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Chelsea Defense Comes Up Big In 10-7 Comeback Victory Over Pinckney

 

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Chelsea Sophomore Garrett Steele wraps up Pinckney’s back in the first quarter

It was fourth and short again for the Chelsea Bulldogs. They were too far away from the end zone for a field goal and yet too close for a punt and needed a score, down 7-0 with time winding down. Bulldog quarterback Thomas Steele rolled out to his left and threw a quick pass to his receiver Hunter Neff who had no chance at the reception as he was draped and held by the Pinckney defender. This was the second time on the night this had happened to the Bulldogs and Chelsea Head Coach Brad Bush was livid at the lack of the call. But this was how Chelsea’s night was going. Try as they might, they just weren’t getting the calls and things weren’t going their way offensively.

The Pirates, who are back in the Southeast Conference White Division, were playing the Bulldogs for the first time in 19 years. They came into the game off a big victory over Ypsilanti Lincoln. Pinckney boasts a lot of size up front on both sides of the ball. And they used that to their advantage right away as the drove down the field on their first possession after kickoff, a drive that took only 4 minutes and moved 69 yards capped off by a Levi Collins touchdown run.

The Bulldog defense gathered off the field and proudly proclaimed that this was “their house and that the Pirates weren’t going to score again!” And they kept their word.

While the Bulldog offense just couldn’t get the running game going (just 64 yards on the night), the defense played true to their word keeping the Bulldogs in the game. Led by Sophomore Garret Steele’s team leading 9 tackles (.5 for loss), Owen Nikischer’s 8, Braden Steele’s 7, and Western Michigan commit Ronnie Bufords 8 tackles with 3 sacks the Bulldog defense was relentless.
“Our defense played extremely well tonight,” Coach Bush stated after the game. “They kept us in this game, they never gave up, and they gave us every chance to win. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

And it was the defense who forced a fumble with Patrick Bertoni returning it 23 yards for the Bulldogs. But again the drive would stall. After another great Quentin Beck punt (48.3 average on the night), the Pirates were backed up on their own end. They had tried a fake field goal earlier which the Bulldogs thwarted and this time on a fourth a 1 they tried a fake punt with punter Levi Collins running right but the defense swarmed him and Pinckney lost 3 yards on the play giving the Bulldogs the ball on the Pinckney 48 yard line with just a little over 5 minutes left in the game and down by a touchdown.

The Bulldogs offense moved the ball with a couple short runs by Aaron McDaniels and on third and long, Steele, under a lot of pressure as he rolled to his left launched a perfect 33-yard strike to the speedster Aiden Chisholm who made a fantastic catch over Pinckney’s Nolan Houghteling for the score! Cullen Lindsy kicked the extra point to tie the game.

“It felt amazing to make that catch for my team late in the game,” Chisholm excitedly said. “It was an even better throw by Thomas (Steele) under pressure. That game meant a lot to the team and to be able to help them win it was something I’m never going to forget!”

Cullen’s kickoff went deep to the Pirates right side where the kick returner dropped the ball then tried to run behind a wall towards his own sideline but the Bulldogs grabbed him early and forced a fumble which the Pirates recovered. The Pirates were pinned deep in their own territory at their own 8-yard line with just over 2 minutes to go in the game.

The Bulldogs forced a 3 and out and as the Pirate punter Collins got the kick away two Bulldogs were able to get their hands on it deflecting it and Chelsea took over at the Pirate 24 yard line with plenty of time for them to move the ball closer to a game winning score.

Chelsea ran the ball conservatively and was faced with another fourth down. This time Coach Bush called on his kicker Lindsay to do his thing. Lindsay in only his first year ever kicking in football made the 32 yard 3 pointer with ease and then some to give the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead with little time left in front of a large, excited home crowd.  The defense did the rest as the Pirates tried to run sideline out routes but ran out of timeouts and time as the Bulldog faithful erupted in joy after watching one of the most exciting comeback victories in Chelsea history.

“It’s just like soccer to me,” Lindsay explained when called upon to make the big kick for the lead and the eventual victory. “I’ve been in front of crowds before, I just went with it. I did what I had to do, just went out there and executed. I’m so pumped, I’m happy for the team to get the victory.”

“We’ve never had a soccer style kicker before,” Coach Bush said about his kickers game winning field goal. “But he’s used to competing and he’s a calm, laid back guy. I felt good about it the whole time.”

The Bulldogs were outgained in yardage overall by the Pirates especially in the running game. The Pirates Collins had 118 grounds on the ground while their quarterback Wurzer was 14 for 22 for 121 yards. Steele led the Bulldogs through the air with very similar stats, going 11 of 17 for 147 yards. The big difference was Steele’s touchdown pass late in the game.

“That’s a good football team, a really good football team,” Coach Bush said of the Pirates. “I felt they outplayed us for about 3 1/2 quarters. Our defense made great plays for us, came up big. Pinckney is a great defensive team but I think we need to go back and look at our offense, I was a little disappointed with our production on offense tonight, but in the same sense, we found a way to win the game.”

“We really stepped up tonight with our defense,” Bulldog defensive end Ronnie Buford said. “They came out strong, they got us on the first drive, but we came up big after that. I feel amazing, amazing, this was a great team win.”

