CHS Roundup

CHS Football Team Hosts Excel Tonight

The Chelsea High football team will host Excel Academy this evening (Thursday) at 6:00 under the lights at Chelsea Stadium.

Coach Michael Jackson’s Red Devils almost pulled out their third victory of the 2022 campaign last week against Boston English, but fell short by a score of 22-18 last Friday evening at Chelsea Stadium.

Chelsea took a 6-0 lead on a touchdown run by senior Herman Esquivel and appeared to be headed for another score after an interception by Jaiven Diaz. However, Chelsea returned the turnover favor with a fumble that led to a long drive by English that resulted in a TD and a two point conversion for an 8-6 English advantage.

The Red Devils went back to work and regained the lead with a scoring drive of their own that culminated with a TD rush by freshman quarterback Angel Lino. But English then went back to work and put together another long drive for a TD and another two-point conversion to move ahead, 16-12.

Chelsea kept the see-saw battle going with a drive into English territory, but turned the ball over on downs. English’s final drive of the half was ended by an interception by Esquivel.

English came out after the intermission with another long march that ate up most of the third period and appeared destined for six points, but Diaz made his second INT of the game in the endzone to quell the threat.

However, the reprieve for Chelsea proved short-lived, as another Red Devil fumble led to an English TD. Although English failed on the two-point conversion, the visitors lengthened their advantage to 22-12, making it a two-score game entering the fourth quarter.

Both teams put together some exciting plays in the final period, but Chelsea did not get back into the endzone until the final minute when Lino connected with Diaz for a 30-yard TD pass for the 22-18 finale.

The final CHS stats showed Javien Diaz turning in a monster two-way game with two interceptions, six tackles, and four pass receptions for 103 yards and a TD. Javien now has 610 receiving yards for the season.

Herman Esquivel once again was a powerhouse on both sides of the ball. Herman had an INT, 11 tackles (for a total of 94 on the season), and 121 yards rushing and a TD.

Angel Lino scored a TD and passed for another, along with his 110 passing yardage.

Linebackers Tommy Santana (seven tackles) and Kenneth Bonilla (nine tackles) also turned in notable performances for the Red Devils.

After tonight’s game with Excel, Jackson and his crew will prepare for their season finale on Thanksgiving Eve (Wednesday, November 23) for their battle with Cathedral at 6:00 at Chelsea Stadium.

CHS Boys Soccer Wins Tourney Opener; Then Drops Heartbreaker

The Chelsea High boys soccer team learned first-hand the meaning of the epic introduction  by Jim McKay each week to the Wide World of Sports, “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” after engaging in a pair of dramatic contests in the Division 2 boys state soccer tournament this past week.

Coach Mick Milutinovic’s squad, who compiled a  9-6-2 record during the regular season, entered the tourney as the 36th seed of the 38 teams in Division 2, but punched far above their weight.

The Red Devils first traveled up I-93 to take on a 29th-seeded Woburn Tanners squad on a windy Saturday morning. The Red Devils won the initial coin flip and chose the most-favorable side of the field for the opening half.

Chelsea took advantage of playing with the wind when Wander De Pina took a cross to the edge of the box on the right hand side and then laid off the ball for Jefferson Ruiz, who delivered a perfect strike in a tight space to beat the Woburn keeper for a 1-0 Chelsea lead.

However, before the end of the half, Woburn unlocked the Chelsea defense with a through ball to notch the equalizer and bring the contest back to level at 1-1.

That left Chelsea working into the wind after the intermission and the Red Devils struggled to create as many chances as they’d had in the first half.

The Tanners on the other hand, found their rhythm, but fortunately, CHS goalkeeper Daylin Yanes made plenty of saves, including one from point blank range and another on a free kick.

Regular time ended at 1-1 and the teams went to extra time under golden goal (first goal wins) rules.

 A few minutes into the extra session, Red Devil hearts sank when Woburn was awarded a penalty kick. However, the Tanner sent a blast over the crossbar, giving Chelsea some life and turning the momentum in the Red Devils’ favor the rest of the way.

Jefferson Ruiz returned the earlier favor from his teammate, Wander De Pina, and laid off a nice ball for Wander, who slotted home the winning goal that set off a joyous Red Devil celebration.

However, two days later Milutinovic and crew were back on the road to make a much-longer trek to #4 seeded Westborough (which is west of I-495) for the round of 32 match-up with the 10-5-1 Rangers.

Things did not look great for Chelsea when the Red Devils conceded a penalty early on. Although CHS keeper Yanes got a hand on the ball, the shot had plenty of power and found the back of the Chelsea net.

However, Chelsea was not down for long. Red Devil Jose Joj was fouled in the box to earn a penalty kick. Jefferson Ruiz stepped up to the spot and drilled home the PK to bring the contest back to level.

The teams battled evenly for the remainder of the first half and through most of the second. However, with 15 minutes to go, a CHS defender received the ball under pressure and tried to pass back to the keeper. Instead, the ball rolled past Yanes into the net for the ultimate “own goal,”  giving Westborough the lead.

Despite the Red Devils’ best efforts in the final minutes, they were unable to notch the equalizer.

“It was not the result we wanted, but our players gave everything they had on that field,” said CHS assistant coach William Estrada afterwards. “We knew we could’ve gone deep into the competition, but it wasn’t in the cards for us that night.”

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