Chelsea takes down Carver for 2nd win in a row

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

CHELSEA – The Chelsea Hornets last held a winning percentage above .500 at the end of the 2016, but in the second year under head coach Dustin Goodwin, the Hornets are back above .500 just three weeks into the 2019 season after taking down Carver-Birmingham 32-10 at Chelsea High School on Friday, Sept. 6, for their second win in a row.

The Hornets fell behind 10-6 at the half and were struggling to score after posting just seven offensive points this season coming into the game, but the halftime speech from Goodwin got the team fired up, and in the second half, it was possibly the best they’ve looked in the last two years.

The first drive of the second half was a strong one for Chelsea, but the Hornets fumbled the ball away at the Rams’ 1-yard line to ruin the drive. Shortly after, however, Chelsea was able to force a safety, which brought the Hornets to within two points at 10-8 four minutes into the second half.

With the safety, Chelsea got the ball back, and took advantage of the swing in momentum thanks to a drive that was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run from running back Collier Blair, before quarterback Caleb Moore added the 2-point conversion to put the Hornets in front 16-10 with 5:53 to play in the third quarter.

Then, for the second week in a row, the kicking game made a difference.

In an upset of No. 1 Briarwood, it was a 49-yard field goal from Cooper Neal. This week, the Chelsea kicker not only kicked the perfect onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but he also recovered to give the Hornets the ball back at midfield.

Neal went on to miss a field goal shortly after, but he had helped shift the momentum with Carver now on its heels in every facet of the game.

On the ensuing drive, the Hornets were able to get a pick from Chad Carbonie, who gave his team the ball back immediately.

It took right at a minute for Blair to reel off another big run, this time a 36-yard touchdown run, as he extended Chelsea’s lead to 22-10 with less than 2:30 to play in the third quarter.

The Hornets carried the momentum swing into the final quarter, and with Carver’s defense now gassed, Chelsea was able to plow down the field and capped off a touchdown drive with an 8-yard scoring run from senior Jordan Smith to make it 29-10 with 10 minutes to play.

After getting the ball back and taking as much time off the clock as they could, the Hornets closed out the scoring on a 42-yard field goal from Neal to create the final score of 32-10.

Blair led the Hornets with 120 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Moore was 15-of-23 for 173 yards and one touchdown.

Chelsea is now 2-1 overall this season and is now set for a matchup with Jackson-Olin at home on Friday, Sept. 13. Jackson-Olin is coming off two consecutive losses and has scored a combined 20 points in its last two games.

Chelsea stats contributed by Mark McLaughlin.