Dora hands Hornets first loss

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Chelsea Hornets entered Friday night’s contest knowing they had to keep a high-powered Dora offense off the field. But 410 Bulldog offensive yards later, the Hornets saw their unbeaten season slip away, falling to Dora, 33-21, in a key Class 4A, Region 5 matchup.

&8221;Dora is a very good football team,&8220; Chelsea head coach Watt Parker said. &8221;We knew they had a very powerful offense and that we had to keep the ball out of their hands.&8220;

The Hornets struggled, however, giving up 390 yards on the groundand four rushing touchdowns to the Bulldogs.

&8221;They crammed the ball down our throats,&8220; Parker said.

While the Hornets defense held Dora to only one score in the first half, Chelsea’s defenders tired in the final two quarters.

&8221;In the second half, our defense was just gone,&8220; Parker said. &8221;They kept rotating running backs and wore us down.&8220;

Junior quarterback Coty McLaughlin led the Hornets on offense, rushing 10 times for 116 yards and a score.

&8221;We’ve been really proud of him,&8220; Parker said of his slinger. &8221;He’s worked really hard and led the team as a first-year starter.&8220;

Despite McLaughlin’s efforts, the Hornets struggled to find the end zone. Chelsea’s standout running back Davin Palmer, coming off a 221-yard performance in week seven, left the game early in the third quarter with leg cramps.

Parker said his starting back had been suffering from sickness during the week and became dehydrated as the game went along.

The loss dropped Chelsea’s record to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in Class 4A, Region 5, putting the Hornets in a tie with Dora atop the region.

Parker’s squad comes home this week to play region opponent Holt.

&8221;The good thing about playing a good team is they show us where our weaknesses are,&8220; Parker said. &8221;This was only one game. We still have three big ballgames left and hopefully the playoffs after that.&8220;