2017 Week 9: Musket Time for Helix, Grossmont

Grossmont probably wouldn’t recognize the musket trophy if it defeats Helix this week.

The Foothillers (6-2) and Highlanders (7-1) meet for the 61st time in what is known as the battle of the musket, although there has been only carnage lately.

Helix has won the last 19 meetings, by an average score of 39-10.

Since 2008, the average Helix victory is 51-13. The Foothillers’ last win was 14-11 in 1992.

‘Twas not always thus.

Grossmont was 19-20-2 against its younger rival from 1951-92.

It’s not that Grossmont isn’t one of the better teams in the San Diego Section.  Since alumnus Tom Karlo moved over from Mount Miguel in 2012, the Foothillers are 52-22.

A Helix student, probably named Campbell, donated a long-bore musket weapon favored by Scottish highlanders before the schools met for the first time in 1951.


Mission Hills, Ramona, San Diego, El Centro Southwest, and Calvin Christian each 8-0, and 7-0 The Bishop’s are undefeated heading into the regular season’s penultimate games.

This week is particularly significant for coach Damon Baldwin and Ramona.

Defeat Poway and the Bulldogs will be 9-0 for the first time since 1959 and the era of Allen Brown and Melvin White.  They were among the leaders of the Bob McCutcheon-coached 12-0 team that was 23-0 over two seasons.

Wagner kicked them long for Hilltop..


Sweetwater has won 4 of 5 since a 66-0 loss to Lincoln and is recovering from the 1-9 and 2-8 of the last two seasons.

The Red Devils’ coach has a familiar name, if you’re familiar with placekickers.

Bryan Wagner set a San Diego Section record with a 53-yard placement for Hilltop in 1979.  Wagner’s kick now is the eighth longest in section history, bettered by 6 different kickers.

Wagner was in the NFL for nine seasons, but never attempted a field goal.  He was a punter for five different teams, including the San Diego Chargers in 1994.


The hot weather this week reminds of another blast- furnace stretch.  On Sept. 27, 1963, the temperature in San Diego was a record 111 degrees.

The high was 104 the next day and at least 100 when Helix and Hoover kicked off at Hoover at 8 p.m.

Hoover rallied late in the fourth quarter for a 14-13 victory before a crowd of more than 6,000.


Mission Hills stayed at 14th and Helix at 29th in the weekly Cal-Hi Sports state rankings while Ramona got with the program at 50th…San Marcos has “bubble” status….

The Week 9 Union-Tribune poll:

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (26) 8-0 278 1
2. Helix (2) 7-1 254 2
3. Ramona 8-0 214 3
4. San Marcos 7-1 162 8
5. Torrey Pines 6-2 151 7
6. The Bishop’s 7-0 111 6
7. Lincoln 7-1 111 9
8. La Costa Canyon 6-2 99 4
9. St. Augustine 5-3 38 10
10. Madison 6-2 35 5

Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Pouint Loma (5-3, 14 points),  El Centro Southwest (8-0, 12) , Valley Center (7-1, 7),  El Camino (4-4, 6), Eastlake (6-2, 6), Otay Ranch (6-2, 3), San Diego (8-0, 2), Carlsbad (4-4, 2), Grossmont (6-2, 1).

Voters (28 sportswriters, sportscasters, officials): John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, Jim Lindren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Paul Rudy, Brandon Stone, Rick Willis, KUSI Chl. 51; Adam Paul, East County Preps.com; Ramon Scott, East County Sports.com; Bodie DeSilva, San Diego Preps.com; Ted Mendenhall, Taylor Quellman, The Mighty 1090; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions; Troy Hirsch, Fox 5 San Diego; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John LaBeta, Carlton Hoggard, CIF San Diego; Raymond Brown, sdfootball.net; Montell Allen, MBASports-SDFNL Magazine; Bob Petinak,  1360AM; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9FM; Jim Arnaiz, Mike Dolan, John Carroll, CIF Football Tournament Directors.






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