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Chelsea Rolls Into Playoffs With Big 42-7 Win Over Alpena

 

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2017 Chelsea Seniors

 

On a night honoring all their seniors in front of a packed crowd, the Chelsea Bulldogs did not disappoint as they rolled over the visiting Alpena Wildcats 42-7. The Bulldogs, who were playing the Wildcats for the first time in their history put on an impressive show on defense and offense as they gained momentum as they begin the playoffs next week.

Alpena drove down the field on the first drive of the game using their power run game but had to settle for a field goal attempt. But Ronnie Buford wasn’t about to have that in his house on senior night as he shot the gap and using his 6-foot 5-inch frame the Western University commit made an impressive block. Buford had an outstanding night on defense as he finished the night with 8 total tackles with 1 for a loss in limited playing time.

The Bulldogs took over at the 16-yard line and drove the ball 84 yards downfield as quarterback Thomas Steele finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run capitalized by a diving second attempt to break the goal line for the score.

The Bulldog defense came up big on the next drive for the Wildcats as Blake Engler forced a fumble near midfield which was recovered by Dion Mite. 3 plays later on a bit of trickery it was Hunter Neff throwing a perfect 51-yard pass to Aiden Chisholm for the Bulldog score and two touchdown lead.

Again the Bulldog defense went to work and forced another fumble recovered by Garrett Steele. Again the offense drove fast and furious and Steele scored on the keeper from 11 yards out, on a beautiful run seamlessly moving through defenders. The Bulldogs would take a 21-0 lead into the halftime.

After an impressive halftime show by the 146 member marching band and the honoring of their many seniors, the Bulldogs went back to work. Alpena was able to drive down the field and get on the board as Logan Guthrie would score from a yard out to cut the Bulldog lead to 14.

The Bulldogs would drive down the field and answer the Wildcats score with an Aaron McDaniels score. Kyle Knight and Quinn Starkey would also score for the Bulldogs on runs in the 4th quarter to give the Bulldogs a huge 42-7 victory.

“This was a good team win for us,” Thomas Steele stated after the game. ” The o-line is stepping up big. This is a good way to go into the playoffs, I feel really good about that.”

The defense has stepped up big all year and tonight was no different as they held Alpena to 233 total yards of offense and forced 5 turnovers. 4 fumbles forced with recoveries by Mite, Garrett Steele,  Kyle Simmerman, and Jake Seitz and 1 interception by Quentin Beck. Owen Nikischer hit double digits in total tackles with 11, while Garrett Steele had 8, Gus Reynolds had 5, 1 sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, Engler had 5 tackles and a sack and a tackle for loss also.

“The emotion right now, knowing many other schools on Monday will be turning in equipment, and we still have the opportunity to keep playing is just great,” Ronnie Buford said after the game. “It’s senior night, lots of emotions, it’s just a great victory, a great feeling.”

McDaniels led the Bulldogs with 63 yards on the ground as Thomas Steele was near perfect in passing with 75 yards. Neff led the receivers with 3 catches and 43 yards.

As is customary after every game Chelsea Head Coach gathered his gridiron warriors around him after the game and addressed them. He told them “how proud he was of them and that this season is over and a new one begins next Friday night. It’s the games in November you will remember”

Chelsea will host Milan in a rematch of their first game of the season, which the Bulldogs won 27-7. Kickoff is at 7 P.M.

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Dozer The Pig’s Pigskin Picks

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Hey, everybody, it’s me, Chelsea’s biggest fan and most lovable pig Dozer!  What a great homecoming game last week for my Bulldogs. It was great to give all the fans a big victory and it was really great to see a lot of the backups get a lot of playing time. This will really help when the playoffs roll around and it helps show the future of Chelsea football.

So this is the last week of regular season football for the Bulldogs and their crossover game will be against the visiting Alpena Wildcats. Now they will be coming in from 4 hours away and this is the first time they’ve ever played each other so let’s everyone show them Chelsea hospitality and treat them like you would anyone else, with class and dignity. Except for Dexter, you can treat them any way you want. It’s going to look like a Michigan State-Notre Dame game with the Wildcats green and white and our navy blue and gold.

Alpena comes in with a 2-6 record but they are much better than their record will show. Now they can score. They’ve played some tough teams that have limited their points but they have a lot of size up front on their offensive line and they like to run that ball. They average about 15 points a game while giving up about 35 points a game. Chelsea should be able to win this one easily but will have to stay focused to not get overconfident.

