Chelsea wins fourth-straight

CHELSEA – The Chelsea Hornets defense held strong to defeat the Sylacauga Aggies and quarterback Kelsey Pope 41-22 Friday.

“I was very proud of our defense. We talked all week about containing their quarterback, because he’s hurt some folks on film,” Chelsea head coach Wade Waldrop said.

Pope collected 273 of the Aggies’ 372 yards of offense but contributed to only one touchdown – a 67-yard strike to Josh Crowe in the second quarter.

Chelsea’s offense did what it does best, running the football for 255 yards on 43 carries to control the clock, including 189 yards on the ground in the first half.

Quarterback Blake Yance led the charge in the first half with 85 yards rushing, while Zac Hilliard and Garrett Salter followed with 60 and 45 yards respectively. David Strider recovered a fumble on the opening drive of the game on the Sylacauga 30-yard line to give the ball to the Hornets. Salter later gave Chelsea their first score with a 5-yard run. Sylacauga answered with a 29-yard field goal by Sylacauga, but Strider added a 1-yard run for a touchdown to give the Hornets a 14-3 lead at the end of 12 minutes.

Chelsea added three more touchdowns in the second quarter on three big plays. Yance found Blake Woo on a 46-yard pass for the first score. The Aggies put together a drive to move the ball down to the Chelsea 24-yard line, but on fourth-and-nine Kenny Waters leapt for the interception and returned it to the Hornets’ 35-yard line to set up a new drive. Hilliard capped the drive with a 45-yard run before Pope tossed the first touchdown for Sylacauga. Yance connected with Woo again before the half on a second-and-6, 55-yard pass to go up 35-9. The Hornets had a shot at another score before the half after a fumbled kickoff at the Sylacauga 28-yard line, but four consecutive holding penalties later, time expired for the half.

Salter, who broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark early in the game, opened the second half with a 6-yard touchdown run on the second possession of the half after a Strider fumble recovery. Matt Jordan, previously perfect for the season, pushed the point-after kick wide right to keep the score at 41-9.

Sylacauga added another score in the third and one in the fourth to round out the scoring.

Chelsea (6-2, 5-1) hosts top-ranked Briarwood Christian Friday for a chance to share the Class 5A, Region 5 title.

Mark McLaughlin contributed to this report.

football: chelse