Hornets take region title

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Chelsea Hornets’ running game exploded Friday night for 341 yards on 41 carries as the Hornets defeated Corner, 52-14, and claimed the Class 4, Region 5 championship.

Chelsea finished tied with Fayette County with a 6-1 record; but the Hornets’ win over Fayette earlier this season gave them sole possession of first place.

&8220;It’s huge for us,&8221; Chelsea head coach Watt Parker said about clinching the region title. &8220;It’s something these guys have worked for all season long.&8221;

Running backs Davin Palmer and Billy Barnhill were only two of twelve Hornets to carry the football in the win over Corner. Palmer continued to add to his stand-out stats as a sophomore with 124 yards on 14 carries, two touchdowns and a 63-yard returned punt for another score.

Barnhill had two touchdown runs for 42 and 3 yards and rushed for 76 total yards on seven carries.

&8220;They both had very good nights for us,&8221; Parker said. He said quarterback Coty McLaughlin also proved a big asset for the Hornets, controlling the ball and avoiding turnovers.

&8220;Coty has done a great job running our offense this year,&8221; he said. &8220;He’s been very consistent for us.&8221;

Parker credited his team’s &8220;one-game-at-a-time&8221; mentality for its 8-1 record and said he hopes its focus will continue through the team’s final regular season game against county rival Shelby County this Friday.

&8220;Shelby County is a very good football team,&8221; Parker said. &8220;They play in the toughest 5A region in the state, so their record does not really show how good they are.&8221;

After Friday’s game the Hornets will begin preparations to face Moody in the first round of the class 4A playoffs. Moody knocked Chelsea out of the post-season in the second round last year.

&8220;We hope to take a lot out of the Shelby County game into the playoffs,&8221; Parker said. &8220;We treat every game as its own little season and I can’t remember the last time Chelsea has finished the regular season with a 9-1 record.&8221;

Kickoff for Friday night’s rivalry game at Shelby County is scheduled for 7 p.m