Slow Start, Strong Finish for Crusader Football By Nick Carr

The Helias Crusaders football team took on the No. 4 team in Class 5, the Nixa Eagles, Saturday night at Adkin’s Stadium. After a sloppy first quarter, the Helias offense found their footing and sailed to a 27-2 victory.

Meanwhile, the defense was strong the entire night. After Nixa got the ball deep in Helias territory two drives in a row, Helias’ defense stayed strong and Nixa went on and missed both field goal attempts

“Our defense was outstanding,” Helias head coach Phil Pitts said. “There was no slow start for the defense. The line simply dominated.”

The Crusaders almost blocked Nixa’s punt, but the punter got it off and it rolled to the Helias 1 yard line. Helias went on to go 99 yards to get on the board in the second quarter. The drive was topped off with a 73 yard pass from Alex Faddoul to Hale Hentges.

 “We knew where we needed to go to get a big play,” Pitts said. “I think everybody knows that.”

The Crusaders defense held Nixa to 32 total yards and only two pass completions. One of the players who stood out for Helias was cornerback Nolan Sachse. Sachse had two interceptions in the game. He had one in the second and one in the third quarter.

Helias scored two times in the second half. They scored once with an 8 yard pass from Faddoul to Weston Porter. The final touchdown was a 3 yard run by Jacob Storms. Sam Heckart kicked 3 extra points in the game.

Although the Helias players were disappointed about not playing on a nationally televised ESPNU game, they came off the field with a win. The Crusaders will take the field again at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Adkins Stadium against their district rival, the Hannibal Pirates.

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