Helena Storms Past Chelsea 50-14 in Season Opener

Helena, AL — The Helena Huskies set the tone for the season in commanding fashion, securing a decisive 50-14 victory over the Chelsea Hornets on Thursday, August 24, at the Mark Hall Athletic Complex.

Helena’s offensive prowess was on full display as they tallied an impressive five rushing touchdowns, with star player Jeremy Spratling contributing three of those in a standout performance. Jordan Washington joined the touchdown parade with two scores of his own.

Washington emerged as the game’s premier rusher, amassing an impressive 153 yards on 16 carries, while finding the end zone twice. Spratling showcased his skill with a commendable 117 yards on 10 carries, accompanied by three scores.

The Huskies stormed into the 2023 season, kicking off the north Shelby County contest with a commanding 12-play drive, fueled by back-to-back first-down runs from Washington. Capitalizing on their momentum, newly appointed quarterback Carson Acker exhibited his arm strength, ultimately connecting with Torrey Ward for a pivotal 21-yard touchdown pass, securing an early 7-0 lead for the Huskies.

The Hornets fought back with a determined drive of their own, employing swift snaps and short-yardage plays. However, their efforts fell short as Dotson’s third-down pass to Anthony Lanzi in the end zone went incomplete due to tight coverage. The subsequent field goal attempt by Chelsea was off the mark, allowing the Huskies to reclaim possession at their 21-yard line.

Seizing the opportunity, Washington showcased his breakaway speed with a breathtaking 79-yard touchdown run, expanding Helena’s lead to 13 points. Despite facing challenges, including a blocked field goal attempt and a thwarted touchdown due to a penalty, the Huskies continued their offensive onslaught.

Chelsea countered with a 40-yard rushing touchdown from Emerson Russell early in the second quarter, slicing into the Huskies’ lead and narrowing the gap to six points. However, Helena’s response was swift as Hunter Hale snagged an 82-yard touchdown reception, extending their advantage to 19-7 before halftime. Hale accumulated an impressive 98 receiving yards on three receptions.

The second half belonged entirely to the Huskies, as they dominated every facet of the game. Spratling’s pivotal contribution commenced in the early stages of the third quarter, extending their lead to 33-14 with a crucial touchdown. The Huskies’ next drive culminated in field goal, followed by a Spratling 6-yard touchdown, pushing Helena to a commanding 43-14 lead.

In a crowning moment, Spratling solidified his stellar performance with a spectacular 92-yard touchdown run, sealing the deal on the Huskies’ triumphant 50-14 opening night victory.

Statistically, Helena outperformed Chelsea, amassing 428 total yards of offense compared to 263 yards for the Hornets. Washington stood out with an impressive 135 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while Spratling contributed 105 yards and three touchdowns to the team’s victory. Chelsea’s Russell showcased commendable effort with 118 rushing yards and two scores.

Looking ahead, Helena is set to host the Buckhorn Bucks on September 1, while Chelsea prepares for their home opener against the Calera Eagles in Week 2. This marks Helena’s third consecutive victory over their Shelby County rivals.

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