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story.lead_photo.caption Helias receiver Cole Stumpe leaps into the air for a catch as Warrensburg defensive back Shelby Pittsenbarger defends during Friday night's Class 4 District 6 championship game at Ray Hentges Stadium. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

The defense set them up, the offense knocked them down.

The Helias Crusaders intercepted four Warrensburg Tiger first-half passes Friday night on their way to a 49-14 victory in the Class 4 District 6 championship game at Ray Hentges Stadium.

"We capitalized on all of those turnovers," Helias coach Chris Hentges said. "We got on them quick."

With the win, Helias (11-0) will host West Plains (10-1) in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. next Friday. It's the first district title for the Crusaders since 2014.

"It's great to win a district, but we can't be satisfied with that," Hentges said.

Warrensburg got the ball first Friday night and were facing a fourth-and-8 at their own 29. The Tigers ran a fake punt, but the play came up one yard short of a first down and the Crusaders took over at the 36.

Eight plays later, Alex Clement scored from 6 yards out and Vinnie Calvaruso's PAT made it 7-0 with 6:37 left in the first quarter.

Drew Higgins of the Crusaders ended the Tigers' next possession, returning an interception 45 yards to the Warrensburg 22. Three plays later, Ryan Klahr took it over from 9 yards out and the PAT made it 14-0 with 2:17 remaining in the quarter.

Klahr ended Warrensburg's next possession with an interception he returned to the Tiger 21. Three plays late, Jake Weaver scored on a 3-yard run and Calvaruso's third of seven PATs made it 21-0 just :30 into the second quarter.

Helias had run 14 offensive plays to that point, all on the ground.

"It's just the way it went," Hentges said. "We wanted to establish the run game, to see if we could run against their seven-man front."

On Klahr's interception return, Helias starting offensive and defensive lineman Dylan Kopp went down with an apparent ankle injury.

Warrensburg got on the board on its next possession when Shelby Pittsenbarger ran 56 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown. Todd Lancaster booted the PAT and it was 21-7.

Helias brought out its passing game the remainder of the half. On the next drive, a pair of passes from Weaver to Cole Stumpe totaled 48 yards to get the ball into Warrensburg territory.

The touchdown came on a 23-yard pass from Weaver to Damon Johanns and it was 28-7.

Aleck Barchenski of the Crusaders came up with an interception on the Tigers' next possession to give the Crusaders the ball at the Warrensburg 33. On the next play, Weaver threw his most impressive pass of the night, threading a toss to Johanns to get the Crusaders to the Tiger 3. Two plays later, Clement took it over from a yard out to make it 35-7 midway through the quarter.

Klahr got his second interception of the night on Warrensburg's next possession. His diving catch gave the ball back to Helias near midfield.

"All 5-foot-3, 115 pounds of him," Hentges said. "He's a warrior."

Two plays later, Weaver connected with Clement for a 40-yard touchdown on a shovel pass to make it 42-7 with 3:30 to go before intermission.

Warrensburg punted the ball to Helias with 1:38 left in the quarter and the Crusaders took over at its own 45.

"We were just trying to get a two-minute drill going," Hentges said.

It was a short drill as Weaver found a wide-open Stumpe down the left side on an out and up route on first down for a 45-yard touchdown and a 49-7 halftime lead.

Weaver finished 6-of-6 passing for 185 yards and three touchdowns on the night as the Helias starters sat the entire second half.

"Jake threw the ball really well and the offensive line did a great job of keeping him clean all night," Hentges said.

The Tigers got back on the board with 2:13 remaining in the game on a 15-yard run by Luke Othic to make the final 49-14.

Warrensburg (8-2) finished with 264 total yards — 120 on 26 carries and 144 on 14-of-22 passing.

Helias finished with 334 total yards. The Crusaders ran the ball 26 times for 102 yards, while completing 9-of-11 passes for 232 yards.

Quinton Baker recovered a Warrensburg fumble in the second half.

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