|Huron QB Alex Hassan gets drilled. Photo by AnnArbor.com|
By RJ Walters / For the Jackson Citizen Patriot
The 2010 season opener lacked polish, but it had plenty of early oomph for the Chelsea High School football team and its fans.
The first eight plays of the year netted 19 points for the Bulldogs, but it was the strong, steady defense of Brad Bush’s squad that netted them a 26-7 win over Ann Arbor Huron on Saturday at Eastern Michigan University’s Rynearson Stadium.
Matt Gillespie returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown and a perfectly executed flea flicker from wideout Nate Udell to teammate Mason Borders went 48 yards for a score in the first 2 minutes, 56 seconds — all the breathing room Chelsea would need.
For Borders, who caught four passes for 102 yards, it was redemption. Last year, he caught a long pass on the same play against the River Rats, but he was called down before he could reach the end zone.
“I felt like coming into the game it would be a good play for us,” Bush said. “We said all week we wanted to run it early, and we hit it right at the right time.”
The Bulldogs totaled 160 yards passing and 156 yards rushing — 71 for Berkley Edwards, the younger brother of former University of Michigan star Braylon Edwards, and 66 for Joey Newland — but 76 yards in penalties put a halt to several drives.
“If we played a good team, they would murder us, because one player had 40 yards himself (in penalties), and for that to happen is unacceptable,” Borders said.
Bush agreed, but he was focusing more on the positives he saw out of his defense.
The Bulldogs forced eight three-and-outs and three turnovers on downs while holding Huron to a paltry 2.0 yards per carry.
“They were more physical than we were up front, and we thought we would match up pretty well with them in the physical aspect of things, but (Saturday night), we didn’t get it done — we didn’t play physical,” Huron coach Cory Gildersleeve said.
After the River Rats option attack failed to produce, they went to the air, completing four passes of 28 yards or more.
Alex Hassan was 6-for-20 for 140 yards and Anthony Hugan had two catches for 79 yards.