Chelsea improves to 3-0 with win over Ann Arbor Huron.
ANN ARBOR — Last season was an aberration in the minds of Chelsea’s football team. Starting off the year with four losses left a bitter taste in the Bulldogs’ mouth, especially while accumulating only two wins.
That all changed Friday night.
Chelsea surpassed its win total from a year ago with a 27-14 win over Ann Arbor Huron to start the season 3-0 for the first time in four seasons.
“It feels good. Everyone in Chelsea thinks last year was an aberration,” Bulldog head coach Brad Bush said. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we have set ourselves up at a chance to achieve our goals that we have set up with this start.
“Huron played well defensively, and bottled up the our run game. We needed to make a few plays in the passing game.”
Chelsea (3-0) needed to go to the air to stop Huron’s stout run defense as both teams forced early three-and-outs. Midway through the second quarter, the Bulldogs would cash in.
With 5:19 left in the half, junior wide receiver Bailey Edwards slipped behind the secondary and caught a 46-yard pass from junior Justice Staton for 7-0 lead that the Bulldogs would carry into the half.
Huron would stop another touchdown drive when Jerry Jackson intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it to the 41 yard line before the end of the first half.
“We preach defense all year. It doesn’t matter where we are on the field. It’s something we pride ourselves on,” Huron head coach Andre Parker said.
“It’s no surprise that our guys made a play like that when they needed to. We’ve been making plays like that the first three games (of the year).”
Bush wasn’t happy going into the half, and he knew his team needed to find a spark to get things going.
“The play selection in the first half is on me. At times we got a little too cute instead of doing our base offense, and we didn’t execute. We just needed to put together a drive to get our offense in rhythm, we’d be alright,” he said
Junior safety Graham Kuras (three interceptions) jump-started the second half with a 24-yard pick six on the River Rats’ (1-2) second play of the game for a 13-0 lead.
The Bulldogs would work a methodical drive after its defense forced a key three-and-out on Huron’s second drive of the half. Chelsea went to the air to put its offense in red zone on a 32-yard pass. Staton finished the drive when he found junior Noah van Reesema for a 9-yard TD pass for a 20-7 lead with 5:50 left in the third quarter.
Huron answered right back on the ensuing drive on a long bomb of their own. Junior Tajon West found senior Arkel King for 43 yards on a vertical pass play to cut into Chelsea’s lead, 20-7.
“We hit (Chelsea) with a couple of quick outs all game, and they started to creep up in the box. We just decided to slip ‘em for an easy throw and we made the most of it,” Parker said.
Chelsea answered right back to start the fourth quarter behind the hands of Edwards for his second touchdown of the game. On second down, sophomore quarterback Jack Bush found Edwards behind the safeties for a 25-yard pass for a 27-7 lead.
“We knew (after the half) we could get past the middle of their secondary. We went over the middle a couple of times and just took advantage of our opportunities,” Edwards said.
The River Rats would get another touchdown from West when he found junior Marcus Edmonson for 58-yards for a 27-14 score with 8:16 left in the game.
Chelsea will now prepare for a tough test against Ypsilanti next week, and Coach Bush knows his team will have their hands full at home
“Ypsilanti is a very good team when I saw them play. They have a great quarterback and a good group of players surrounding him. It’s going to be a good test for us and see where we’re at as a football team,” he said.
Ann Arbor Huron will prepare to face Temperance Bedford on the road.