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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’s Pigskin Picks

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We are pleased to announce a new weekly feature on our website. It is called Dozer’s Pigskin Picks. Who is Dozer you ask? Well, Dozer is a pig. Not just any pig but the worlds smartest pig. And he can talk!

Dozer lives in Chelsea and he is a proud Bulldog and loves the Chelsea community. And he really loves Chelsea sports. Especially football. He has very strong ties to Chelsea football going back several generations as his great, great, great, grandpa took part in Chelsea High Schools very first game. As the original Chelsea pigskin.

“I’m very proud of that,” Dozer snorted. “A rich tradition was born that day and I’m glad my family was a part of it.”

Dozer knows sports. And loves Chelsea football almost as much as he does eating. And Dozer understands the rivalries too, as he cannot stand Dexter!

“The other pig that lives in my barnyard went to Dexter,” Dozer growls. “his name is Spike and he’s dumb as a brick and nobody likes him. Hmmph, Dexter!”

So without further ado here’s Dozer for his prediction and thoughts on the upcoming home game this Friday against Ypsilanti Lincoln.

“Hey everybody I’m Dozer the pig and I want to talk Chelsea Bulldog football. I just found out Chelsea won the voting so we will be the Mlive game of the week in our area. That’s cool, that’s cool. I voted quite a bit. I hope you all did too. So this weeks game is against Lincoln. Lincoln, what has he done since he freed the slaves.

What? Oh, my bad, I’ve been informed that it’s not Abe Lincoln, who is dead, but Lincoln High out of Ypsilanti. Pshh, Railsplitters. I bet they don’t even really have a clue where that name came from. Anywho Lincoln has given up an average of 32 points a game in their 2 losses this year. But they’ve racked up an average of 27 points per game in those losses. But they haven’t faced a defense like Chelsea’s.

Those boys up front are big! I haven’t seen that much beef since I visited my friends in the cattle barn at the fair. Oh, the Chelsea fair. Cotton candy, caramel corn, everything on a stick, everything deep fried, mmmmmmmm!

What? Oh whoops got sidetracked there for a minute. Chelsea is strong up front and has a lot of depth. They shut down a very good Pinckney team last week only giving up one touchdown on their first drive. My homey Ronnie Buford had 3 sacks, 8 tackles, and 2 of them for loss. Braden Steele, Garrett Steele, Doug Zarinnia, and Patrick Bertoni did great in the defensive backfield. And Owen Nikischer has been a beast at Middle linebacker. Owens crazy. He’ll hold the door open for a little old lady then smash it on some Dreadnaught kid. Heh Heh, I love that Owen!

The defense will have to be strong as they face the speedy senior quarterback Cam Thompson who is a dual threat.  He can run and throw and is their most explosive weapon. Other big players on their team are running back Derrick Thomason and wide receiver Matthew Moorer. Moorer, a 2017 track and field state champion in the 400-meter dash, will be an explosive threat for Thompson in the passing game. Chelsea is going to have to be aware of him at all times and lock him down. They also can’t let Thompson get loose and have to lock him up fast and make him throw bad passes with lots of pressure.

The Chelsea offense struggled a bit last week but Head Coach Brad Bush is going to fix that. I know he worked with those kids all week because there’s way too much talent on that team to not rack up a lot of points. They’re big up front & they got speed.

I have to say, this is going to be a very exciting game but I’m all in for the Bulldogs! Go dawgs!!!! I’ll be watching it online while pigging out on pizza. Yeah pigging out is an offensive term but not for me, we pigs can say it!

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Chelsea Claims SEC White with big victory over Ypsilanti 42-18

 

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Cam Cooper defends himself on a big run. Cooper had 100 yards on the ground and 69 yards through the air for the Bulldogs. 

 

Chelsea gave their fans a big gift at their homecoming as they finished undefeated in the SEC White Division for the first time since 2012.

The Bulldogs beat a tough Ypsilanti team 42-18 in front of a packed house of Chelsea fans.

The Grizzlies gave the Bulldogs quite a fight as both teams struggled early on to move the ball. But with just a little over 2 minutes left in the first quarter, Jack Bush scrambled while receiver Cam Cooper was able to break free all alone in the right side of the end zone to catch Bush’s perfect pass for the first score of the game.

Ypsilanti came back and drove down the field in 13 plays covering 96 yards and scored on a Garvin Grout 29-yard pass to Jalen Allen but the kick by Carlos Gomez was wide left.

On the ensuing kickoff, it was Cooper shedding defenders and making great moves as he showed off his speed and jetted in for a big 85-yard touchdown by the Bulldogs.

With time running out in the first half, the Grizzlies were able to capitalize and punch it in, but on the 2-point conversion, the pass was broken up, giving the Bulldogs a 14-12 lead at the half.

“I thought Ypsilanti outplayed us in the first half,” Chelsea Head Coach Brad Bush said. “We haven’t been in a close game at halftime since the River Rouge game, so I was happy with how our kids responded in the second half.”

After a great performance from the Pride of Chelsea band and an extended halftime where the fans got to see Ellie Doman crowned homecoming queen, the teams again took the field. Chelsea had deferred after winning the coin toss so they received.

After a very poor kickoff set the Bulldogs up at midfield, Bush dropped back and hit a flying Cooper down the right side of the field where he pulled in the well thrown ball and sprinted into the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown.

With only 15 seconds gone in the half the Bulldogs had distanced their lead.

