Oak Mountain shuts out Chelsea in county battle

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

CHELSEA – Following a week off for spring break the Class 6A 10th-ranked Chelsea Hornets and Class 7A No. 3 Oak Mountain started the final three weeks of the regular season off with a bang in a tough county battle against one another at Chelsea High School on Tuesday, April 2.

While both teams were playing strong defense coming into the game, Oak Mountain had pulled off eight shutouts heading into the matchup and used that confidence to fuel a ninth shutout of the season with a 2-0 road victory over the Hornets.

Oak Mountain scored an early goal behind a shot from Corbitt Grundhoefer, while Cody Wells added a second goal late in the second half to close out the win.

The Eagles, who have given up one goal or less in 10 of their 15 games this season, never left the game in doubt playing from ahead.

Through the first 15 minutes of the game, Oak Mountain had a few good looks, but never capitalized.

It didn’t take long, however, for that to change. With 21:50 left in the opening half, a defensive mistake from Chelsea led to Logan Dunnaway finding Grundhoefer, who slotted in the first goal of the game for a 1-0 advantage.

For the majority of the first half, the Hornets were having to defend a dangerous Oak Mountain attack.

The best chance for Chelsea came with close to 10 minutes remaining in the period on a cross into the box from Lando Nichols, but it was off the mark and found no one leaving the Hornets down 1-0 at the break.

Early in the second half, Chelsea still struggled to find offensive possessions and was forced to defend, but then Nichols got another great opportunity with close to 18 minutes remaining in the game.

He found a header that he directed toward the net looking for the equalizer, but the shot missed just wide to keep the Hornets in a 1-0 hole.

That ended up being the last great opportunity for Chelsea, and with five minutes remaining in the game, Wells was able to leap over the Hornets’ keeper before burying the insurance goal into the back of the net for the 2-0 win.

Oak Mountain is now 11-4 overall this season and 3-0 in area play with area games against Hoover, Thompson and Tuscaloosa County still left.

With the loss Chelsea fell to 9-8 overall this season, and still sits at 1-1 in area play with a win against Chelsea and loss to Helena.