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story.lead_photo.caption Helias running back Ryan Klahr breaks into open field and scoots into the end zone for a touchdown during last season's Homecoming game against Cardinal Ritter at Ray Hentges Stadium. Helias has added Cardinal Ritter to its 2020 schedule. The teams will play Oct. 23 at Ray Hentges Stadium. Photo by Kris Wilson / News Tribune.

The Helias Crusaders have found an opponent for Week 9.

On Wednesday, Helias added Cardinal Ritter to its schedule to fill the hole on Friday, Oct. 26. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Helias currently leads the Class 4 District 6 standings and would receive a bye in the opening round of the six-team district tournament. Helias didn't want to be off Weeks 9 and 10, so they've been looking for an opponent to fill the spot previously held by Vianney. The Golden Griffins came off the Crusaders' schedule in the preseason when they were unsure they would play this year due to COVID-19 concerns in the St. Louis area.

"We can't have Week 9 and Week 10 open," Helias coach Chris Hentges said. "That would have been too long of a break going into the postseason."

Helias reached out to several schools currently open in Week 9 before settling on Cardinal Ritter.

"It came down to Cardinal Ritter or Lutheran North and the Cardinal Ritter coach talked to me first two or three weeks ago," Hentges said. "They agreed to come here, so we will be getting another home game."

It will be Helias' sixth home game this season. The Crusaders were scheduled to travel to Hannibal in Week 1 and to Granite City, Ill., in Week 4. But those games were called off due to COVID-19. In those weeks, Helias hosted Lutheran: St. Charles and Borgia, respectively.

The Crusaders and Lions are familiar opponents, having played the last two seasons.

In 2018, Cardinal Ritter defeated Helias 61-35 in St. Louis on its way to taking second in Class 3. Last year, the Lions defeated the Crusaders 48-14 at Ray Hentges Stadium, but had to forfeit the game for using an ineligible player.

Helias (7-0), No. 1 in the Class 4 Missouri Media Rankings, will host Sedalia Smith-Cotton (0-6) this Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.

Cardinal Ritter opened its season last Friday with a 38-14 loss at Francis Howell. It is scheduled to host Jackson this Friday.

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