Helena drops regular-season finale to Vestavia Hills ahead of playoffs

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

VESTAVIA HILLS – The Helena Huskies dropped their second straight game to end the regular season following an 8-0 start to the season after going on the road and falling to the Vestavia Hills Rebels on Thursday, Nov. 2.

The Rebels pulled away for a 44-0 shutout victory, as Helena finished the regular season with an 8-2 record ahead of a first-round playoff matchup with Wetumpka on Friday, Nov. 10.

It marked Helena’s second straight loss to end the regular season after falling 20-17 to Benjamin Russell a week earlier for their first loss of the season in what ultimately decided the region champion.

Vestavia Hills came out early in the game and was able to build a two-score advantage in the opening quarter that set the tone for the night.

Quarterback John Paul Head was a big reason for that fast start for the Rebels, as he powered his way into the end zone for a short rushing touchdown to get the scoring started with 6:53 left in the first quarter.

Then, after it looked like Helena might have an opening-quarter answer, the Huskies had a field goal blocked on their next drive.

Vestavia Hills responded when Head hit Chase Webb for a 54-yard touchdown pass that made the score 14-0 going to the second quarter.

Despite the score, Helena’s offense put itself in position to score, but the Huskies never could capitalize.

With the struggles, Vestavia Hills took advantage.

The Rebels added a field goal midway through the second quarter and then a touchdown run from Caden Taylor in the final two minutes of the half to take a 24-0 lead into the break.

In a deep halftime hole, Helena needed a fast start to the second half, but instead, Head added the back-breaking score with 8:57 to play in the third quarter on a short run that made it 31-0.

The Rebels went on to add one more score in the third quarter and then put up the final touchdown of the night with a long run midway through the final quarter that created the 44-0 shutout.

Helena will now take on Wetumpka, who has been playing well down the stretch of the season with five wins in the last six games ahead of their regular-season finale on Nov. 3.