Chelsea football traveled up to Haslett to wrap up the 2013 season.
Chelsea football traveled up to Haslett to wrap up the 2013 season.
The Chelsea/Dexter rivalry is a spirited one across many sports, but on the football field it’s been just sliiiiiiightly one-sided: Dexter’s last football win against Chelsea was in 1995, when I was 14, Waterworld was hoping it would just break even, Gangsta’s Paradise hadn’t yet been parodied by Weird Al, and this year’s seniors weren’t even alive. This year has not been good for Chelsea football’s streaks, but the Dexter streak is one the Bulldogs are always determined to protect.
That said, Dexter had to think it had reason for hope: Chelsea entered this year’s game with a 1-6 record, marking the first time since 1997 that the Bulldogs had taken a losing record into the Dexter game. (Dexter and Chelsea were 1-4 and 0-5 respectively going into the 1997 game. Chelsea won 34-28.) By all appearances, this was Dexter’s best chance at ending the streak since the Johnny Benjamin season. (Remember that game? SO STRESSFUL.)
Right after kickoff, the Dexter student section caught on fire (or whatever).
The banner in this photo sounds like a library cheering on good books:
My thanks to the cheerleader who covered up the D in DREADS.
The game was tight with no real scoring threats for the first few drives, but then Ty found a hole and took off down the field.
He didn’t make it into the end zone on that play, but a few plays later the Bulldogs had the lead.
Dexter has been using the slogan “Dread Strong” as a rallying cry for its sports teams. Chelsea students were not impressed.
Fun photography aside: I do not use a flash when shooting football (or any other sport). Some do choose to use a flash, though, and on Friday I happened to hit the button at exactly the same moment a photographer across the field fired his flash. This photo was the result:
Dexter kept the game close in the first half but suffered from a turnover problem. This was the aftermath of one Dreadnaught interception:
It made the defense happy.
Chelsea’s receivers made some outstanding catches on Friday. Here, Tim stretches to make a catch on the sidelines:
During one second-quarter drive, a Chelsea lineman suffered an injury.
Ty tried to score another touchdown…
…but the Dexter defense stopped him just shy of the end zone, so Scott took it in for the touchdown. Here, he shows that he does indeed have the ball in the end zone:
With time running out in the first half, Dexter drove deep into Chelsea territory and threw a pass into the end zone. Much to the delight of the Chelsea fans, that pass ended up in the hands of a Bulldog, and Chelsea took a 14-0 lead into halftime.
One of those outstanding catches happened in the end zone in the second half. Sadly, I was too mesmerized by the play to take photos — it’s hard being both a photographer and a fan! — but here’s how it ended up:
Dexter’s turnover woes continued with a fumble, resulting in this happiness:
Hey, take a look at the next two photos and take a guess at which quarter was about to begin.
Dexter managed to score a touchdown to make the score 23-8, but then Chelsea returned an interception for a touchdown to push the lead to 22.
Was Grant excited about that sack?
Yes he was.
Dexter scored one more touchdown, but it wasn’t a 22-point touchdown, so Chelsea celebrated a meaningful bright spot in the midst of a difficult season.
Remember the lineman who was injured back in the first half? He was having a hard time getting around, so two of his teammates took it upon themselves to help him to the joyous postgame huddle.
The Bulldogs finish their season on Friday in Haslett. The game will be at 7pm.
Chelsea traveled to Tecumseh, where the colors are black and orange and the student section is…a triangle?
(It filled out into more of a rectangle, but that was too fun to resist.)
It was a rough evening.
The Bulldogs next travel to Dexter to take on the Dreadnaughts. The game is on Friday at 7pm. It’s always important to BEAT DEXTER, so be sure to show up and support the Bulldogs.
Chelsea’s last home game of 2013 brought Lincoln to town.
With 5:55 left in the second quarter, lightning arrived in the area and brought the game to a halt. Officials opened the old gym so fans could take shelter from the lightning and rain.
The rain passed quickly, but the players had to wait for the lightning to move out of the area before the game could resume.
Much to everyone’s relief, this lightning delay was nowhere near as long as was the one during the Sexton game.
An interception got the Chelsea defense all fired up.
A few Bulldogs have been sidelined by injuries. Just before the second half started, they got my attention because they wanted a picture.