Speaking of size up front, you know who else has a lot of size up front? Chelsea! You got a big o-line full of my beloved brother hogs like Rafe Reyes, Wes Sullivan, Jeret Hirst, and the McFate boys just to name a few. They’re out there in the trenches protecting  Thomas Steele every week, opening holes for Aaron McDaniels and the other backs. And I know they’ll do a great job this week. Wow, can you imagine the food bill if you had to feed those guys every day? It’d be almost as much as my hourly food bill. Heck, I can hear a snack cake wrapper a mile away Heh Heh Heh.

And what about that d-line? Those boys are big too. James Mida, Sam Long, Andy Xiao, Riley Watkin, Cliff Heydlauf, Jake Spruce, and all the rest. Honorary hogs all of them. They’re going to be making big stops and will have their work cut out for them. But they know this, they study that film, they’re ready.

The weather is supposed to be perfect Friday for fall football. It’s senior night so that’s always a special night. I got the Bulldogs pulling away early in this one and winning big. Hopefully, all the seniors get a chance to play in front of their friends and family and the backups get more chances to play. Go Bulldogs!

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Chelsea Conquers Huron On Homecoming 44-14

On a beautiful night tailor-made for High School football, the Chelsea Bulldogs returned home to Jerry Niehaus field to host the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats. The winless River Rats were no match though for a powerful Chelsea team who handed them their eighth loss on the season by a dominant 44-14 score.

The Bulldogs got the scoring started right away as they moved the ball 80 yards in only a minute and a half as Thomas Steele hit Alex Sanborn for a 40-yard touchdown pass. Huron was then driving the ball downfield on their first possession of the evening when their quarterback Ka Assane’s pass was intercepted by Patrick Bertoni who returned it 63 yards for the score and a quick 14-0 Bulldog lead.

After the Chelsea defense forced a Huron punt, Chelsea’s Quinn Starkey came in to play quarterback and started strong as he hit sophomore Kyle Knight for a 58-yard score.  Chelsea would go into halftime with a huge 27-0 lead after Michael Tarasow added on two field goals from 24 and 37 yards out.

The homecoming ceremony was a beautiful one as always as senior Caroline Hirth was named the 2017 Chelsea homecoming queen before a packed crowd.

As the Bulldogs took the field for the third quarter it was more of the same as they dominated on both sides of the ball. After a big defensive stand forcing Huron to turn the ball over on downs,  Daniel Duran carried the ball into the end zone for the Bulldogs from 1 yard out to give the Bulldogs a 34-0 lead.

Huron was persistent though and finally got on the board late in the third quarter as Jaylen Matthews scored from 8 yards out. The Bulldogs would come back with another score though as Knight found the end zone on a big running play from 47 yards out. He would finish the night with a team-leading 155 all-purpose yards.

Aaron Winston of Huron would get a 1-yard touchdown run before Chelsea would finish their scoring with a 32-yard field goal from kicker Drew Lewis. The Bulldogs were led on offense by Steele who was again near perfect in the air going 8 for 9 with 136 yards and 1 touchdown. Knight, Sanborn, Hunter Neff, and Nick Christian would all be a few of the recipients of Steele & Starkey’s passes throughout the game.

The Chelsea defense was relentless and pressured the River Rats all night long only allowing a total of 191 total yards while forcing 3 fumbles and one interception. They finished with 1 sack and 10 tackles for loss. Evan Kucera and Ethan Corkin-Howell combined for the sack while each also getting 1 and a half tackles for loss. The Bulldogs were led in total tackles by Jake Seitz with 8, Andy Xiao with 5, and Kucera with 4.

The Bulldogs (7-1 overall, 5-1 conference) will finish their regular season at home on Friday night against the 2-6 Alpena Wildcats. It will be senior night for the Bulldogs and kickoff will be at 7 P.M.

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Dozer The Pig’s Pigskin Picks

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Hey, everybody, it’s me Dozer the pig! First, let me congratulate my Chelsea Bulldogs football team on clinching the SEC White title. Oh sure, it’s a “shared title” with Pinckney but you know me, I don’t like to share especially if it’s food. So congrats Bulldogs, great job.