Chelsea will get back to work after the long labor day holiday weekend as they start school on the 5th and will be hosting  Ypsilanti Lincoln on Friday the 8th. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Lincoln will come in looking for their first victory of the season while Chelsea remains undefeated at 2-0 (1-0 in Conference)

 

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bulldogs, chelsea high school, high school, mhsaa, Pinckney, Pinckney Pirates, sports

Jackson High School to join SEC White starting in 2018-19 school year

Jackson High School has been seeking a new athletic conference to join, and it now has one. The Jackson School Board voted unanimously to approve the switch from the Capital Area Activites Conference (CAAC) to the Southeastern Conference White Divison for all Jackson High sports teams beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

The SEC White, a six-school league in 2016-17, will add Pinckney to the conference for the 2017-18 year before Jackson makes it an eight-team league the following season.  Jackson’s enrollment of 1,246 would make it the third-largest school in the SEC White. In addition to newcomer Pinckney (1,279), the SEC White includes Adrian (794), Chelsea (867), Dexter (1,146), Tecumseh (832), Ypsilanti (1,115) and Ypsilanti Lincoln (1,404).

The Red Division includes Ann Arbor Huron (1,589), Ann Arbor Pioneer (2,055), Ann Arbor Skyline (1,752), Monroe (2,046), Saline (1,923) and Temperance Bedford (1,597). There are no plans for expanding the SEC Red.

The CAAC consists of eight teams, seven of which are considered Lansing area. The SEC White will have eight teams, each of which has its own geographic region.

“Each school (in the SEC) has its own sense of community,” Jackson High Athletic Director Jack Fairly said earlier this month. “The CAAC has been good to us, but being from the Jackson area, we’re down here by ourselves. Teams in (the SEC) all have their own community, whereas the CAAC was really a greater-Lansing conference and then us.”

Joining a conference that didn’t increase travel was also an important dynamic. The distance between Jackson and every school in the SEC White ranges from 26-51 miles while the distance between Jackson and the CAAC schools ranged from 32-49 miles. Additionally, the annual SEC league fee is $700, compared to $3,125 in the CAAC.

Starting this fall in 2017 Pinckney comes back to the SEC after it left in to join the Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) in 2000. The Pirates held rivalries with Dexter and Chelsea, as well as Tecumseh, still playing an annual basketball game with the Dreadnaughts.

Pinckney was looking for a good conference fit and as their enrollment falls they will be on pace with several of the other schools in the SEC White.
 “We’re joining a conference where schools have some of the strongest programs in the state,” Pinckney Athletic Director Brian Wardlow said. “But it does allow us to get back into a more level playing field and against some of our neighbors. This seemed like a natural fit, even on more levels than athletics.”
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field hockey, Gabriel Richard, girls, high school, mhsaa, Pinckney, Pinckney Field Hockey, Pinckney Pirates, sports, Uncategorized

Pinckney Field Hockey Edged In Downpour

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In a battle of two field hockey teams in their inaugural seasons, it was Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard  defeating Pinckney in a very tough 3-1 game. In Pinckney, it was a very beautiful, warm fall evening until with about 3 minutes left in the first half the sky exploded with torrential rains. Both teams played through it though until the very end.

The Pirates put a lot of pressure on the Irish netminder early through the first half, and they struck first in the game when Molly Miller took a deflection and passed it out to Nicole Burcon who buried the ball to the right in the Irish goal. It was the Pinckney Field Hockey teams only second goal of its young existence.

The Pirates had several penalty corners in their advantage in the first half and were able to get many shots on goal. First half Pirate goalie Sam Smith stopped everything the Irish threw at her.

After halftime though, it was all Irish. They struck fast scoring on the first shot of the second half. In spite of the drenching rainstorms, both teams battled on and the Pirates put much pressure on the Irish but couldn’t get another score. The Irish would score twice more to seal the victory for them. The Pirates are still looking for their first victory as a team but it’s a very young team and is coming along very fine.

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Clarkson, field hockey, girls, high school, mhsaa, Pinckney, Pinckney Field Hockey, Pinckney Pirates, sports, Uncategorized

Pinckney Coming Along Strong In Inagural Season Of Field Hockey

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The Pinckney Pirates faced off against the Clarkston Wolves under the lights in a cold downpour

It had rained for much of the part of the day in Pinckney leaving the Pirate football field very  wet and slippery but it had stopped shortly before the Pirates would host the Clarkson Wolves in field hockey. Both teams are in their inaugural seasons and neither team has a victory let alone had scored a goal on the season.

“We are a very inexperienced team,” Coach Alison Wink stated.  “Only 6 of our 24 girls on the team have even played field hockey. But they are a great group of girls and are very excited to play and are learning and improving every game.”

Just as the game started the Heavens decided to pour down a heavy, cold rain. Undeterred, Pinckney took control right away and moved the ball very well keeping it in Clarkston’s zone for much of the first half. Midway through the first half,the Wolves scored to appear their first goal but it was waved off because of a violation. The Pirates had 5 penalty corners in the first half but failed to capitalize while the Wolves had  4. Both defenses were very strong as they took a 0-0 tie into halftime.

After the 5 minute intermission, it was the Wolves that took control early as they dribbled the ball upfield quickly and scored the team’s first-ever goal in team history just 30 seconds into the half. But Pinckney battled back and just a little over halfway in the period it was the Pirates making history as they scored their first goal ever for the team to tie the game up 1-1. The score was created by a deflection and a beautiful pass from Molly Miller to Madison Stevens who buried the ball in the back of the net. The crowd and the girls all went crazy in excitement, and justifiably so.

With the game tied and both teams playing tough the Wolves capitalized with less than 7 minutes to go as they took a turnover and created an odd-man advantage as they carried down the left side of the field to net the go-ahead goal. Pinckney never gave up though and tried hard to battle back and put much pressure on the Wolves goaltender but it wasn’t enough as the Wolves won the game 2-1.

It was a night of first for both teams as Clarkston scored it’s first ever goal and achieved it’s first victory. Pinckney scored it’s first ever goal also and the team is headed in the right direction with lots of talent on it.

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