MID-PRAIRIE FOOTBALL

Helmuth scores 3 TDs in Golden Hawks' 42-21 Senior Night victory

More injuries empty out Mid-Prairie bench in district win over Centerville

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 10/10/21

WELLMAN

Mid-Prairie senior running back Tyler Helmuth had plenty to celebrate as he danced into the end zone for his third touchdown this past Friday night against Centerville.

It was his third …

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MID-PRAIRIE FOOTBALL

Helmuth scores 3 TDs in Golden Hawks' 42-21 Senior Night victory

More injuries empty out Mid-Prairie bench in district win over Centerville

Posted

WELLMAN

Mid-Prairie senior running back Tyler Helmuth had plenty to celebrate as he danced into the end zone for his third touchdown this past Friday night against Centerville.

It was his third touchdown of the night and second touchdown in less than one minute.

The score had pushed the Golden Hawks to a three-touchdown lead on Senior Night in an important district game.

Golden Hawks senior receiver Jack Pennington met him in the end zone and they jumped up to celebrate the touchdown.

Soon, both Helmuth and Pennington were on the bench with injuries.

Helmuth’s three touchdown runs, a touchdown pass caught by Pennington and two scoring passes thrown by senior quarterback Will Cavanagh led the Golden Hawks to a 42-21 victory.

The win put Mid-Prairie in position to clinch second place in the Class 2A, District 6 standings and a No. 2 playoff seeding among four district teams. The Golden Hawks finish out the regular season on Friday night at Davis County, which lost in district play for the first time last week against district champion Williamsburg by a score of 41-8.

Mid-Prairie’s Senior Night win featured a pair of 100-yard rushing efforts by Helmuth and his backup, Braden Hartley, along with a 7-catch night by Pennington, another solid game by Cavanagh, and a defensive performance that resulted in four Centerville fumbles and a pair of interceptions.

But by the end of the night, the Golden Hawks’ bench area resembled the waiting room at an urgent care center. Helmuth didn’t play in the second half at all. Pennington limped out of the game in the third quarter, recovered after a few minutes and went back in, only to retire to the bench for good after reinjuring his leg. Junior tight end Shawn Dodds limped off. Junior linebacker and kicker Collin Miller came out. Some of the injuries were just leg cramps. They joined senior linebacker Justice Jones, senior running back/defensive lineman Cael Garvey, and linemen Gannon Callahan and Grady Miller, who were already out due to previous injuries.

“We just said in the breakdown after [the game] that we’ve probably got more guys in street clothes than we do In actual jerseys,” Will Cavanagh said.

The Golden Hawks (4-3, 3-1 district) will figure it all out this week, head coach Pete Cavanagh said.

“We’re playing for a playoff seeding right now. Next week’s game is obviously important and big,” he said. “We’ve just got to see what we’ve got on Monday, who’s left, and get a game plan ready to roll. We’ll be fine. We’re not going to make excuses. We’re going to move forward, power forward.”

Hartley gave his coach no reason to worry. He not only took over for Helmuth as Mid-Prairie’s running back and rushed for a game-high 129 yards, but he had 6.5 tackles on defense, recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass to set up his own 7-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

“He played great,” Pete Cavanagh said. “He played great on defense, he played great on offense. Special teams, he was in a play. He just played great. He just stepped up. That’s the mantra. We is greater than me. I’m proud of him. He just did a great job. And that’s what we need, we need guys to step up.”

“He’s a hard-working kid,” Will Cavanagh said. “Every morning I’m in there lifting, he’s in there, too, working just as hard. He’s been ready and he’s been waiting for this moment.”

Hartley was not alone in accomplishing that.

“Zane [Fisher] stepped up and did a great job tonight,” Will Cavanagh said. “We had Evan Phillips go there and play outside linebacker; he’s never played outside linebacker before.”

Terry Bordenave, a junior lineman, recovered a fumble and had a team-leading 7.5 tackles.

“I thought Terry played well on the defensive line,” Pete Cavanagh said. “I thought Shawn [Dodds], when he was in there, played well. I think overall, just a gutsy effort by our guys.”

A fumble recovery by Hartley on Centerville’s first possession led to the Golden Hawks’ first touchdown, a 5-yard scoring run by Helmuth just 2:47 into the game. Grady Gingerich caught a 7-yard scoring pass from Will Cavanagh on Mid-Prairie’s next possession.

A pair of touchdown runs by Helmuth in the second quarter put Mid-Prairie up 28-7, and the Golden Hawks were on their way.

Will Cavanagh completed 11-of-20 passes for 116 yards. Helmuth averaged more than 10 yards a carry before leaving the game. The Golden Hawks did not have any turnovers.

Centerville quarterback Sawyer Wardlow completed 11-of-23 passes for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns, but was intercepted twice. He also ran for a team-high 126 yards on 28 carries.

“That’s a really good offensive team,” Pete Cavanagh said. “They were kind of a hard team to contain. Our guys did a good job.”

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