Bulldogs Run Past Rival Dexter
The rivalry showdown between Chelsea and Dexter was a barn-burner until the end, but it was the Bulldogs running game was the difference in the 31-21 win over the Dreadnaughts.
Chelsea used a bruising power running game that the Dreadnaughts struggled to stop all night led by Tyson Hill with 193 yards on 34 carries.
Time and time again the Bulldogs converted in short yardage situations and ate up chunks of time off the clock to keep the Dexter offense off the field and wore the Dreads defense down in the end.
Dexter took the opening kickoff and moved right down the field and took a quick lead with a five-yard touchdown run by Ronny Johnson for a 7-0 lead just 1:30 into the game.
The Bulldogs answered with an impressive drive led by the vaunted running game. Chelsea drove 80 yards and ate up nearly nine minutes off of the clock that was capped off by a two-yard TD run by Hill to tie the game at seven with 1:46 left in the quarter.
The Dreadnaught would again quickly move down the field and Johnson found the end zone from 16 yards out to give Dexter a 14-7 lead with 10:49 left in the half.
Chelsea would eat up another seven minutes off the clock with its second drive and on fourth and goal at the two, coach Josh Lucas chose to kick a field goal and Myles Bieber put it through the uprights from 21 yards out to cut the lead to 14-10 with just over three minutes remaining in the half.
Dexter quickly moved down the field and took a 21-10 lead when Cooper Arnedt sprinted in from eight-yards out with 1:06 left in the half.
A key moment in the game came on the next series, after a pair of incompletions the Bulldogs faced a third and ten and were on the verge of giving the ball back to Dexter with the Dreads having all three timeout remaining.
Quarterback Luke Anstead dropped back and broke free while eluding the Dexter rush and sprinted 34 yards into Dexter territory.
And just like the the Bulldogs were in scoring position and two plays later Anstead hit Max Herter with a 20-yard scoring pass to cut the lead to 21-17 at halftime.
Chelsea got the ball to start the second half, but the Dexter defense forced them to punt for the first time in the game and Dexter took over. On the first play, Seth Anstead swatted a pass attempt into the air and the ball was picked off by Ethan Povlich to give the Bulldogs the ball at the Dexter 20.
The Bulldogs didn't take long in the red zone and Chelsea took its first lead of the game when Luke Anstead score from a yard out to make it 24-21 Bulldogs.
Dexter could not move the ball on the next series and were forced to punt from its own end zone and Chelsea got great field position at the Dreadnaughts 25.
Chelsea drove inside the five and and were able to convert on a 4th and one to give them first and goal at the one and Hill busted across for a 31-21 lead late in the third.
Dexter would get one last chance to try to make a game of it and drove inside the Chelsea 10, but on fourth down the Bulldogs Ethan Collins intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it to the 23 and end any hopes for Dexter.
Anstead was just 4-10 passing for 48 yards and the 20 yard scoring pass to Herter, but rushed for 102 yards and a score for the Bulldogs.
The Chelsea defense came up huge in the second half, shutting down the Dreadnaughts high-powered offense after Dexter moved the ball up and down the field in the first half. The Bulldogs outgained Dexter 356-290 n the game.
Herter caught three passes for 39 yards and a score and JJ Turbow caught one pass for nine yards for Chelsea.
Ardnedt finish 14-21 passing for 159 yards for Dexter.
Johnson rushed for 113 yards and two scores, while Arnedt rushed for a touchdown.
Cole Novara rushed for 15 yards and caught one pass for 15 yards, while Jaiden Juback led Dexter with five catches for 52 yards. Holden Niemi caught four passes for 57 yards, Johnson three catches for 26 yards, and Gabe Rychener one pass for nine yards.
Chelsea improved to 8-1 overall on the season and will be the #1 seed in its D4 district when the brackets for the state tournament are announced Sunday night.
Dexter falls to 6-3 overall and hopes its name is called for a home game in the D2 playoffs Sunday night.
Photos by Mike Williamson