It was an absolutely perfect night for Chelsea’s first home football game of the season. The Bulldog faithful piled in and the student section and many fans were dressed in patriotic colors as Chelsea were set to take on the Toronto Northern Secondary School Red Knights from Canada. It was the first time a Canadian football team had ever played in Chelsea. There was no game film or scouting reports on the Red Knights but Head Coach Brad Bush had his team ready and prepared.
The Bulldogs kicked off and the defense shut down the Red Knights immediately. On fourth down as Northern punted hard hitting Junior Matt Weisberg plowed past his blocker and was able to block the punt. After a scramble for the loose ball, it was Chelsea that recovered and would start on offense on the Northern 21 yard line. It only took less than a minute and 3 plays for Gus Reynolds to put the ball in the end zone giving the Bulldogs the early lead. After another quick 3 and out and a great Cam Cooper punt return it was Quarterback Jack Bush taking off under pressure and making a great throw on the run, hitting Reynolds on a fade in the left side of the end zone to give the Bulldogs an early lead, 14-0 after the always reliable Chris Roush extra point kick.
After an excellent Roush kickoff and good coverage by Chelsea, Northern was backed up near their own goal line. After a few stops, it was right defensive end Travis Frazier shedding his blocker and putting pressure on the Northern quarterback and tackling him in the end zone. The ball was spotted at the 1-yard line though and Northern took the safety on fourth down instead of punting to the speedster Cooper.
“I really thought it was a safety, I had him good,” said an elated Travis Frazier. “But it’s ok, they took the safety on the next play, it’s all about the team.”
Chelsea took over with great field position again. With Chelsea lined up at the Northern 30 Bush threw a quick pass to Cooper who flew down the field and behind great blocking was able to score for the second time in the game putting the Bulldogs up 23-0. It was at this point Coach Bush started putting in some of the younger players to give them all a chance to play and gain experience.
In the second quarter, Drew Anstead took over at quarterback and completed a perfect pass to Tight End Alex Vasquez for the score, the team going 50 yards in just 3 plays. After another defensive stop, it was Reynolds picking up his second touchdown of the game following his blockers and juking defenders to blast it in for a 27-yard score. Quarterback Bush came in to kick the extra point giving the Bulldogs a huge 37-0 lead going into the half.
In the second half, it was all Chelsea again but playing more conservative. Senior Mikal Nelson went in to finish the rest of the game at quarterback. Nelson scored late in the fourth on a 6-yard quarterback keeper, using his strength and power like he does in lacrosse.
“I used to play quarterback but then I stopped growing,” joked Nelson.
The Bulldog defense played exceptional forcing bad passes, making great tackles, and forcing turnovers. Hunter White and Braden Steele each had interceptions for Chelsea. Travis Frazier had an excellent game for Chelsea finishing with 5 tackles and 3 sacks in limited duty. James Mida finished with 2 tackles and a sack. The defense limited Northern to just 3 total yards of offense on 32 plays.
Bush finished perfect for the night completing all 6 of his passes for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns. Reynolds led all Bulldog rushers with 54 yards on 6 carries and 2 scores, while Junior Aiden Chisolm-Blockton finished with 23 yards on 3 carries. Cooper led all receivers with 46 yards on 2 receptions.
Chelsea plays host to their rival Dexter next Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m.