That was a tough game last week, the weather was sloppy for football. Unless you’re a big ol’ pig like me, I love the mud. I was cheering so much for my Bulldogs. In between bites of food that is. We had a huge party here to watch the Bulldogs clinch that playoff spot, everyone came to my barnyard. Except for horses. I can’t stand horses! Oh, and Spike. He’s still upset Dexter can’t win a game, stupid Spike heh heh heh!

This week is homecoming! I love homecoming. The parade, the kids celebrating, the court all dressed up. And the food! What? I know someone will be tailgating there. And this homecoming the Bulldogs will be hosting the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats. Really? River Rats? That’s your mascot? That’s the best you can do? I can’t stand rats. They come out here and try to steal my food. Bunch of mooches! And two things you don’t mess with is my food and my Chelsea kids!

So the Rats are winless on the season and are only averaging about 6 points scored a game. It’s sad to see them struggle. I don’t like to see teams struggle. Unless it’s Dexter. 22 years and counting baby!

Now I see no reason for Chelsea to come close to losing this game but never be too overconfident. I am sure Coach Bush has his boys focused on the task at hand and they will come out playing fast and hard and have good movement up front. Those o-line & d-line, my favorites, the hogs!! Yeah, baby!

Now the weather should be pretty decent Friday, low winds and about 57 degrees at game time. Perfect football weather. But you know the weatherman, they’re never wrong. That’s sarcasm in case you didn’t know.

I’ll be home snuggled in some straw watching the game. I’m having another party. Ain’t no party like a Dozer party! I got the Bulldogs winning big time in this game. I have a feeling a lot of backups will get lots of playing time. A shutout would be nice.  But regardless I see the Bulldogs coming up big in front of the homecoming crowd and congrats in advance to the homecoming queen. Go Bulldogs!!!!

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Chelsea Clinches Division, Playoff Spot With 14-7 Win Over Ypsilanti

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Chelsea Head Coach Brad Bush congratulates his players after their victory

It had been raining all day Friday leaving the sloped football field in Ypsilanti muddy and slippery before it welcomed its gridiron warriors to it. As the temperature dropped, a foggy mist hung over the field resulting in conservative playing between the visiting Chelsea Bulldogs and the home Grizzlies. It became a battle in the trenches between two powerhouse defenses leading to a smashmouth game of old-school football between two very evenly matched teams. But it was the Bulldogs who would prevail with a 14-7 victory securing them with a playoff spot and a Southeast Conference White Division Title.

The Grizzlies received the ball first and drove downfield and had a first and goal at the Bulldogs 5 yard line but strong defensive play kept them out of the end zone as the Bulldogs were able to stop them on fourth down and take over possession.

Chelsea then was able to move the ball through a mix of runs and short passes and drove 94 yards using good clock control and finished the drive with an Aaron McDaniels 3 yard run into the end zone giving the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead with Cullen Lindsay’s extra point being good.

With the weather and the field conditions, both teams tried to stick to a ground game. The Bulldogs hardnosed defense forced Grizzly quarterbacks Matt Harmon and Garvin Crout out of the pocket forcing them to scramble or throw errant passes. This would be an early pattern that would continue throughout the night.

With Chelsea up 7-0 Ypsilanti finally got the break it needed as late in the third quarter, Harmon was able to connect with his receiver Jalen Allen down the right sideline for a big 39-yard score and with the extra point tied the game up at 7.

The Grizzlies kicked the ball short to prevent a big return but the Bulldogs were able to get a good return from Kyle Simmerman to set them up at their own 43-yard line. Several passes to Hunter Neff and good ground gains from Jacob Grubbs and McDaniels were able to lead the Bulldogs to the end zone as McDaniels scored again from 1 yard out and after the Lindsay extra point, it was the Bulldogs with a hard fought for 14-7 lead.

But there was still almost a whole quarter of football left and the Grizzlies were not quitters. Although they sparsely had much of a crowd behind them in their homestands, despite it being their homecoming, they still persevered. But the powerful resilient Chelsea defense would not break as they made hit after hit, tackle after tackle, and kept the heat turned up on the Grizzlies.

As the Grizzlies were driving for the tying score it was Chelsea defensive back Doug Zarinnia coming up big at the right moment with a much-needed interception to stop the drive. Chelsea would move the ball in clock control and took a knee in victory formation giving them the victory and their sixth win on the season securing them a playoff spot for the 18th team out of the last 19 years.

“That’s a good football team,” Chelsea Head Coach Brad Bush said of his tough opponent. “We played a conservative game because of not just the weather, but because of their defense. They are much better than their record shows.”

