Helena handles Buckhorn as Huskies repeat dominant ways

Published 11:08 pm Friday, September 1, 2023

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By STEPHEN DAWKINS | Special to the Reporter

HELENA – In the first two games of the 2023 football season, there were some similarities for the Helena Huskies: a high-scoring offense, a stingy defense…and wins.

Helena defeated Buckhorn, 55-7, on Friday, Sept. 1 to improve to 2-0 before Class 6A, Region 3 play begins next week with a trip to Homewood.

The Huskies began the scoring on a fourth-and-six play from Buckhorn’s 34-yard line, when Carson Acker hit Hunter Hale across the middle on a touchdown pass. The point after made it 7-0 with 8:55 remaining in the first quarter, and there was plenty more to come.

Helena held Buckhorn to a three-and-out and then took advantage of the short field with a scoring run up the middle by Jordan Washington with 5:40 left in the first quarter.

Then, it was Austin Acosta tipping a punt by Buckhorn to give the hosts the ball on Buckhorn’s 36-yard line. It took just one play for Acker to pass to Torrey Ward for the touchdown, with 3:28 still left in the first quarter.

Next was Washington’s turn again, this time with a 14-yard touchdown run a few minutes into the second quarter to stretch the lead to 28-0.

Acker found Hale across the middle for Helena’s next touchdown from 39 yards out to make it 35-0 with 5:38 on the clock in the second quarter.

Before the teams left the field for halftime, the Huskies scored once more, this time on a pass from Acker to Washington with 1:34 remaining in the half.

HHS stretched its lead to 55-0 midway through the third quarter, but then the visitors got on the scoreboard. An interception and return set up the Bucks at Helena’s five-yard line, and they punched it in with a minute-and-a-half left in the third quarter.

The shutout was over, but Helena’s scoring was not, as Hale returned the ensuing kickoff for another score to make it 55-7.

Acker completed 14 passes in 17 attempts for 185 yards and four touchdowns. Hale was his favorite target, hauling in seven passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns and adding the 97-yard kickoff return for a TD.

Ward added two catches for 40 yards and a score.

Washington rushed 19 times for 99 yards and two touchdowns, and caught one pass for 11 yards and another score.