Football: Helbig not missing a beat with potent Holy Family offense

Jeremy Papasso / Daily Camera
Junior Chris Helbig has put up huge numbers in his first three games as Holy Family’s starting quarterback.

BROOMFIELD — From an outsider’s perspective, they were questions worth asking.

How good will David Sommers’ replacement be at Holy Family? And what will the high-powered Tigers offense look like with Chris Helbig at the helm?

With over 1,100 yards passing and 12 touchdowns in his first three games, it goes without saying that Helbig has answered the naysayers.

“He’s just gifted with it. I’d love to say it is coaching and something we’ve done,” Holy Family coach Mike Gabriel said. “I’ve known Chris since he was in sixth grade, when his sister was here, and I’ve watched him do it for all those years and he has always been gifted with it.”

No, it wasn’t just a trial by fire for the lanky junior in 2014, but more about his patience. He knew he had to wait his turn behind Sommers — now at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden — and knew that when it was his turn, he would be able to step right in.

“I knew I was going to play, I played a lot when I was younger and Dave was a real good quarterback,” said Helbig, who threw for an impressive 491 yards in a Week 2 loss at home to Discovery Canyon. “I was just waiting for my opportunity and I thought I would make the most of it.”

It doesn’t hurt that Helbig is surrounded by a dearth of talented offensive weapons that help with the video game-like numbers.

The speedy Ryan Younggreen has been a versatile running back that is capable of catching balls out of the backfield. Weston Dinsmore, Chanson Segeth, Bryce Buderus and Joey Golter have all found ways to create separation and find openings for Helbig to find them.

“It’s a lot of fun, up-tempo and keeps the defense on their heels,” said Helbig, who threw for 339 yards and four touchdowns in Friday’s win over Palisade. “Ryan is a great running back and our line is doing a great job and you really have to watch Ryan, cause he can break a 70-yarder. That keeps the defense up and then we have receivers making plays and that makes my job easy.”

But you won’t catch Helbig looking at the stat sheet.

“I try not to anyway,” said Helbig, who grew up playing quarterback for the Broomfield Blitz on the pee-wee and juniors levels. “People talk to me at school about it and I look it up at school every now and then, but then I try to forget about it going into the next week.”

For Gabriel, the transition has been seamless and understanding Helbig’s strength compared to what he had in Sommers last season. Where Sommers would be more apt to take off and run, Helbig would just as soon set up his blockers and find and open receiver.

The best example of that came on the last play of the first half against Palisade. With the clock showing zeros, Helbig scrambled around, set up his blocks and found a wide open Buderus in the corner of the end zone for a 37-yard score.

“I think David would have run it, but that is just two different kids and we’ve been blessed to have both of them,” Gabriel said. “(Helbig) takes command of the offense, he even called a few plays (Friday night) for us and makes adjustments to things we may not be able to see.”

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