Hornets top Sylacauga

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Chelsea Hornets went on the road Friday night to sting the Sylacauga Aggies 22-14 and to keep hopes of a Region 5 championship alive.

The Aggies were looking for an additional region win to claim first round home field advantage while the Hornets were fighting to keep their goal of a Region 5 crown intact by remaining unbeaten in region play.

The Aggie offense began the contest with a short drive which ended with a sack by the Hornets&8217; defense, forcing a punt from the Aggies&8217; 39-yard line.

After taking over from their own 11-yard line, the Hornets&8217; one-two punch of senior quarterback, Coty McLaughlin, and elusive running back, Davin Palmer, chiseled the Aggie defense for a 20-play, 89 yard scoring drive capped by a 7-yard Palmer run.

With the Matt Jordan PAT, Chelsea would lead 7-0.

Play continued through the second quarter with hard hits and battle of field position, like a chess match on grass.

McLaughlin called checkmate when he bolted to the Aggie end zone on an 8-yard keeper with 5:22 remaining in the second quarter.

Jordan&8217;s PAT was no good.

Going into the half, the Hornets were out to an uncontested 12-0 lead with a swarming defense, allowing a simple 58 yards of total offense for the Aggies. Chelsea&8217;s offense accumulated 209 yards of their own.

Out of the locker room and onto the field, the Hornets&8217; offense picked up right were it left off in the first half, scoring on the first possession when Jordan split the uprights on a 20-yard field goal.

Midway through the third, Chelsea held a comfortable 16-0 lead.

With the third stanza coming to an end, the Hornets&8217; offense, was knocking at the Aggies&8217; end zone yet again, second and eight from the Aggies&8217; 14-yard line.

Palmer reacquainted himself with the Aggies&8217; end zone on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard dash for his second score of the night.

After the missed PAT, Chelsea looked to be cruising to another win with a 22-0 lead.

The Aggies&8217; offense came alive as time ticked away in the fourth with touchdown scoring runs from Derek Pope and Robert Barnett, both from the Hornet 8-yard line.

With 1:56 remaining in regulation, the Aggies attempted an onside kick, but to no avail.

The Hornets held on to claim the win.

As a whole, the Hornets&8217; offense rolled up 322 yards of total offense while allowing 188 yards from a feisty Aggie team.

Palmer cut up the field, gathering 131 rushing yards on 31 attempts with his counterpart, McLaughlin, stacking up 102 yards rushing of his own on 13 carries.

&8220;I am very proud of our effort,&8221; Hornets&8217; head coach Wade Waldrop said.

&8220;We had a good week of work, and we did what we had to do tonight to come here and get a win. We are very fortunate to be able to come on the road and win here tonight.&8221;

&8220;Sylacauga played hard all night and is a well coached football team,&8221; he added.

Friday night, the Hornets will lay it all on the line as they clash with the other Region 5 unbeaten Briarwood Lions.

The winner will take over sole possession of Region 5 and will be crowned the region champion.

&8220;It doesn&8217;t get any better than that,&8221; Waldrop described the match up with the Lions.