Helena runs wild in season opening rout of Dallas County

By GRAHAM BROOKS | Special to the Reporter

HELENA – High school football is back and Helena showed out in a big way racking up six touchdowns on the ground on its way to an impressive 55-0 shutout win over Dallas County in front of a packed crowd at Husky Stadium on Friday, Aug. 20.

Helena started fast and never looked back as the Huskies dominated the visiting Hornets on both sides of the ball rolling up nearly 500 yards of total offense and surrendered just 127 yards defensively.

Helena running back Jordan Washington led the way with three rushing touchdowns and was responsible for Helena’s first two touchdowns of the season.

Washington scored on a 2-yard run on the Huskies’ opening possession and later in the quarter scored again on a 15-yard run to give Helena a quick 14-0 lead.

Senior starting quarterback Mac Turner didn’t play long in the season opener but made the most of his time in the game going 5-of-5 passing for 110 yards and a touchdown.

The lone passing touchdown came late in the first quarter as Turner found a wide-open JC Sivley for a 47-yard touchdown to extend the Huskies’ lead.

Helena head coach Richie Busby, entering his fourth year as the Huskies’ head coach, was proud of how Helena started the game fast.

“We wanted to come out and give Mac some easy throws and get him going and we were able to do that,” Busby said. “He threw the ball downfield to JC, which was a beautiful throw and catch. We were able to run the ball and played every running back we had dressed out tonight so that was good. We’ve got to find out who our three guys are going to be. We’re going to run three of them in a game and we’ve still got to sort all that out.”

Helena’s defense added a touchdown of its own as pressure off the edge caused a sack and a fumble leading to a scoop and score opportunity for Helena linebacker Justin Yunke as Helena capped off an impressive first quarter leading 27-0.

In the second quarter, Helena running backs Nathan Wade and Kellen Hughes both found the end zone as Wade raced 68 yards down the far sideline and minutes later, Hughes scored from five yards out.

Leading 41-0 at halftime, Helena was able to rotate in a slew of different players in the second half to finish off an impressive win to open the season.

Washington’s third touchdown of the night came with 6:51 left in the third quarter from 30 yards out and Helena’s Jeremy Spratling scored the final touchdown for the Huskies from a yard out in the fourth quarter. Spratling was Helena’s fourth different rusher to find the end zone.

After the game, Busby said he was encouraged to see some normalcy after what was a chaotic 2020 season due to COVID-19, but emphasized Helena is still taking plenty of precautions in 2021.

“The thing to me was seeing a full stadium and everyone back in here together on a Friday night is what I like,” Busby said. “It was a little bit back to normal but always in the back of your mind you listen to the news every day and it’s changing every day. Our kids have to understand they have to take care of themselves and wear their masks and it’s a personal responsibility. If you want to play 10 games you’ve got to take care of yourself so we have to kind of be selfish in that aspect.”

Helena’s next game will be a big one as the Huskies welcome county foe Chelsea to Husky Stadium on Friday, Aug. 27.