Hornets pound Sylacauga in first region game

Published 11:25 pm Friday, September 2, 2011

Jon Wilson of Chelsea recovers an onside kick in the Hornets' 35-13 win over Sylacauga in their Class 5A, Region 7 opener Sept. 2. (Contributed/Cari Dean)

By STEVEN KILPATRICK / For the Reporter

CHELSEA — After a huge win a week ago in their home opener, the Chelsea Hornets remained undefeated after beating the Sylacauga Aggies 35-13 in their Class 5A, Region 7 opener Sept. 2.

The Aggies started out the game with the ball and drove down the field 83 yards after a huge 57-yard passing touchdown from quarterback Robert Hatton to take an early lead over the Hornets.

After failing to convert on fourth down on their first drive of the game, the Hornet defense stepped up and star safety Jake Ganus forced an interception to take the ball back. Three plays later, Ganus ran it in from 2 yards out to tie the game at 7-7.

Early in the second quarter, after forcing the Aggies to punt, Chelsea (2-0 overall, 1-0 in Class 5A, Region 7) drove down the field to the 6-yard line before the Aggies forced a fumble to take the ball back on their own 20. One play later, Hatton took it 80 yards to the house to give the Aggies a 6-point lead.

It was the last time Sylacauga saw the end zone for the night.

“We rallied on the sideline after that fumble,” Ganus said. “We just said forget about it, and we wanted to come back out and score and do what we do.”

On the Hornets’ next drive, Chelsea drove 65 yards down the field and scored on a 23-yard run by junior running back Julius McCall.

“We made a costly mistake going in, but I told our kids we were good, and we’d be alright,” Chelsea coach Wade Waldrop said during halftime.

The Chelsea defense came out after halftime firing on all cylinders, forcing two three-and-outs on the Aggies’ only drives of the third quarter.

McCall had a 32 yard touchdown run during the third quarter to give Chelsea an 8-point lead into the fourth quarter.

The Hornets were not done yet.

After a missed field goal early in the fourth quarter, Chelsea forced another
punt and then drove 84 yards down the field to take a 15-point lead after Ganus ran it in from 1 yard out.

On the Aggies’ next drive, they threw another interception, this time to junior linebacker Keelan Gregg. Three plays later, Ganus floated a pass to running
back Aki Coles to go up 35-13 late in the fourth quarter.

The Chelsea offense ended the game with 416 total yards. Both Ganus and McCall broke the 100-yard rushing mark with 130 and 181 yards, respectively. Both had two rushing touchdowns for the game.

“They both played real hard tonight,” Waldrop said. “This has to be Julius’ best game by far as his vision. But, they both played a great game.”

Chelsea heads to Columbiana to take on Shelby County in their second region game of the season Sept. 9.