Hornets hold off Bulldogs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Chelsea came back from a 6-3 halftime deficit and thwarted a late fourth-quarter Montevallo drive to beat the Bulldogs at home Friday night in Region 5 play.

The Hornets (2-1) got on the board first with a 27-yard field goal by Justin Thomas in the second quarter but struggled offensively much of the first half.

Montevallo (1-2) took a three-point lead into the half after a four-yard touchdown run by Casey Smith and failed PAT in the second quarter.

The Hornets regained the lead in the third quarter on a 30-yard touchdown run by D.J. McGuire, who split time at quarterback for Chelsea with Casey Morris.

Chelsea gave up two points near the start of the fourth quarter when a botched snap rolled out of the endzone for a safety, and Montevallo reclaimed the lead when Chad Glass connected with Cory Lovelady for a 50-yard touchdown pass.

The Chelsea defense, led by Matt Ling with 15 tackles, kept star Montevallo running back A.J. Ward out of the endzone even though he managed 117 yards on 22 carries.

&uot;Our defense gave a much better effort this week to keep a great back like A.J. Ward contained,&uot; said Chelsea coach Watt Parker.

The Chelsa offense came on strong in the fourth quarter, with Morris scoring on a 3-yard run and Juan Grier breaking loose for a 77-yarder with 6:29 left that sealed the win for the Hornets. Grier finished with 188 yards on 19 attempts.

&uot;We tried to throw the ball a little more and had several players with big receptions,&uot; Parker said. &uot;Zack Hibbs had two third-and-long receptions for first downs to keep drives alive.&uot;

Lovelady led Montevallo receivers with 95 yards and a touchdown on three receptions.

The Bulldogs moved the ball inside Chelsea territory in the game’s final minutes when a fumble ended the drive and their chances for a comeback-win.

&uot;Obviously we’re very disappointed,&uot; Montevallo coach Jim King said. &uot;But Chelsea is a team that has drilled us the past two years. It has not even been close.

&uot;We’ve come leaps and bounds with where we want this team to be.&uot;

The road doesn’t get any easier for Montevallo, who plays a Fayette County team Friday night that knocked off Chelsea a couple of weeks ago.

The Hornets travel to Tarrant, who fell to Montevallo in week two