Helena gets back on track with dominant road win

Published 1:09 am Saturday, September 12, 2020

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By RYNE GALLACHER | Special to the Reporter

ALEXANDER CITY – After falling behind 14-7 to Benjamin Russell on the road on Friday night, Sept. 11, the Helena Huskies said enough is enough. As a second-half team the first few weeks of the season, the Huskies took advantage of a two-hour lightning delay and scored 41 unanswered points in a 48-14 region win.

The Wildcats jumped out to an early 14-7 lead over Helena with the help of head coach Kevin Smith’s passing attack.

Quarterback Carter Smith was questionable going into Friday night after missing last week’s game with shoulder soreness. Smith looked 100%, arguably having his best night passing the ball so far this season.

Smith hooked up with Elijah Spivey for a 36-yard touchdown, followed by another touchdown from Smith to Spivey, this time for a 69-yard post route right down the middle of the field.

“They were playing a lot of zero coverage,” Smith said. “Then after we scored, they adjusted and played more zone with a man in the middle of the field and that’s where we were trying to hit them. They also started bringing more pressure and started getting in the backfield before we could blink.”

But that’s when Helena running back Kobe Hughes took over the game in the backfield. After scoring the first touchdown for Helena, Hughes pounded the ball across the goal line four more times and wore down the Benjamin Russell defense.

His play and five touchdowns as well as defensive adjustments led to 41 unanswered points, as Benjamin Russell had no answer.

Hughes helped the Huskies score 14 in both the second and third quarters as well as 13 in the final quarter.

Just before the half, Hughes scored to break a 14-14 tie, and Helena never trailed again the rest of the way.

“They (Helena) are a physical football team,” Smith said. “They out-physicaled us in the run game and that’s where we’ve got to get better on defense. Offensively we couldn’t get the run game going because they out played us at the point of attack and we were in way too many third and long situations; nothing good comes from that.”

The Wildcats season has been plagued by the injury bug and it didn’t get any better for Benjamin Russell tonight with senior starting middle linebacker Landon Jacobs going down right before the half and not returning due to a shoulder injury. It was a scary moment for the Wildcats as running back Kadarious Marbury went down early in the fourth and did not return. Marbury went from Demarcus McNeal’s backup to splitting carries with McNeal the last couple weeks.

It has been tough sledding for the Wildcats so far this season and the road doesn’t get easier playing Class 6A football. Smith said it’s going to be about doing the little things right and not having things such as penalties and blown coverages cost the Wildcats.

“We went from a man defense to cover three to prevent the ball going behind us,” Smith said. “So when we have the ball going over our heads still, there’s a problem. Getting ejected is getting old fast. We aren’t in a situation defensively where we can lose guys. We have to work on keeping our composure.”