Stanhope Helena

Neal Wagner / For Shelby County Reporter Stanhope Elmore’s Pat Williams (13) is taken down by a pair of Helena defenders on Friday night.

Helena had one first down and three points at halftime of Friday’s game against visiting Stanhope Elmore.

Even though the Huskies led 3-0, the first half was not indicative of the fireworks to come in Helena’s 25-18 win on Friday night.

After three turnovers, a turnover on downs and plenty of punts through the first quarter and a few minutes of the second, Stanhope Elmore then mounted the biggest threat of the game to that point. However, Helena (5-4 overall, 4-2 Class 6A, Region 3) ended the drive with a stop 1-yard short of the first down on a fourth down play.

Helena went backward 3 yards in three plays on its ensuing possession, but punter Kolby Harris flipped the field position with a punt that, when it was finished rolling, traveled 61 yards.

On the last possession of the first half, a Helena defender intercepted the ball and raced down the sideline. He was caught short of the end zone with time running out, and after one try for the touchdown, the Huskies settled for a 24-yard field goal by Aidan Naron.

The hosts made it 10-0 about three minutes into the second half. On fourth-and-2 from Stanhope Elmore’s 38-yard line, Kobe Hughes took the handoff and found a crease, racing all the way to the end zone.

Less than a minute later, Stanhope got on the scoreboard with a 29-yard pass on fourth-and-7. The point-after try was no good.

The Mustangs (4-4, 3-2) took the lead with 9:25 on the clock in the fourth quarter, and this time the scoring play came on a third-and-22 from their own 39-yard line.

Helena answered right back, with quarterback McGwire Turner passing to convert one third down then using his legs to convert another.

Hughes took a toss and found paydirt from 9 yards out with 5:59 remaining in the game, and Naron’s extra point made it 17-12.

With the offenses finally in gear, Stanhope took the lead right back on a 27-yard pass that went right through a defender’s hands in the end zone.

As the clock neared the two-minute mark, Turner rolled left and heaved the ball to Jayden Jackson, who caught it and fought into the end zone.

Turner then found JC Sivley for a 2-point conversion to make the score 25-18.

An apparent Mustangs touchdown on the ensuing drive was called back because of a holding penalty, and Helena’s Chris Pacheco made an open-field tackle on a fourth-down hook-and-lateral play to seal the win.

Stanhope Elmore dropped to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in region play.