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Joey Augustin and Troy Helton shared time at quarterback in the Central/Southwest Virginia all-star game.
SAM OWENS | The Roanoke Times
SAM OWENS | The Roanoke Times
Southwest quarterback Troy Helton ran for 50 yards on 15 carries in the all-star game. Helton has committed to Ferrum.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
ROCKY MOUNT – Christiansburg’s Joey Augustin rolled into Franklin County on Friday with plenty of good memories about the place.
Covington’s Troy Helton hopes to spend the next four years making some of his own.
Helton and Augustin shared the quarterback duties for the Southwest squad in the Central/Southwest Virginia high school all-star football game at Franklin County High School, helping the Southwest squad to a 10-3 victory in their final prep appearance.
Helton, who threw for 143 yards including the game-winning touchdown pass to Floyd County’s Cole Worrell with 5:18 to play, will start his college career just 10 miles down the road.
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Covington graduate has committed to Ferrum, where he could play a variety of positions including running back, quarterback or slot receiver.
“They want me to be a running back and a backup quarterback,” Helton said. “They want to try me at slot. I really like slot, because I like to be in the open field.
“I caught a lot of screens. When they needed me to, I went deep. I’m pretty comfortable catching the football.”
Helton rushed for more than 5,000 yards in his career at Covington despite missing games at the end of his junior and sophomore seasons because of ankle injuries. In 2012, he returned in time to rush for 205 yards and throw for 49 in a 51-28 Group A Division 1 playoff victory over Rappahannock.
The Covington graduate came to Rocky Mount eager to prove himself against bigger fish. Division 3 Alleghany was the largest school Helton competed against for the Cougars.
“This is a goal for me, to show people I can play with bigger people and it’s not just a Single-A thing and that I have the potential to play with anybody,” he said.
Helton doesn’t need to prove his athleticism. He led Timesland this spring in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 8 inches at the Region C meet and placed second in Group A.
Cave Spring head coach Tim Fulton, who ran the offense this week for the Southwest squad, saw enough this week in practice to be convinced.
“We ran a little quarterback counter,” Fulton said. “He was in the hole one-on-one with the linebacker. He made that kid miss and was gone. Later in the week, he dropped back, the route wasn’t there. He took off up the middle and literally dropped the inside linebacker on a move.
“He can flat run. A lot of people were saying the knock is, he can’t throw. That boy can throw. He throws a good ball. He seems to be very football-savvy and smart. He picked up what we’re asking him to do. He stood out.
“His ability to shift and make people miss is amazing. He’s a great pickup for Ferrum.”
Helton said he will be the first person in his immediate family to attend college. With an admitted slow start academically at Covington, he knows there are skeptics.
“I didn’t plan on going to college at first,” Helton said. “It was nowhere in sight. But once I started playing football and I got older, I realized I had a chance.
“I want to prove to people that I can be independent, that I have the heart to wake up every morning and go to school and stay focused.”
Augustin is still finishing up a summer class in Christiansburg so he can be eligible through the NCAA Clearinghouse for his freshman year at Division II University of Charleston (W.Va.).
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound former Blue Demons star missed the Southwest team’s morning practices but made the trip from Montgomery County each evening.
“He was coming down on his own and practicing with us in the evenings and going back home,” Fulton said. “I think that’s a great commitment to play.”
Augustin was smiling as he took the field at Cy Dillon Stadium for warmups. Why not? He ran for 187 yards and three touchdowns in Christiansburg’s 31-28 victory at Franklin County last fall.
It was his first start at quarterback, a position he almost certainly will not play at Charleston.
“My main position will be receiver, but I’m an athlete,” Augustin said. “I can play whatever they want to put me in. He said I have a great chance of starting as a freshman.”
Augustin, who moved from Southwest Virginia from Miami, graduated from Christiansburg in three years after it became apparent he would be to old to play under VHSL rule in 2013-14.
“That took a lot of work,” he said. “There’s four classes each semester. This class I’m taking right know is my sixth one.”
Like Helton, he did not envision himself as a college student in the early days of high school.
“I wasn’t thinking college for nothing,” Augustin said. “I thought I was going to finish high school and go into the military or become a cop or something.”
Augustin was happy to share center stage Friday with Helton, who was elected the Southwest team’s offensive captain by his peers.
“Oh my God, that guy’s an athlete,” Augustin said. “When I first met him, I didn’t think nothing of him. That dude is an athlete. He can do whatever he wants.”
Worrell’s game-winning TD reception was a 32-yarder off a ball that Augustin tipped in the end zone on a fourth-and-13 play.
“I knew it was going to be a tipped ball and I just tried to be around the play at the time,” Worrell said. “It just happened that I was in the right place at the right time. I tipped it and it landed right in my hands.
“It felt good, especially being the only touchdown in this game.”
Lord Botetourt linebacker Thomas Kennedy was named the Southwest MVP. The Liberty University-bound Kennedy had the game’s only interception and a 22-yard return.
“I definitely didn’t expect [the MVP]. I just went out there and played my hardest and did my job.”
Jefferson Forest linebacker Garrett Neal earned MVP honors for the Central.
Helton completed passes of 33 yards to Glenvar’s Markel Jones and 31 yards to Worrell to set up a 32-yard field goal by Garrett Lee of Giles with 13 seconds left in the first half.
The Central Virginia team got a game-tying 21-yard field goal from Cole Jamerson of Appomattox County with 8:11 to play.
The Southwest Virginia team’s win was its second in a row, giving it a 2-1 lead in the three-year series.
Southwest Virginia 0 3 0 7—10
Central 0 0 0 3—3
SW — FG Lee (Giles) 32
Cent — FG Jamerson (Appomattox Co.) 21
SW — Worrell (Floyd Co.) 32 pass from Helton (Covington), Lee (Giles) kick
First downs 9 7
Yards rushing 34-81 36-141
Passes C-A-I 5-17-0 3-11-1
Yards passing 143 17
Penalties-yards 7-46 6-58
Fumbles-lost 3-0 0-0
Punts-average 5-41.6 6-40.3
RUSHING — Southwest, Helton (Covington) 15-50, Harris (Floyd Co.) 8-31, McConnell (Salem) 2-7, Crockett (George Wythe) 1-4, Bonds (Glenvar) 1-1, Augustin (Christiansburg) 3-(-2), Team 2-(-10). Central, Davis (Charlottesville) 22-93, Bostic (Broadway) 7-25, Price (East Rockingham) 4-17, Coleman (Amelia Co.) 1-7, Sandidge (Amherst Co.) 2-(-1).
PASSING — Southwest, Helton (Covington) 5-17-0-143. Central, Davis (Charlottesville) 3-11-1.
RECEIVING — Southwest, Worrell (Floyd Co.) 3-71, Jones (Glenvar) 2-72. Central, Crawford (Robert E. Lee), 2-6, Alexander (Liberty Christian) 1-11.
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