Chelsea uses 6 rushing TDs to get past Jackson-Olin for 3rd straight win

By GRAHAM BROOKS | Staff Writer

CHELSEA – Thanks to a powerful run game and stingy defense, the Chelsea Hornets are off to a solid start in the 2019 season, this time blowing out region foe Jackson-Olin 42-7 on Friday, Sept. 13, to move to 2-0 in the Class 6A Region 5 standings.

Chelsea finished with six touchdowns, all coming on the ground, as the game was never in jeopardy for the Hornets.

A big special teams play late in the first quarter helped jumpstart the Hornets on the way to the 35-point win.

Jackson-Olin bobbled the snap on a punt that Chelsea recovered deep in the Mustang’s territory with 3:20 left in the first quarter.

On the next play, Chelsea wide receiver Adam Reaves lined up in the wildcat formation and scored from 9 yards out on a run to the right side to make it 7-0 Hornets. Reaves finished with two rushing touchdowns on the night.

Chelsea head coach Dustin Goodwin said the two scores by Reaves were part of the game plan coming in.

“It’s just a wrinkle to what we do. He’s a good athlete and we trust him with the ball in his hands and he did a good job,” Goodwin said. “The guys up front did a good job making a way for him and he was able to get it where he needed to go to get it in the end zone.”

Chelsea had another monster offensive performance from junior running back Collier Blair who ripped off touchdown runs of 24 and 53 yards to top the 100-yard mark for the second consecutive week.

Blair’s first touchdown came late in the first quarter on a 24-yard run to put the Hornets up 14-0 with 46 seconds left as Chelsea’s defense continued to get stops, not allowing a first down in the first quarter.

Chelsea’s defense forced another Jackson-Olin punt late in the second quarter to allow the Hornets’ offense to put together a drive with under two minutes left in the first half.

Chelsea quarterback Caleb Moore got the drive going with a 23-yard pass to tight end Alex Fritz to move the ball to Jackson-Olin’s 20-yard line.

This set up Reaves’ second score of the night, as he took the snap and powered up the middle for a 15-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 Chelsea at halftime.

The nail in the coffin came early in the third quarter, as Blair took a handoff and sprinted down the home sideline for a 53-yard touchdown to extend Chelsea’s lead to 28-0 with just over a minute taken off the clock in the half.

Goodwin said the difference in Blair this year is the fact that he’s now healthy.

“Collier is a good back and this year he’s finally healthy,” Goodwin said. “He was banged up most of last year so that’s the difference, but there again, it goes back to the guys up front. We’ve gotten better there and we aren’t blowing nearly as many assignments as we have and that creates those run lanes for our backs.”

The Hornets defense continued to stand tall in the second half, as the only points allowed came on a 17-yard swing pass for a touchdown following a roughing the passer penalty Chelsea committed on a fourth-and-25.

“We’ve played well all year on that side of the ball with the exception of something here and there but we feel good about the guys over there,” Goodwin said. “As long as they’re giving effort and not blowing assignments, they’re pretty good at what we do, and tonight they did a good job.”

Jackson-Olin still trailed 28-7, as Chelsea put the game away for good by adding two fourth quarter touchdowns.

The Hornets got a 3-yard touchdown run from Michael Gibbs and a 7-yard touchdown run from Kijani King with 1:30 left to bring the final to 42-7.

Blair finished the game with 106 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, while Moore ended his night 12-of-21 for 147 yards and one interception.

With the win, Chelsea surpassed its total wins from a season ago with three victories in the first four weeks of the season. The Hornets have now won three in a row and moved to 3-1 on the season and 2-0 in Class 6A Region 5 play.

Up next, Chelsea will try to move to 3-0 in region play as they travel to take on Pelham on Friday, Sept. 20, in a game that could have big early playoff implications.