Dreads Fall to Rival Chelsea in Football Season Opener

Antwan Ficklen breaks loose for a 39-yard touchdown against Chelsea. Picture by Mike Williamson

A much different Dexter Dreadnaught football team opened its season last week, but the results were much the same as the Dreadnaughts fell to bitter rival Chelsea 34-20 August 24.

The Dreadnaughts appear to be a much better squad with 23 returning seniors, but it wasn’t enough against the Bulldogs as two long losing streaks continued. The loss was the 41 in a row overall dating back to 2013 and the 23rd straight to the Bulldogs.

Throughout parts of the contest, the Dreadnaughts looked like they could hang with the Bulldogs, but Chelsea wore them down in the end and they had no answer for wide receiver Hunter Neff.

Neff caught 10 passes for 275 yards and two scores and picked up several catches in key situations where the Dreadnaughts could have forced punts.

Dexter looked good on the opening drive, driving inside the Bulldogs 10-yard line, but the drive stalled, and Chelsea blocked the field goal attempt to keep the game scoreless.

Following the block, Chelsea drove the field and took the lead on a touchdown run.

The Dreads answered on the next series when Colin Parachek hit Antwan Ficklen with a swing pass for a 39-yard touchdown. The extra point was no good to cut the lead to 7-6.

Chelsea bounced back and scored with another TD run to make it 13-6 and another touchdown run made it 20-6 just before the half.

Dexter forced a punt on the opening drive of the second half and blocked the punt to take over at the Chelsea 26, but went nowhere and turned the ball over on downs. Chelsea struck quick with a 68-yard scoring pass to Neff to make it 27-6.

Another score early in the fourth made it 34-6 and the Bulldogs put the second-string offense in the game.

The Dreadnaughts made things interesting in the fourth when Parachek hit Andy Durand with 58 and 13-yard scoring passes to cut the lead to 34-20 with three minutes left, but the Bulldogs would run out the clock.

Chelsea outgained the Dreads 456-238.

Parachek was 15-26 passing for 177 yards and three scores. He also led the team in rushing with 25 yards.

Andy Duran Halls in a deep pass and sprints to the end zone for a score against Chelsea. Picture by Mike Williamson

Alex Mills caught five passes for 82 yards, Durand three for 71 and two scores, Rhett Jacobs three for 28, and Ficklen three for 23 and a touchdown.

Jordan Watson led the Dreadnaught defense with 12 solo tackles and two assists. David Kreske added with tackles and Evan Chappell six.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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