For the second time this season, the Helias Crusaders were behind.
The Borgia Knights started Friday night's game with a touchdown drive, then scored twice in a four-minute span late in the first half to take an eight-point lead.
But Helias was able to tie the game at intermission and went on to post a 49-28 victory on Senior Night at Ray Hentges Stadium.
"We respect Borgia," Helias coach Chris Hentges said. "As the game went on, the boys realized how good a football team they were playing."
The Knights drove 68 yards in eight plays on the game's opening possession, with the touchdown coming on a 13-yard scramble by quarterback Sam Heggemann. The PAT was good and it was 7-0.
The Crusaders answered with an eight-play, 68-yard drive of their own. Alex Clement scored on a 17-yard run and after the extra point kick failed, Borgia led 7-6.
Helias took its first lead of the night with 7:08 left in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by quarterback Jake Weaver. Vinnie Calvaruso booted the PAT and it was 13-7.
Borgia regained the lead with 4:19 to go before halftime when Heggemann connected with Ryan Kell for a 14-yard touchdown. The PAT made it 14-13.
After Helias' only punt of the night pinned Borgia back at its own 10, the Knights needed just two plays to go the 90 yards. The score came on an 88-yard pass from Heggemann to Andrew Patton and the extra point gave Borgia a 21-13 advantage with :45.7 to go before intermission.
It took one play from scrimmage to tie it as Weaver connected with Damon Johanns for a 45-yard touchdown. Ryan Klahr ran for the 2-point conversion to send the game into intermission tied at 21.
Helias got the ball to start the second half and scored the first two times it had the ball.
The first drive measured 71 yards on six plays, with Weaver scoring on an 8-yard run. Helias then went 79 yards on 12 plays, with Weaver scoring from 2 yards out as the Crusaders led 34-21 with 3:08 left in the third quarter.
Borgia followed with a 14-play, 71-yard drive to cut into Helias' advantage. The score came on an 17-yard pass from Heggemann to Kell on a 4th-and-13 play and the PAT cut Helias' lead to 34-28 with 8:08 to play in the game.
"We made a few more plays and finished a few more drives than they did, but both offenses had success moving the football," Hentges said
Helias quickly got that score back as Weaver and Johanns connected for a score for the second time Friday night. This one measured 63 yards and another 2-point run by Klahr made it 42-28.
Carson Brauner's 7-yard touchdown run with 3:19 left, followed by a PAT by Calvaruso, made the final 49-28.
Helias eclipsed the 300-yard mark in rushing for the second straight week, running 46 times for 326 yards Friday night. Weaver led the way with 130 yards on 17 carries, while Clement had 16 carries for 113 yards before leaving the field with an injury in the third quarter.
The Crusaders finished with 532 total yards.
Borgia (2-2) had 362 yards of offense — 134 rushing yards on 28 attempts and Heggemann finishing 14-of-21 passing for 228 yards.
Helias (4-0) returns to Central Missouri Activities Conference action next Friday night at home against Rock Bridge (4-0). The Homecoming game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start. Rock Bridge defeated Capital City 76-49 in CMAC play Friday night in Columbia.
After the game, Hentges and Borgia head coach Dale Gildehaus had an extended conversation at midfield as Helias players were told to go to the locker room to try to defuse tension on the field.
Hentges said Borgia was upset Helias had senior backup quarterback Zach Wolken throw a pass, then Brauner ran the ball after the Crusaders got the ball back near midfield up 21 points with less than two minutes remaining.
"It's Senior Night, I wanted Zach to get one completion," Hentges said. "It was a simple bubble screen that I thought would get tackled quickly, which it did.
"We should have or could have taken three knees, but we wanted Zach to have a couple of regular plays and more than just kneeling for a couple plays on Senior Night. It wasn't us trying to run it up. Zach lives the life of a backup, he runs our scout team and has been playing behind Jake for three years."
Hentges believes the conversation between the coaches was productive.
"Coach Gildehaus and I had a good talk, I think he understands what I was trying to do," Hentges said. "Everything was left good, everything was fine.
"I don't want this to spoil what was a very good football game."