MOKANE, Mo. — The South Callaway Bulldogs roughed up the Principia Panthers, clearing the way for the rematch.
Senior tailback Kaden Helsel sprinted 95 yards for a touchdown on the game's opening kickoff, ran for two other long scores and also caught a touchdown pass as state-ranked and No. 2 seed South Callaway ripped No. 7 Principia 62-14 in a Class 2, District 5 first-round blitz Friday night.
The punishing victory was the sixth in a row for the Bulldogs (9-1), ranked 10th in Class 2.
"I thought our players had every expectation of coming out and playing well, and taking care of business," South Callaway head coach Zack Hess said. "Getting that first one (district win) is important.
"At the same time, we didn't treat it any differently than any other game. We prepared the same way we have all season and the same way we will for (Father) Tolton."
Speaking of Tolton, the Bulldogs will confront the No. 6 seed Trailblazers for the second time this season when they host a District 5 semifinal showdown this week. Tolton (5-5) went on the road Friday night and surprised No. 3 seed Brentwood 34-7.
South Callaway opened the season by escaping with a 25-19 double-overtime victory over the Trailblazers on Aug. 18 in Columbia.
"If you look at their scores the last few weeks, they've been playing some really good football against a schedule that's tough," Hess said. "You have to come to the conclusion that they've gotten a lot better since week one.
"This will be a huge challenge for us and we'll have to be on our 'A' game."
After taking the opening kickoff back for a score Friday night, Helsel carried the ball only twice but made the most of them with touchdown bursts of 70 and 55 yards to finish with 125 yards. He also grabbed one of senior quarterback Landon Horstman's two touchdown passes, this one covering 19 yards.
Junior tailback Peyton Leeper also rushed for 72 yards on just four carries and supplied touchdown runs of 9 and 36 yards as the Bulldogs produced 434 yards of total offense, including 300 yards rushing.
Horstman completed 6-of-13 passes for 124 yards and also hooked up with senior wide receiver Jarrett Livengood on a 12-yard touchdown pass. Horstman raced 39 yards for a score.
Livengood had five catches for 83 yards.
"We were doing a great job of passing the ball and running the ball — they complement each other well and did it again tonight," Hess said. "Our skill players made some plays and we were blessed to have those.
"Our offensive coaches do a great job of distributing the ball and getting everybody involved."
Leeper was also responsible for a defensive score from his free safety position, returning an interception 88 yards for a touchdown near the end of the first half. South Callaway held Principia (4-5) and its double-wing offense to just 111 total yards — including a meager 58 yards rushing — and forced two turnovers, both interceptions.
"Their offense is very run-heavy and our guys did a great job (shutting it down) on the line of scrimmage, and that's where it started," Hess said. "Our linebackers also did a great job in plugging windows and our secondary did a great job in coming up and supporting against the run."