Chelsea plays giant killer again

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Chelsea knocked off its second Top-10 opponent of the season Friday night, defeating North Jackson 21-7 on the road to advance to the second round of the playoffs in Class 4A.

North Jackson, which finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and a No. 9 ranking, appeared to take control early.

The Chiefs were pinned deep when a Chelsea punt gave them possession at their own 7-yard line, following a defensive stand by the home team after the opening kickoff. North Jackson drove 93 yards in 10 plays, capped off by a 23-yard touchdown run.

Chelsea (8-3) responded with 21 unanswered points and blanked the Chiefs in the final three quarters of play.

&uot;I couldn’t be more proud of our team effort,&uot; said Chelsea coach Watt Parker. &uot;Our defense played their best against a powerful North Jackson team.&uot;

Freshman David Strider gave the Hornets their first points when he rumbled in from four yards out with just over four minutes remaining in the half.

Quarterback Casey Morris completed two of his four attempts – both

for touchdowns – connecting with Zac Hibbs and Walker Kent for a combined total of 75 yards.

But it was Morris’ performance of the option that paced the offense. The

senior signal-caller rushed for 88 yards on nine attempts. Right beside him was tailback Juan Grier, who carried 13 times for 108 yards.

&uot;Daniel Dempsey, Matt Ling and Seth Springfield all led on defense,&uot; Parker said.

Dempsey led with 14 tackles while Ling and Springfield recorded 12 each. Rob Wallis intercepted two fourth-quarter passes for Chelsea.

The Hornets did not committ a turnover in the ballgame.

Chelsea will host 8-3 Moody this Friday in the second round of the playoffs