Chelsea falls to No. 8 Homewood

Published 1:34 am Saturday, October 13, 2018

By Chris Megginson | For the Reporter

HOMEWOOD – Chelsea’s quest for its first win will wait another week as the Hornets fell at Class 6A, Region 5 frontrunner Homewood High School, 34-7, on Oct. 12 at Waldrop Stadium.

“We thought our kids played extremely hard like they have all year. We’re definitely proud of them for that,” said Chelsea Head Coach Dustin Goodwin.

Chelsea held Homewood scoreless in the first 12 minutes, due in part by two interceptions by Ladarius Gary, but the defense was only able to hold off the 6-1 Patriots for so long.

“We had a couple of interceptions and were able to swing momentum into our favor and were hoping to get things going. We had a couple of good runs here and there and compete a pass or two, but we were never able to get in a rhythm and sustain the drive. Anytime you’re sputtering offensively, it’s hard to score points that way,” Goodwin said.

Homewood’s Larkin Williams hit Wesley Williams for a 3-yard touchdown pass to open the second quarter and take a 7-0 lead. The Hornets were pushed back inside their 10 after a penalty on the kickoff, setting up a short pick-six for defensive lineman John Firnberg, who picked off Chelsea’s Turner Griffin to give Homewood a 14-0 lead with more than 11 minutes to play in the first half.

“It took some wind out of our sails, but you’ve got to bounce back and erase those negative plays and continue on with your job. I thought our quarterback played hard and our entire team fought hard for four quarters. These guys have no quit in them,” Goodwin said.

Part of that no-quit attitude showed through on special teams when the Hornets blocked a field goal with around five minutes to play in the half, however Larkin Williams had another touchdown strike, a 19-yard connection with Khardi Dalton, to make it 20-0 at halftime. Williams threw for 231 yards, completing 17-of-25 passes.

“For the majority of the first half, we really liked how we played, especially on special teams and thought we could find a way to move the football in the second half offensively, but in the second half we continued to have struggled offensively and the defense just got tired,” Goodwin said. “There’s got to be some give-and-take there. You’ve got to be able to sustain drives, move the football and score points. We weren’t able to do that and it’s a credit to Homewood, their front seven and the way they played.”

The Patriots stretched their lead, 27-0, in the third quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run by Khardi Dalton. Hansin Dalton then added a 28-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, making it 34-0.

Chelsea reached the end zone late on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Turner Griffin to Lando Nichols. Griffin completed 12-of-26 passes for 112 yards in the loss.

Homewood compiled 159 yards on the ground, led by Hansin Dalton’s 64 yards on 11 carries. Williams added 34 yards and Khardi Dalton had 32.

Chelsea was held to 180 total yards of offense, while Homewood put together a 390-yard night.

Cole Berryman and Chandler Pruitt led the Hornets’ defense with eight tackles apiece, while Ladarius Gary had a big night in the secondary, intercepting two passes.

Chelsea (0-7, 0-5 Region 5) will return home Oct. 19 to host the Minor Tigers (2-5, 2-2 Region 5) on Homecoming.

Chelsea statistician Mark McLaughlin contributed to this report.