Chelsea runs past Helena to lock up playoff spot

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

CHELSEA–The Chelsea Hornets accumulated 302 total rushing yards and locked up a spot in the playoffs after cruising to a 51-23 victory over the Helena Huskies on Oct. 21 in a critical Class 6A Area Region 3 matchup.

The Hornets scored on their opening possession and never looked back as Chelsea scored 31 first half points and held a comfortable 31-3 lead going into the half.

Helena had no answer for Chelsea senior running back Zalon Reynolds who finished the game with 177 yards and three touchdowns.

On Chelsea’s opening possession, Hornets quarterback Matt Marquet hit wide receiver Jay Vickers for a 14-yard touchdown pass to put Chelsea up 7-0.

Helena would respond on their opening drive as quarterback Riley Davis hit wide receiver Dionte Tolbert for a 54-yard gain to set up a 30-yard field goal from Cameron Beery to cut the Hornets lead to 7-3 but that’s as close as the Huskies would get.

Chelsea would score 31 unanswered points to put the game out of reach highlighted by touchdown runs of 29 and 11 yards by Reynolds and touchdown runs of 6 and 37 yards by Marquet.

“I told them in the locker room before the game let’s go do what we do and you don’t have to do anything special just execute,” said Chelsea head coach Chris Elmore. “We came out to play and I thought we did. In all three phases I thought we played hard, played efficient and didn’t make a lot of mistakes and when we got opportunities to score we did and when we had opportunities to get off the field on defense we did so I was real proud.”

In the second half, Reynolds reeled off another impressive touchdown run from 59 yards out to extend the Hornets lead to 44-10.

Helena had a couple of big plays in the second half as Davis connected with wide receiver Jake Busby on two separate touchdowns. One being from 33 yards out and the second coming from five yards out.

Busby finished with 126 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

With the win over Helena and Wetumpka defeating Benjamin Russell 41-14, Chelsea secured the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.

With the loss, Helena has now been eliminated from playoff contention.

Game stats courtesy of Mark McLaughlin.