Hornets, Eagles battle in jamboree
By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor
CHELSEA — Few observations about his team’s preseason jamboree mattered to Chelsea High School football coach Wade Waldrop as much as one important detail following a pair of scrimmages against Calera and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.
“We’re just glad to be healthy,” Waldrop said.
The Hornets and Eagles both remained injury free after a round-robin jamboree format Aug. 23.
Calera opened the jamboree with a scrimmage against Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, which ended in a 7-7 tie in the varsity quarter of action.
Calera junior wide receiver Ronnie Clark turned a sweep into a 58-yard touchdown run, and Stephen Ellison added an extra point, to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 6:13 remaining in the quarter.
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa tied the game at 7-7 following a 79-yard touchdown run with 5:59 left in the opening quarter and added another touchdown in the junior varsity portion of the scrimmage.
The Eagles and Hornets finished in a 7-7 tie following one quarter of a varsity scrimmage.
Chelsea senior running back Julius McCall scored on a 3-yard touchdown run, followed by an extra point by Taylor Martindale, to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead with 10:51 remaining in the quarter.
Calera tied the game following a 14-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Zack Reneau to wide receiver Jordan Bishop and an extra point by Ellison with four minutes remaining in the quarter.
Chelsea kicker Josh Carpenter’s 41-yard field-goal attempt with one second remaining in the quarter sailed wide left, which left the scrimmage in a 7-7 tie.
Calera coach Wiley McKeller was pleased to see his team hang with a pair of Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A programs.
“We’ve got a lot to work on,” McKeller said, “but we didn’t back down at any time.”
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa edged Chelsea 27-17 in a two-quarter scrimmage to cap the jamboree.
McCall reeled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trent Hagin and Martindale added the extra point to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead with 9:24 remaining in the first quarter.
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa scored a pair of touchdowns late in the quarter to carry a 13-7 lead at halftime in the two-quarter scrimmage, which featured a performance by the Chelsea band.
Following another Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa touchdown, Carpenter added a 47-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 27-10 with 8:02 remaining in the quarter.
Running back Darren Christian capped the scoring for the Hornets in the scrimmage with his 44-yard touchdown scamper with 4:13 remaining in the quarter. Austin Bailey added the extra point.
Waldrop said he saw plenty of positives in the Hornets’ pair of scrimmages.
“I was pleased with our effort,” Waldrop said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but it was a good start.”