Freeland to Test Chelsea in D4 State Semifinals
Photo's by Katy Kildee- Midland Daily News
It will be nothing new for the Chelsea football team as they make their fourth straight trip to the state semifinals Saturday when the Bulldogs take on the high-powered Freeland Falcons in the Division 4 playoffs in Lapeer.
The Falcons enter the contest with an 11-1 record with the lone loss coming to Division 5 second-ranked Frankenmuth. Freeland is also making a return trip to the D4 semifinals after falling to eventual champion Grand Rapids Catholic Central last season.
The Freeland offense plays a balanced attack rushing for over 3100 yards and passing for 1500 that has put up an average of 36 points a game this season. When they do find the endzone they tend to go for two-point conversions, attempting just 18 extra points and making one field goal on the season.
The Falcons average 259 yards per game on the ground and are led by running back Garrett Pistro with 1037 yards on 161 carries and 18 touchdowns. Pistro led Freeland to a 42-22 rout of Crosswell-Lexington in the regional finals by rushing for 189 yards and five touchdowns.
Jacob Kudinger lines up in the backfield with Pistro and had rushed for 428 yards and five scores and caught 14 passes for 179 yards and three TD’s.
Falcon quarterback Bryson Huckeby has thrown just over 10 times a game and is 93-140 for 1522 yards and 15 TD’s on the season. He has also rushed for 573 yards on 98 carries and eight TD’s.
Alex Duley is Huckeby’s favorite target with 35 catches for 648 yards and eight TD’s on the season. Grant Bakos lines up across from Dule and has caught 17 passes for 310 yards and two scores.
The Freeland defense has allowed just over 12 points a game this season.
Linebacker CJ Schultz leads the Falcons with 64 tackles and four sacks on the season.
The Falcons have several players that play both ways. Running back Kudinger also plays linebacker and has recorded 61 tackles on the season, while wide receiver Duley will be in the defensive backfield and leads the team with 5 interceptions and 49 tackles.
Looking at Chelsea and Freeland, they appear to be mirror images of each other with a run first attitude and pass when needed. The difference could be the Bulldogs one-way philosophy for players playing on just offense or defense. This keeps their player fresh and in the end that could be the difference in the game.