The Grizzlies drop to 3-4 on the season and have their playoff hopes doused. They’ve lost several close games on the season. They were led by Harmon who threw for 81 yards and ran for 14. Emerson Wilson led them on the ground with 89 yards while Allen had 53 yards receiving. Deon Willis led the defense with 9 tackles.

“We played through a lot of issues this week but we battled through them and put them behind us and stuck to the game plan to get the great team win,” Chelsea quarterback Thomas Steele stated. “I’m proud of our team and how we played”

Steele would finish on the night with 144 yards through the air and 20 on the ground. Chelsea’s leading rusher was McDaniels with 59 yards while Neff made several spectacular catches finishing with 5 for 115 yards.

“I’m proud of all you guys,” Head Coach Bush told his team after the game as they gathered around him. “This is a big moment, you’ll remember this night forever. You stuck to the gameplan and we had no turnovers. You played great, the defense came up big,  and I couldn’t be more proud of you all.”

The Chelsea defense has been outstanding all season only giving up 71 points so far. And they didn’t fail to disappoint as they forced several turnovers on the night. Sophomore Garret Steele led the Bulldogs with 8 tackles and 1 interception. Owen Nikischer had a huge night with 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, and a fumble recovery. Dion Mite had a sack, a tackle for loss, and forced a fumble.

“This means a lot, it’s a night I’ll never forget,” said Senior Defensive End and Western Michigan University commit Ronnie Buford. “This was more than just another win, this is for all those who came before us and the entire Chelsea community. I couldn’t be happier right now.”

Buford was all over the field and seemed to be in on every play as the 6 foot 5-inch speedster finished with a huge night as he had 5 tackles, a sack, 3 tackles for loss, forced a fumble, and had a big fumble recovery for his Bulldogs.

Chelsea returns home to host Ann Arbor Huron next Friday night. It will be Chelsea’s homecoming. Kickoff is a 7 p.m.

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Dozer The Pig’s Pigskin Pics

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Hey, everybody, it’s me, Dozer the pig! Wow, what a great game last week. Way to go Bulldogs beat those Dexter boys good. It could have been much worse but we didn’t want to see their tears heh heh heh. 22 years and counting it feels so good. We watched the game in the barn. Spike, the big stupid pink pig no one likes, he’s from Dexter. So we made up a game. Every time Chelsea scored we hit Spike. Every time Dexter scored we hit Spike! Because we were angry. Even the new baby goats got into it, they understand, I raise them right. And one said her first word. Dozer! What, you think she’d say something else, I’m the king of the barnyard and everyone’s hero. Except for horses. They can’t watch the game I can’t stand horses, they’re not allowed! Stupid horses!

I’ve been basking in the 22 years in a row victory glory all week. I’ve been celebrating by eating. That’s how I celebrate. And mourn. And work. Well, that’s how I do everything.

Did you see those two picks by Doug Z? He almost had a third, but he didn’t want to show off or anything. And James Mida, he was all over the place in Dexter’s face. BIg and fast just like a black handsome pig I know heh heh heh. Good job Bulldogs!

This week the Bulldogs head to Ypsilanti to take on the Grizzlies. The Bulldogs are 5-1 and have a good shot to sew up a playoff berth and a division title. While the Grizzlies are 3-3 and one more loss puts them out of the playoffs. But don’t let the Grizzlies record fool you.

The Grizzlies have played very well and are coming off a big win over Alpena. They lost a close game to a tough Pinckney team and were edged by 3 against Adrian and only by 7 to their rivals Lincoln. Lincoln is the only team to beat Chelsea this season.

Now Ypsi plays tough at home and that old school 3 yards and a cloud of dust field is tailored for their speed. Now they have a dual-threat quarterback and he has plenty of weapons. They’re averaging about 165 yards a game on the ground. And 116 a game through the air. Look for them to run lots of option, wheel routes, and screens. On defense, they will be looking to put pressure on our quarterback Thomas Steele. They will try to throw him off his game. But he’s cool as a cucumber. I could go for a cucumber right now.  And a few pizzas and root beer to wash it all down with.

This is going to be a very tough game and the Bulldogs defense is going to have to play exceptionally well. Tackle hard, grasp and bring them down, no missed tackles, no mistakes, no excuses! I know Coach Bush will have his team ready for the task at hand, they will be focussed and know how important this is.

