Thompson throttles Chelsea in season finale
Published 11:08 pm Thursday, October 29, 2015
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
CHELSEA – In what started out as a relatively close contest quickly unraveled into a one-sided affair as the Thompson Warriors scored on nine out of their final 13 drives against the Chelsea Hornets, and hammered the home team by a final score of 56-21.
This was Thompson’s season finale, as the Warriors’ were eliminated from postseason play a few weeks ago. Chelsea, on the other hand, wrapped up the No. 3 playoff spot in 6A Region 3 when the Hornets beat Oxford two weeks ago, however Chelsea head coach Chris Elmore did not use the looming playoff game as a reason for the final score.
“We came to win the game,” Elmore said afterwards. “I’m not going to sit here and say we tried to rest people. We came to win the game and we played a better team, they were just better than us tonight. We knew it, we knew if they played in our region they’d be 7-2 also, maybe 8-1.”
Thompson hopped on the scoreboard first when quarterback Walker Lott found Jordan Haywood for an 18-yard score early in the first quarter, and the Warriors never relinquished the lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Chelsea wideout Jay Vickers took the kick 67 yards to set the Hornets up with good field possession, but quarterback Matt Marquet was later picked off inside the Thompson 10-yard line.
After forcing what turned out to be a rare punt on the night, the Hornets marched down the field successfully thanks in large part to an 18-yard completion from Marquet to Josh Gregg. Marquet juked and dodged his way into the end zone on a 10-yard run a few plays later, and the score was knotted at 7-7 in the first quarter.
From that point Thompson outscored Chelsea 49-14 the rest of the way, and looked virtually unstoppable on offense, striking quickly on a number of drives. On the very first play from scrimmage following Marquet’s touchdown run, senior running back Carlos Stephens took his first of what turned out to be three highlight-reel touchdown runs to the house from 54 yards out to put Thompson up 13-7.
After a Chelsea punt, Lott found Haywood again for a 54-yard touchdown on the second play of that drive. Then found Haywood again on the very next drive for a 39-yard score. Lott shared the wealth on the next drive, as he found Josh Huner for a 65-yard score to put Thompson up 33-7 with over six minutes still to go in the first half.
Stephens added two more scoring runs of 46 yards and 34 yards in the second half and finished with over 200 yards rushing on the night while Frank Mwakajumba also added a score and Dmitri Davis connected on a 36-yard field goal.
“It was a great way to end the season,” Thompson head coach Mark Freeman said after the game. “I’m proud of our kids. We judge them by the last things they did a lot of times. We’ll leave here tonight with a 5-5 record, which is not what we aimed for, but I’m proud of the kids for how they battled all year.”
Thompson finishes the 2015 season with a 5-5 record in one of the toughest regions in the state, which is a five-win upgrade from the 2014 season.
“We’re not ending where we wanted to, but we’re ending in the way we wanted to,” Freeman added.
Chelsea on the other hand still has football to look forward to. The Hornets will travel to Blount in the first round of the 6A playoffs. Blount beat Saraland 34-30 on Thursday night to claim the No. 2 seed out of Region 1.