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CHS football Week 1: Yellow Jackets shut down Hamilton County

  • Lucas Rader rushed six times for 48 yards and had two tackles.

    Lucas Rader rushed six times for 48 yards and had two tackles.
    Jim Beers photo

By Jim Beers
Contributing writer
updated: 3/31/2021 12:23 PM

The Chester Yellow Jackets started the 2021 season with a 28-0 win over Black Diamond Conference rival Hamilton County, in what was supposed to be a home game but ended up being played in Johnston City.

W.O. Smith Field was flooded by all the rain, and not only did officials not want to destroy the field, they didn't consider conditions safe enough to play.

"Our field was flooded and W.O. Smith was not safe," said Athletic Director Jeremy Blechle. He added that the high school reseeded the field, "and we have put quite a bit of time, effort and money into getting it in good shape for the fall season.

"Playing on it with the extreme wetness would have damaged it," he said.

Blechle called around and found the Johnston City stadium was available and the game was shifted there. Ironically, the Yellow Jackets have their first away game this coming Friday against the Johnston City Indians.

Key players for the Yellow Jackets included quarterback Dylan Kelkhoff, with 56 yards passing and 68 yards rushing, and wide receiver Cooper Eggemeyer who had 37 yards receiving. As a team, the Foxes recorded 51 rushing yards.

Chester's first score was in the first quarter when junior running back Aiden Jany ran for a 1-yard touchdown. Junior Jared Landeros kicked the extra point and the Jackets led, 7-0.

Later in the period, junior running back Jordan Merideth ran seven yards for Chester's second touchdown. Landeros missed the extra point kick. CHS led, 13-0.

Neither team scored in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Dylan Kelkhoff hit Cooper Eggemeyer for a nice 37-yard touchdown pass. Jared Landeros made the extra point kick and the Yellow Jackets led, 20-0 to end the period.

In the fourth quarter Chester added two more points on a safety. The Yellow Jackets' final score came on an Aiden Jany pick-6. The Landeros extra point kick was no good and the Jackets settled for a 28-0 victory.

"This was a great team win for the seniors and all of the players," Head Coach Billy Belton said, "They worked so hard to get to today's game and they played extremely well.

Belton credited Coach Eggemeyer with having the defense primed to tackle, and cause turnovers.

"The defense even had a safety today," Belton said. "Aiden Jany scored a touchdown on a pass interception and had four or five tackles. Lucas Rader, Shane Bicket, Daigen Hunter, Jared Landeros and Justin Clendenin all played great."

Belton also praised the offense, saying they put together some great drives. "Tyler Holm, Dylan Kelkhoff, Aiden Jany and Cooper Eggemeyer played extremely well," he said. "The offensive line did an amazing job."

Game stats

Chester ran 56 plays for 248 total yards: 56 passing/192 rushing. The Jackets had 12 first downs but were 0-10 on third down efficiency. CHS had 1 fumble and only one penalty for 10 yards.

Hamilton County ran 58 plays for 121 total yards: 39 passing/82 rushing. The Foxes had eight first downs and 2 for 13 third down conversions. HamCo fumbled 5 times, turning the ball over on three of them. Quarterback G. Lueke threw two interceptions. The Foxes had one penalty for five yards.

Chester offense: Kelkhoff was 4 for 8 passing for 56 yards; one touchdown and no interceptions. Kelkhoff rushed 11 times for 68 yards); Rader rushed 6 times for 48 yards; Jany was 15 for 43 and a TD; Merideth was 9 for 28 yards and a TD. Cooper Eggemeyer caught one pass for 37 yards and a TD; Merideth caught two passes for eight yards.

Chester tackles: Rader 2; Jany 2 (and 2 assists); Merideth 2 (and 2 assists) Hunter 2 (and 2 assists); Landeros 2 (and 1 assist); Alvarez 1; Holm 1; Isaac Jany 1; Jacob Cowell 2 assists; and Brad Ruch 1 assist.

Jordan Merideth had 1 kickoff return of 47 yards and Nate Heffernan had 1 kickoff return of 2 yards. Merideth also had 2 punt returns averaging six yards per return.