The Helias Crusaders figured if they played their game, they had a very good shot at winning Friday night.
They played their game.
The Crusaders scored on all six of their first-half possessions and rolled to a 45-3 win against the Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tigers in Central Missouri Activities Conference action at Ray Hentges Stadium.
"Our first units were sharp on both sides of the ball," Helias coach Chris Hentges said. "Our No. 1s on offense and defense were dominant tonight."
With the win, Helias wraps up the inaugural CMAC season as champion at 6-0.
"This was one of our goals, we can check that off the list," Hentges said. "We have bigger goals ahead of us, but this was one the kids wanted to achieve in the first year of the conference and I'm proud we did it."
Helias got the ball first Friday night and drove 63 yards in seven plays to find the end zone.
All seven of the plays were runs. The first was a 22-yard gain by Cole Stumpe, the last was a 15-yard run by the Crusader senior for the touchdown. Vinnie Calvaruso booted the first of his six extra points and Helias led 7-0 with just under nine minutes to play in the first quarter.
After forcing a Smith-Cotton punt, Helias took over at its own 41. After a 6-yard run by Ryan Klahr, Helias quarterback Jake Weaver connected down the field to an open Ethan Holzhauser, who made a great cut to elude a potential Smith-Cotton tackler on his way to a 53-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
"That was a great spin move by Ethan," Hentges said.
The Helias defense forced Smith-Cotton into another punt situation on its next drive. The snap was low on the attempt and the Crusaders took over at the Tiger 7. On the next play, Weaver found Stumpe for the touchdown and a 21-0 Helias lead with 2:44 remaining in the first quarter.
Special teams played a role in Helias' next touchdown as well. Carson Brauner of the Crusaders blocked a punt attempt to set up the Smith-Cotton 23. Four plays later, Alex Clement scored on a 14-yard run and Helias led 28-0 with less than two minutes gone in the second quarter.
Isaac Lopez of the Crusaders recovered a Tiger fumble on Smith-Cotton's next possession and Helias took over at its own 36.
Seven plays later, Weaver and Holzhauser connected again for a touchdown, this one from 22 yards. Helias led 35-0 with a little more than four minutes to go before halftime.
After a Tiger punt, the Crusaders got the ball at their own 36. Ten plays later, Weaver scrambled for a 13-yard touchdown as Helias took a 42-0 lead into intermission.
Helias finished with 284 yards in the first half — 141 rushing and 143 passing. Weaver was 10-of-11 through the air in the half.
"He made good decisions with the football," Hentges said.
With the 42-point lead, the second half was played with the running clock and the Helias starters were done for the night.
Smith-Cotton got the ball first and went on a 16-play drive that ate up more than 11 minutes to start the third quarter. A successful fake punt kept the drive alive before Wes Morrison came on to drill a 36-yard field goal to make it 42-3.
"We kept them out of the end zone, that was a goal for our young defensive guys," Hentges said.
Helias, which ran just eight offensive plays in the second half, got those points back midway through the fourth quarter when Calvaruso booted a 45-yard field goal that made the final 45-3.
"He was excited, we were all excited for him," Hentges said.
Smith-Cotton, which had 26 yards of offense in the first half, finished the game with 138 total yards. The Tigers (0-7 overall, 0-5 CMAC) are scheduled to close the season next Friday at home against Hogan Prep.
Helias (8-0), No. 1 in the Class 4 Missouri Media Rankings, will host Cardinal Ritter (0-2) at 7 p.m. next Friday. Cardinal Ritter fell 56-32 at home Friday night to Jackson, ranked No. 3 in Class 5.