Washington’s 6 TDs help Helena pull off wild comeback against Chilton County

Published 12:59 am Saturday, October 2, 2021

By JORDAN BROOKS | Special to the Reporter

HELENA – In a fight to the finish, the undefeated Helena Huskies were challenged by the Chilton County Tigers Friday night, Oct. 1, but a big night from Jordan Washington helped them overcome a halftime deficit en route to a thrilling 48-40 win in the final minutes.

The Huskies trailed 27-13 at the half, but started the second half in ideal fashion and got six total touchdowns and 279 yards on the ground from Washington in the win.

“We just enjoyed homecoming too much, we were too busy worried about playing dodgeball, kickball, frisbee and all that junk and not worried about playing football,” head coach Richie Busby said of the slow start. “We’ve come off two emotional games, and they’re teenaged kids, but we warned them all week. You can’t decide to come out here when its game time and play. Our kids were out here running around in the sun all day and not taking care of themselves and it almost got us. It’ll either teach us a lesson or it won’t.”

Ultimately, however, Helena was able to overcome the sluggish play early with a strong finish.

Helena did strike early as well. The Huskies only needed three plays and 1:51 for their offense to put together a 76-yard scoring drive capped off by a 64-yard touchdown run from Washington, a sophomore. The Huskies failed to convert the extra point, taking a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Chilton County responded aggressively on offense, taking out chunks of yardage at a time to creep their way into Helena territory. The Tigers ended the possession with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Taveous Good with a successful extra point to take a 7-6 lead.

The Huskies turned around and were stopped the next drive by the Tigers after attempting a fourth down conversion.

On the ensuing defensive drive for Helena, the Huskies got back-to-back sacks and then blocked punt on fourth down that set them up on the Tigers’ 21-yard line.

Helena, however, couldn’t convert when a field goal attempt shortly after was blocked.

Chilton County put pieces together offensively the following drive when Cannon Miller connected with Jakeveon Bolding for a 37-yard gain. The Tigers finished the drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead over Helena.

Helena gathered itself offensively, putting a drive together that allowed Washington to take off for 16 yards for his second touchdown of the contest.

Chilton County answered with a strong offensive possession of its own. The Tigers completed a 45-yard completion that put them in the perfect position for a 9-yard touchdown pass to take a 21-13 lead.

The Chilton County defense stepped up on the following possession when senior linebacker Sawyer Collum recovered a fumble for a touchdown with less than 30 seconds to play in the half.

Helena bounced back after halftime scoring the first touchdown of the third quarter when none other than Washington took the ball 30 yards to the end zone. After a missed PAT, the Huskies trailed 27-19.

The Huskies capitalized on the momentum swing with a fumble recovery from junior defensive lineman Derrick Wilson that was taken in for a score, while they also added the 2-point conversion.

Just like that the game was even again, and Helena had new life.

Chilton County responded in a big way, however, with a 46-yard pass on the ensuing drive to set up first-and-goal from the 4-yard line. Tigers’ quarterback Canon Miller called his own number for a 2-yard touchdown scramble, putting Chilton back in front by seven.

But Washington couldn’t be stopped on offense, and when his team needed him most,  he was there again with a 39-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 34-34.

Helena got the ball back quickly and gave it right back to the hot hand, as Washington scored again for his fifth touchdown of the night to put the Huskies back in front late.

But in a back and forth battle, the Tigers came right back with a touchdown off a tipped pass to make it 41-40. They decided to go for two points to try and win the game with 1:30 to play, but it was no good, leaving the Huskies in front.

Then, as if his night wasn’t already special enough, Washington sealed the game for the Huskies with a 41-yard touchdown run to pick up his sixth score of the night.

“I’ve been saying it for a year, I’ve been telling colleges that we’ve got a special one coming, and he is special. He scored just about every touchdown we had,” Busby said.

Busby did say that he was disappointed in the overall effort, however, saying this should serve as a lesson for what will be needed moving forward to get where the team wants to go.

The Huskies will take on Calera next Thursday at Helena.