When Lincoln fumbled the ball, I got a fun look at what can happen in the pile before the referees can sort things out. This is how it started:
There’s a Chelsea hand on the ball, but it looks to be firmly in Lincoln’s possession.
This is how it ended up.
Chelsea fans got to cheer a pretty spectacular catch. Follow the ball:
Football is a rough game, and it’s a little bit rougher when your helmet comes off. On one carry, Ty took a hit that dislodged his helmet, and he hit the turf hard.
The score was close the whole game, but Lincoln managed to open up a late 9-point lead, and an interception at the goal line ended Chelsea’s hopes for a comeback.
The seniors took the loss hard.
It wasn’t just the players who had a hard time with the loss.
The Bulldogs are back in action Friday. The game is at 7pm in Tecumseh. Join us there!
The Monitor Base Ball Club of Chelsea concluded its 2013 campaign with an exhibition against a team assembled by the Chelsea Alehouse.
The match drew a good crowd of cranks. This crank made lots of new friends:
His name is Hank. When the match concluded he wandered near the field and got comfortable:
That’s it for vintage base ball in 2013, but Hank hopes to see you at next year’s Monitor matches! (The team would enjoy seeing you there, too.)
Friday was Chelsea’s homecoming football game against Adrian. I ended up with too many pictures for one post, so today is just football pictures. The next post will feature photos of the fun around the football game.
Hey, look who showed up for homecoming:
Sometimes people pose for me:
The above catch on Chelsea’s first drive was good. The following sequence on the same drive was even better.
See if you can spot the 15-yard penalty in this next sequence:
Did you see it? The referees didn’t.
Chelsea blocked an Adrian field goal attempt in the first half. The block sent the kick sailing off to the side just past the line of scrimmage, where this gentleman grabbed it out of the air and took off running:
He made it deep into Adrian territory before they tackled him.
There was a video crew filming the game, and they brought with them a small remote controlled helicopter that carried a camera. It wasn’t supposed to venture over the field, but at one point it did end up over the action. Here it is hanging out above the players between plays:
This gentleman would like you to know that the Bulldogs have taken possession:
These gentlemen are pleased that the referee agrees with their ruling on the play:
After the above Chelsea touchdown happened, the Bulldogs were trailing 27-21. But then the defense forced a three and out with a set of nice plays:
And when, on fourth down, the Adrian punter couldn’t handle a bad snap, Chelsea recovered and took over in great field position.
The next play was…well, here, take a look:
The extra point gave Chelsea a 28-27 lead.
Late in the fourth quarter, Adrian drove down the field, even converting a fourth down in Chelsea territory. But when another fourth down presented itself, the Maples decided to try a field goal. The good news for Adrian: unlike the previous attempt, the field goal wasn’t blocked. The bad news for Adrian: the kick sailed wide left.
The Chelsea defense was maybe a little bit excited.
Chelsea was able to gain a first down and run out the clock.
Nick Hill was pleased to see a Chelsea victory.
The Bulldogs were pleased to have won.
Is winning exciting?
WINNING IS EXCITING.
As I was leaving the field, a very different scene caught my eye.
There are always players on the opposite side of jubilation. It was fun to finally see the Bulldogs on the pleasant side of things this year.
Chelsea next faces Lincoln. The game will be in Chelsea on Friday at 7pm. This will be the final home game of this season — be there!
Chelsea football traveled to Ypsilanti to take on the
Braves Phoenix Grizzlies. This is the first year for Ypsilanti Community High School — formed as a result of the merger of the Ypsilanti and Willow Run districts — but the school is at the old Ypsi facility, so the football stadium is the same old stadium. Of course, that means it’s the same marvelously old-school scoreboard that has been in use for…well, for a long, long time. Here, take a look:
I hope that scoreboard stands for another 50 years. That thing has character!
Ypsi is one of the few Ann Arbor-area high schools with a real grass football field. That meant Chelsea had to bring this:
As you may have seen in the first sentence, Ypsi has had a few different mascots in recent years: after being the Braves for many years, they switched to the Phoenix only a few years before merging with Willow Run and becoming the Grizzlies. However, the water tower overlooking the stadium prefers to stick with the longtime Ypsilanti High School terminology:
Chelsea dug a bit of a hole in the first half, but this touchdown narrowed the gap:
If you weren’t sure if it really was a touchdown, this may help:
The game started dry, but at some point in the first half it started raining, and that rain persisted the rest of the evening.
