Red Devils fall in
The Chelsea High football team fought hard and fought well through four quarters of football, overcoming a game-long deficit to tie the contest in the final two minutes, but eventually came up short in overtime in a 26-20 loss to Mystic Valley Saturday evening at Malden Catholic Stadium.
The Red Devils fell behind early, with Mystic Valley scoring on the opening drive of the game, covering 55 yards in nine plays, and adding another touchdown on the first possession of the second quarter, moving 75 yards, to grab a 14-0 lead with 8:23 to play in the half.
However, Chelsea refused to roll over and showed that it would be a tenacious rival when the Red Devils took the ensuing kickoff and marched 55 yards to paydirt, the capper coming on a 25 yard pass from CHS quarterback Albie Alicea to Francisco Mercedes. Although the PAT kick was blocked, the Red Devils had sliced the MV lead to 14-6 by the half.
After the Red Devils were unable to move the ball on the initial possession after the intermission, the Chelsea defense came through in a big way when senior linebacker Moise Casado made a great read and intercepted a Mystic aerial, returning it for a 40 yard touchdown. Although the CHS two-point conversion try failed, Casado’s pick-six had made it a two-point affair, 14-12.
The Red Devils threatened to take the lead early in the final frame when, after forcing MV to punt, they drove to the Mystic Valley 20 yard line. However, a fumble turned the ball over to MV, which then marched 80 yards for a touchdown and a 20-12 advantage. Still, Chelsea had a life when the Mystic conversion failed, and the resilient Red Devils made the most of their opportunity.
Starting at their own 40, Chelsea showed great heart and poise as they embarked on a do-or-die drive with the clocking winding down. Keyed by some big plays by seniors Ely Lobo, Casado, and Alicea, the Red Devils got into the end zone on a two yard run by Alicea and then a conversion rush by Alicea to knot matters at 20-20 with 1:48 to play.
Mystic Valley threatened to end the game in regulation, moving as far as the Chelsea 15, but the Red Devil defense mounted a final stop to send the contest into overtime.
Mystic Valley scored on its first possession of the OT, starting from the Chelsea 10 yard line. MV missed the conversion, but it proved a moot issue as Chelsea was unable to score on its turn with the ball, leaving matters at the 26-20 finale.
“The team fought very hard and I was happy to see that they kept battling despite being down 14-0 and 20-12 late in fourth quarter,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “But now we need to regroup and get ready for our next game.”
Among the Red Devils cited by Stellato for their fine play were the trio of Alicea, Lobo, and Casado on offense. On the defensive side of the ball, the coach lauded the performances of senior linebackers Hector Zelaya and Mercedes, who had a fumble recovery, and Nelson Vega, who had an interception.
Stellato and his crew will host Charlestown tomorrow (Friday) evening under the lights at Chelsea Stadium. Kick off time is 7:00.
CHS boys soccer team
erupts for 11-0 win
The Chelsea High boys soccer team improved to 7-4-1 on the season and remained undefeated in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference with an 11-0 victory at North Shore/Essex Friday afternoon.
CHS senior captain Wilbert Tejada, who ordinarily takes on the role of playmaker for the Red Devils, decided to go for the net and did so with spectacular results, pumping in four goals in the first half to propel Chelsea to a 4-0 lead. Wilbert would add a fifth marker after the intermission before concluding his tour of duty for coach Milt Milutinovic, who eventually used every Red Devil player at his disposal, including some from the junior varsity squad who got to see some varsity playing time.
The other goal scorers for Chelsea were Isaac Morales with two goals and Eric DePina, Dominic Hightower, Euvaldo Erazo, and Javier Mendez with a goal apiece.
The offensive outburst against No. Shore/Essex was preceded by a 1-0 loss the day before to Marblehead. The Magicians scored a goal 30 minutes into the first half and that lone marker stood up the rest of the way.
“We never got into an offensive rhythm,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “Still, we played better than we did when we first met Marblehead earlier in the season.”
Chelsea was playing without the services of its two leading scorers, Carlos Cartagena, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury, and Derilson DePina, who has a broken wrist.
The Red Devils were set to host Greater Lowell yesterday (Wednesday) in a contest that could determine the championship of the Large School Division of the CAC. They will entertain Shawsheen Tech Friday afternoon and trek to Mystic Valley Tuesday before returning home to face Northeast Regional next Thursday.
Cross country teams
topped by Gr. Lowell
The Chelsea High girls and boys cross country teams both came out on the short end of their meet with Greater Lowell last week on the local course at Admiral’s Hill.
On the girls’ side, Lady Red Devil Wendy Becerra ran a personal record (PR) of 22:17 on her home course which placed Wendy second overall in the race. Becerra has been first or second in every meet so far this year.
Clarissa Sosa finished in fourth place for the Lady Red Devils. Owliyo Mohamud also had a PR and finished seventh for Chelsea. Melanie Nguyen finished in 10th place for Chelsea.
The final tally showed Greater Lowell prevailing by a score of 23-35. The CHS girls now stand at 2-5 on the season and were set to host Notre Dame of Tyngsboro yesterday (Wednesday).
In the boys’ race, defending league champ Greater Lowell cruised to a 17-46 triumph. Red Devil Jeffrey Estrada was the only Chelsea runner to crack the top 10, finishing in fourth place with a home course PR of 19:03. “The boys are a little down this year and we have taken our lumps,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “Hopefully this is good motivation for us for next year.”
The Red Devils, who now are 3-4 on the season, were scheduled to travel to Mystic Valley yesterday.