Chelsea picks up first win in homecoming game

A 45-minute rain delay and muddy playing conditions didn’t slow the Chelsea High School football team Friday night as it rolled to a 41-12 homecoming victory over region foe Talladega.

“It’s long overdue,” Chelsea head coach Wade Waldrop said of his team’s first win of the season. “Our guys played in awful conditions tonight, but they played well.

“These guys deserved this win,” Waldrop added. “We had a good week of preparation, and we are going to keep improving each week. Hopefully we will come back Monday with the same attitude we had last week.”

The Chelsea Hornets improved to 1-3 with the win, while the Talladega Tigers fell to an 0-4 start to the season.

The Hornets took the lead early in the first quarter when Chelsea’s Jake Ganus ran the ball in from 3 yards out, capping off a 38-yard, nine-play drive. Kicker Alex Levinson added the extra point.

The Tigers pulled to within one point a few minutes later when Talladega quarterback William Bailey completed a 14-yard pass to wide receiver Deantarious Holtzclaw, who then ran the ball 25 yards for a touchdown. However, the Tigers missed the extra point, giving Chelsea a 7-6 advantage.

After the rain delay, Chelsea quarterback John Michael Lawley found tight end John Calhoun for a 15-yard touchdown. Levinson added the extra point.

Chelsea then widened the gap to 20-6 midway through the second quarter when a 33-yard pass from Lawley to running back D.J. Washington set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Ganus. A botched hold prevented Levinson from completing the extra point.

On the next series, Ganus intercepted a Talladega pass on the Chelsea 36-yard line and ran it back for a touchdown, bringing the score to 27-6 after Levinson completed the extra point.

Talladega made a brief comeback early in the third quarter when Bailey connected with Holtzclaw on a 28-yard pass, setting up a quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line into the end zone. The score remained 27-12 after the Tigers failed to complete the two-point conversion.

Chelsea scored twice more in the third quarter, once when Washington powered from the 1-yard line into the end zone, and again when Ganus ran five yards for a touchdown.

“Just like last week, we prepared very well for this game,” Waldrop said. “We played well, and the guys have been working very hard for this.”

Chelsea next week will take a break from region play when it hosts Jemison.