Another Chelsea touchdown narrowed the gap even more:
There were a number of turnovers in this game. Defenses tend to get excited about turnovers:
Chelsea’s punter can beat up your punter:
As I said, there were a number of turnovers. Here’s another fumble Chelsea forced:
Artificial turf has its advantages, but from my perspective as a photographer, grass and mud stains make pictures just a little bit better.
Chelsea next faces the Adrian Maples. The game is in Chelsea on Friday at 7pm. There are only two home games left this year — be there!
Saline traveled to Chelsea to take on the Bulldogs. The students had fun customizing their wardrobe before the game.
It was Future Bulldog Night, so the middle school football players watched warmups from the sidelines.
There were also miniature cheerleaders in attendance.
The band joined in the colorful theme.
In keeping with the apparent theme of the season, there was another minor snafu during the entrance:
The Bulldogs next travel to Ypsilanti. The game is on Friday at 7pm.
Chelsea football traveled to Belleville for its second game of the season. As usual, the Bulldogs took the field by running through their banner, but this time things didn’t go as planned. Here are the photos:
Here’s the above sequence animated:
Do you see what happens when you don’t stay in your lanes, gentlemen?!
The rest of the team took the field with no trouble.
This was the scene during the anthem:
Among the pictures I take, there are a scant few that have made me sit back and just look for a minute. The above is one such picture.
This was happening during the game:
Unfortunately, this was happening at halftime:
This tackle stopped Belleville just shy of the end zone on third down:
Sadly, Belleville kicked a field goal to take a 17-14 lead, and that ended up being the final score.
The Bulldogs next face the Saline Hornets. The game will be in Chelsea on Friday at 7pm. Be there!
Chelsea football opened its season at home against Lansing Sexton.
Do you see the smile on Coach Lindauer’s face?
That smile means FOOTBALL.
Last year the banner was facing the crowd, so the players were running under a banner that said AESLEHC SGODLLUB. As you can see from the above photo, now the crowd is cheering for the AESLEHC SGODLLUB. #OgSgodllub
The game started with an unusual tactic: After receiving the kickoff and before running a single play, Sexton took a timeout. As we on the sideline were saying we hadn’t seen that and were wondering why on earth a coach would burn a timeout before the first play of the first game, Sexton proceeded to score an 89-yard touchdown. So…first-play timeouts for everyone! You get a timeout! You get a timeout! And YOU get a timeout!
Sexton scored again shortly after its first touchdown, but the game settled down after that and the score stayed 15-0 until late in the second quarter, when Chelsea put together a drive. On a third down deep in Sexton territory, quarterback Scott Crews took off running…
…and scored to cut Sexton’s lead to 15-7.
The weather was generally pleasant most of the evening, but with 8:46 to go in the fourth quarter the officials spotted lightning, forcing the teams to vacate the field to wait for the lightning to go bother someone else (like Dexter or whatever). The rule requires officials to suspend the game until 30 minutes after the last lightning they see. Sometimes lightning moves out of an area quickly and games are resumed before too long; other times lightning sticks around long enough that the coaches decide to finish the game on Saturday. On this strange Friday, neither was true.
We waited…and waited…and waited…and the lightning was making itself at home. The fly in the ointment was this: Sexton had to travel to Chelsea from the Lansing area — about an hour away — and understandably, they weren’t too keen on making a second trip to Chelsea on Saturday. Chelsea was open to waiting as long as necessary to resume the game, so we waited…and waited…and waited some more. Finally (FINALLY), after more than two and a half hours — the length of a typical high school football game — the officials allowed the teams to resume the game. The teams took the field to warm up at 11:32pm.
Most of the crowd had gone home by then, but a dedicated set of fans remained.
As the game resumed, I took a picture of this creature on the Chelsea sideline:
Looks friendly, don’t you think?
Before the delay, Chelsea had been wearing down the very talented but relatively thin Sexton roster. However, the delay gave Sexton plenty of rest, so shortly after the game resumed, Chelsea punted and (a few plays later) Sexton scored. Chelsea added a late touchdown to make it close, but the onside kick went out of bounds, and that was that. The game ended right around midnight.
The Chelsea Bulldogs will face Belleville. The game will be at Belleville on Friday at 7pm.