Juan Martinez rushed for 220 yards on eight carries, including runs of 84 and 82 yards, and scored two touchdowns, to lead the Chelsea High football team to a 32-6 victory at Minuteman Tech in Lexington Saturday afternoon.
The win raises the Red Devils’ record to 3-4 overall, but more important, to 2-0 in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference’s Small Division.
“Juan had a career day,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “He gave us a tremendous performance.”
The coach was quick to give credit to his offensive line for opening the holes that sprung Martinez loose. “Our line did a nice job all game,” said Stellato, who noted the fine play of senior guard Andres Romero, senior offensive tackle Andy Rath, and senior center Brayan Blanco.
Blanco also was major force from his middle linebacker spot for the Red Devil defense, which played a key role in the triumph. “Our defense really came through for us,” said Stellato. “They played tough when we needed them to.”
The Chelsea D set the tone for the day early on when they stuffed Minuteman at the Red Devil 10 yard line after the Minutemen had taken the opening kickoff and driven 65 yards in nine plays. The Red Devils took over on downs and three plays later, Martinez established his own agenda for the day as he took off on his first romp, an 84 yard jaunt that brought him to the Minuteman two yard line. Juan got the next handoff for the well deserved honor of scoring the TD and then converted the PAT for a 7-0 Chelsea lead.
Minuteman took over after the kickoff on its own 35, but a second down pass on a slant play was read perfectly by CHS outside linebacker J.J. Rivera, who cut in front of the intended receiver, snared the pigskin, and darted to paydirt. Another Martinez PAT made it a quick-as-a flash 14-0 Chelsea advantage.
The Chelsea defense forced Minuteman into a three-and-out after the ensuing kickoff as the teams headed into the second period. Chelsea took over at its own 18 after the punt and once again Martinez got the call — and once again Juan found a hole and took off, this time making it all the way into the endzone.
Although Minuteman would get on the board before the half, the Red Devils were sitting pretty with a 20-6 lead as the teams headed into the locker room. However, the momentum appeared as though it would take a turn in the Minutemen’s favor soon after the intermission when Chelsea fumbled the ball on a pass play, putting Minuteman in business at the CHS 35.
That’s when the Chelsea defense once again answered the challenge, eventually forcing the ball over on downs at the Red Devil 15. “The defense made a huge stop for us,” said Stellato. “If Minuteman had been able to score after the turnover, it would have changed the entire complexion of the game.”
The Red Devils wasted no time in reasserting their control of the contrast. Quarterback Jordan Virella engineered an eight play scoring driving that culminated with Virella going over from the two yard line, reinstating the CHS lead to a 20 point margin, 26-6.
The Chelsea defense then took control of matters, holding the Minuteman offense in check and ensuring that Minuteman would not get back into the game. The Red Devils tacked on an insurance TD late in the game on a 40 yard drive in six plays, with sophomore fullback Raul Flores scoring from two yards out to put the icing on the CHS victory cake.
“It truly was a total team effort on both sides of the ball,” said Stellato, who in addition to the Red Devils previously mentioned, also singled out for praise special teams player Luis Garcia and defensive back Troy Crossley for their contributions to the win.
Stellato and his squad will host CAC Large Division rival Whittier Tech Friday evening at the Stadium. “This game will be a challenge,” said Stellato. “They have the same 3-4 record as we do, but we have not beaten a Whittier team in quite a while.”
Kick off time is 7:00.