total yards and 10 first downs in the opening two quarters while limiting Hickman to just 94 yards and a single first down.

But the script was flipped in a big way in the second half as the Kewpies totaled 282 yards and 12 first downs in scoring four times. On the other side, Helias gained just 63 yards on 24 plays in the final two quarters.

“This loss squarely falls on the head football coach,” Pitts said.

It looked like the Crusaders were going to carry the first-half momentum into the third quarter when the Kewpies fumbled on the third play. It was recovered by J.C. Szumigala and Helias had the ball at the Kewpie 29.

But an illegal procedure call on first down pushed the Crusaders back 5 yards. That was followed by a sack, an incompletion and a Helias punt.

Hickman then got the first of its four straight scoring drives, marching 89 yards in seven plays. A 38-yard run by Justise Keith, followed on the next play by a 34-yard pass from Mason Murray to Bohannon Davidson, got Hickman deep into Helias territory.

The score came on the first of three TD passes from Murray to Grant Jones, this one from 15 yards out to make it 17-7.

Murray and Jones hooked up from 20 yards out on Hickman’s next drive and it was 17-14 less than a minute into the fourth quarter. A 7-yard run by Keith gave Hickman its first lead at 21-17 with 6:30 remaining before Murray and Jones connected from 19 yards out in the final minute.

Murray finished 10-of-17 through the air for 180 yards. Keith paced the Kewpies with 120 yards rushing on 22 carries.

Helias took the lead midway through the first quarter on an 8-yard run by Wyatt Porter. Szumigala’s PAT made it 7-0. The Crusaders got on the board twice in the second quarter on a 26-yard field goal by Szumigala and a 2-yard run by Garrett Buschjost.

Buschjost totaled 105 yards on the ground in the game.

Helias (2-2, ranked No. 3 in Class 6) is back in action next Saturday against Vashon. Game time is 1:30 p.m. at Gateway Tech High School. Hickman is now 2-2.

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