Garrison’s 5 touchdowns lead Chelsea to 2nd straight win

Published 10:48 pm Thursday, September 30, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

BIRMINGHAM – Hayden Garrison’s five-touchdown night helped the Chelsea Hornets pick up their second win in a row on Thursday, Sept. 30 in a 42-7 region win against Woodlawn.

Heading into last week’s game against Pelham, the Hornets were 0-4 on the season, but they have now put together a winning streak to not only improve to 2-4 overall but 1-2 in region play, which puts them firmly in the playoff picture.

Garrison’s special night saw him finish 9-of-15 for 240 yards and five touchdowns with one interception.

He got his first crack to put points on the board early in the game after Cody Fortenberry came up with a big interception on Woodlawn’s first drive.

Shortly after, Garrison hit Marquis Turner from 6 yards out to put the Hornets on top 7-0 with 10:29 to play.

Chelsea’s defense then forced a punt on Woodlawn’s ensing drive, which gave the ball right back to a dangerous Hornets’ offense.

They capitalized quickly when Matt Gray reeled off a 71-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0 with 7:11 remaining in the opening quarter. That one run accounted for the majority of Gray’s 87 yards on six carries.

The Chelsea defense then made its third big play of the quarter when Anderson Brooks picked off another pass to put the ball right back into the hands of the Hornet’s offense.

Going up against a Woodlawn defense that had been on the field for the majority of the quarter, Garrison capitalized by hitting Emerson Russel for a 34-yard touchdown to make it 21-0 at the end of the opening period.

Chelsea came close to making it 28-0 in the opening period, but instead waited six seconds into the second quarter to make that happen.

Garrison hit MJ Conrad for 28 yards to give the Hornets a four-touchdown lead with 11:54 to play in the half.

Woodlawn’s lone points of the night came less than two minutes later when Dewayne Brown went 83 yards to the house on a fake punt that cut the deficit to 28-7.

Chelsea, however, was able to put one more touchdown on the board before the half.

After a back-and-forth stretch featuring a Chelsea interception and a Woodlawn punt, the Hornets got the ball back one last time and capitalized when Garrison hit Thomas Simpson on a 64-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-7 at the break.

With the 42 combined points in the first half, the second half was much quieter with the Hornets looking to run the clock and put the game away.

Following a scoreless and quick third quarter, however, Garrison did pick up his fifth-and-final touchdown of the night when he hit JyDarian McKinney for an 86-yard touchdown pass to bring the game to its final score of 42-7.

Simpson led all receivers with 87 yards on three catches, while McKinney finished one yard behind with his lone reception. Five different receivers accounted for a touchdown in the win.

Defensively, Brooks not only had an interception but also added 6.5 tackles to tie for the team lead with Turner, including 2.5 tackles for loss.

Stats contributed by Mark McLaughlin