I got the Bulldogs winning this in a very close game. I hope I’m wrong and the Bulldogs blow them out, that would be nice. But I see the Dawgs getting this title in front of a large Chelsea road crowd. The Bulldogs travel well.

Hey, I gotta go my human family just came and have Smokehouse 52 leftovers and I’m about to knock them down and take them heh heh heh! Go Bulldogs!

 

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Chelsea Dominates Dexter 34-14

 

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Doug Zarinnia picks off a pass in the first quarter for Chelsea. He would have two on the night.

 

The Chelsea Bulldogs football team came into Dexter with 21 wins in a row against their arch rival and the Dreadnaughts were looking to snap that streak in front of a large home crowd. But on a chilly, windy night it was not meant to be as Chelsea made several big plays to dominate early and never looked back en route to a 34-14 victory.

Dexter received the kick and moved the ball downfield but the strong Bulldog defense came up big as Doug Zarinnia jumped in front of Luke Coogan’s pass as he rolled to his right and made a great diving interception at the Bulldogs 10 yard line. The Bulldogs were unable to capitalize and both teams exchanged punts in the first quarter.

On a very good drive for the Bulldogs on first and goal at the Dreadnaughts 2-yard line, they lost the ball on a fumble and Dexter recovered. On the ensuing play right after, Dexter’s running back lost the ball and it was recovered by Dion Mite.

Chelsea quarterback Thomas Steele rolled out to his right on the Bulldogs first possession after Mite’s fumble recovery and he hit Hunter Neff near the goal line. Neff momentarily lost the ball but recovered the ball in the scrum that followed.  As he was getting up a Dexter player kicked him and a personal foul was called giving the Bulldogs first and goal at the one-yard line. It was going to be a scrappy game between the bitter rivals. Then it was Steele putting his head down on the keeper and getting the Bulldog score early in the second quarter, giving Chelsea the 7-0 lead.

After a great kickoff that resulted in a touchback Dexter’s Coogan rolled out to his left and it was Zarinnia jumping the route and getting his second interception of the night. A penalty gave the Bulldogs good field position. Steele immediately took advantage of the short field and launched a perfect long pass to Neff who got down to the 1-yard line. After the 41-yard pass play, it was Aaron McDaniels blasting up the middle behind his solid offensive line to give the Bulldogs a 2 touchdown lead with plenty of game left to play.

Dexter then took the kickoff and drove 72 yards in only 5 plays as Mason Loudermilk capped the drive with a 3-yard score to cut the Bulldog lead in half.  Chelsea came right back after a big kickoff return by Jacob Grubbs set the Bulldogs up near midfield. Steele wasted no time and hit Neff over the middle on a quick slant and Neff took it all the way for a Bulldog score, putting them up 21-7 with almost 6 minutes left to play in the first half.

The Bulldog defense forced another punt and it was a short one giving the Bulldogs the ball in Dexter territory. Steele threw a quick pass deep to Neff who took the ball to the 3-yard line where McDaniels would once again finish the job giving the Bulldogs a huge 27-7 lead going into halftime.

In the second half, the Bulldogs would once again score as Jack Smith burst into the end zone. Smith would finish on the night with 27 yards on 8 carries. Dexter would score late in the game as Coogan hit Andy Duran for a touchdown. Dexter threatened again but the Bulldogs held them as they had a first and goal and couldn’t put the ball in. The Bulldogs drove down the field and had a first and goal of their own but simply let the clock run out for an excellent show of sportsmanship, giving them the 34-14 victory and 22 straight wins over Dexter.

Neff was by far Steele’s favorite receiver on the night as he finished with 8 catches for 140 yards and 1 touchdown. Steele would finish the night early as Quinn Starkey took over late in the second half but he still finished with an almost perfect 14 completions on 15 attempts for 209 yards and one touchdown while running for 74 yards on 11 carries and one score. Sophomore Kyle Knight finished with 46 yards on 7 carries. The Bulldogs offense almost doubled Dexter on time of possession.

The Bulldogs defense only gave up 89 yards on the ground and forced 4 turnovers. Patrick Bertoni led the team with 6 tackles and a forced fumble, while Evan Vaughn had 3 tackles, 1 for a loss and James Mida had 2 tackles, both for big losses.

The 0-6 Dreadnaughts host Tecumseh next week as they look for their first win while Chelsea (5-1) will travel to Ypsilanti and look to secure a playoff spot and a Conference title.

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