After another defensive stop, the Bulldogs drove down the field  mixing up the run and pass before Gus Reynolds fought to get in the end zone on the left side of the field behind  his blockers finishing the 8-play drive with a 3 yard score.

But the Grizzlies may have been down but not out as Grout connected with Christopher Willis for a 30-yard touchdown pass. Again, the lack of a good kicking game hurt as they tried to convert on the two point conversion and failed.

It was all Bulldogs after that as Reynolds would score his second rushing touchdown of the night and 12th of the year from 5 yards out.

After a half hour delay due to lightning, Bush finished the Bulldog scoring for the night on a pass to Bryce Jubenville, who made an excellent diving catch in the right endzone for his first touchdown of the season and first varsity touchdown of his career.

Jared Hansen would cap off the night by picking off the Grizzlies Grout with his first interception as a varsity player.

“I was just surprised,” said an excited, smiling Hansen. “I played the coverage right and I saw it right there and as I jumped in front of him (Grizzly receiver) I kind of bobbled it and thought I was going to drop it. But I held on and took off running.”

Bush would finish on the night with 142 yards passing and 3-touchdown passes. Cooper had his first 100 yard rushing night of the season on only 7 carries and led receivers with 69 yards on 4 catches.

“I thought Bush and Cooper played well tonight,” Bush said. “Ypsilanti likes to load the box so we threw it a lot, and I thought we did it pretty well.”

The Chelsea defense once again stepped up big as they held the Grizzlies to only 4 yards rushing the entire game and forcing 3 turnovers. Travis Frazier and Drew Anstead had a sack each while Hansen, Thomas Steele, and Patrick Bertoni each had an interception. It was Bertoni’s 4th pick of the season. Chris Roush led the defense with 8 total tackles while Bertoni had 7.

The 7-0 Bulldogs travel next Friday to Monroe for a 7 p.m.

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Jacobusse scores 5 goals as Chelsea Soccer Takes Down Lincoln

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Jesse Jacobusse scores one of her 5 goals on the night for Chelsea

The rain finally subsided Thursday but left the field very wet and slippery for the Chelsea soccer team as they played host to Lincoln. The Railsplitters were coming into the game off a big shutout over Tecumseh. After a Chelsea JV 8-0 mercy victory over the young Lincoln team, it was time for the varsity action to begin.

Both teams started a bit slow as they adjusted to the field conditions. But it was Lincoln striking first at the 26-minute mark as Senior Alexis Blackburn was able to get the ball over the head of Chelsea netminder Natalia McElrath on Lincoln’s first shot of the game. Chelsea tightened up on defense creating several turnovers which led to many chances on goal. At about the 14-minute mark the defense caused a big turnover which led to Junior Jesse Jacobusse getting a great shot to get behind Lincoln Senior goalie Sabrina “Brina” Dennis.  11 minutes later it was Jacobusse again getting the ball into the Lincoln net on Chelsea’s 8th shot of the half for a 2 to 1 lead which the Bulldogs took into the break.

Coming out in the second half the Bulldog defense clamped down hard not allowing Lincoln any opportunities at all. It was Jacobusse again with the goal at the 26:58 mark giving her the hat trick for the night. Shortly thereafter it was all Jacobusse with her 4th & 5th goals of the night raising the score where it would finish 5-1. Jacobusse, a senior multi-sport player was on fire for the whole game and just couldn’t be stopped! Sophomore Alex Quintana & Freshman Natalie Gofton each had one assist on the night. The Bulldog defense was outstanding forcing turnovers, creating opportunities for Jacobusse to score her goals, and keeping the Railsplitters without a shot in the second half. Chelsea finished the night with 16 shots on net.

The Bulldogs next game is Tuesday at home versus Ypsilanti with varsity taking the field at 5:30.

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Chelsea Lacrosse Dominates Lincoln

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Senior Jack Miller buries the ball home for one of his 4 goals on the night

It seemed like nothing could stop the Chelsea lacrosse team tonight, not even the frigid weather. They jumped out fast and furious as the Logsplitters couldn’t find the answer to stop them. Within a minute, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Senior Ethan French took a Jack Miller pass and slammed the ball past the Lincoln netminder and that just got the ball rolling. Within a minute, it was French scoring again and it broke the scoring floodgates of the Bulldogs wide open.

Lincoln couldn’t keep possession of the ball very much at all as the stingy Bulldog defense just dominated. The Bulldogs tight defense, crisp passing, disciplined play, and the lack of discipline from Lincoln helped give the Bulldogs an 11-1 lead at the half.

Lincoln couldn’t keep possession of the ball very much at all as the stingy Bulldog defense just dominated. The Bulldogs tight defense, crisp passing, disciplined play, and the lack of discipline from Lincoln helped give the Bulldogs an 11-1 lead at the half.

In the 3rd, the Bulldogs came out strong again and played tough and relentless. Lincoln played very undisciplined and drew lots of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties helping Chelsea score even more to add to their lead. Things started getting chippy as the game went on but Chelsea maintained the dignity and discipline and finished the night with a huge 17-1 victory.

Miller led the way for the Bulldogs with 7 points on the night including 4 goals. Senior Captain French had 3 goals and an assist while freshman Cameron Breining had 4 goals. Mikal Nelson and Ryan Hein had 2 goals apiece. 11 players scored in total for the Bulldogs. Chelsea hits the road this Friday and heads to Tecumseh in search of another victory.

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