The Chelsea High football team earned its second straight win in impressive fashion with a solid 19-0 victory over Mystic Valley Friday evening at Chelsea Memorial Stadium.
The Red Devils set the tone of the contest from the outset. After Mystic Valley took the opening kickoff and started at its own 20 yard line, a smothering Red Devil defense forced a three-and-out for MV.
The Chelsea offense then took over at its own 45 and marched goalwards in eight plays, the capper coming on a four yard touchdown pass on fourth down from junior quarterback Albie Alicea to junior running back Nate Budwah. A successful point after kick by Jeff Mejia left Chelsea with an early 7-0 lead.
With the Red Devil defense continuing to stifle the MV offense, the CHS offensive corps moved into MV territory on three occasions, but unfortunately came away empty-handed thanks to two turnovers (an interception and a fumble) and two penalties to leave matters at 7-0 at the half.
However, the Red Devils regained their scoring touch immediately after the intermission. Chelsea received the opening kickoff and rolled straightaway to paydirt in eight plays. The CHS offensive line opened sizable holes for junior running backs Sammy Rivera, Elyer Lobo, and Yvad Rosado to power the Red Devils’ march downfield. Rivera provided the coup de grace with a 13 yard burst for six points. However, the kick failed and Chelsea led 13-0.
The Red Devils applied the icing on their victory cake with a third scoring drive at the start of the final period. Chelsea received a punt and, starting at the CHS 40, covered the 60 yard distance in seven plays. The duo of Rosado and Rivera pounded through the MV line like batterng rams, with Rivera once again going in for the TD from six yards out.
“This truly was a total team effort,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “Everyone who played in the game contributed to the win.”
Rivera led the offense with a superb night of running, gaining 132 yards on 13 carries. Rosado almost reached the 100 yard plateau with 95 yards on 14 attempts. Lobo and Nate Budwah also enjoyed fine nights on offense. Stellato praised the performance of his offensive linemen, junior center Francisco Mercedes, junior guard Jason Donatelli, sophomore guard Denny Hernandez, senior tackle Jose Romero, and junior tackle Lucas DeOliveira, for their stellar blocking which made possible the success of the CHS running backs.
On the other side of the ball, the standouts among a host of luminaries for the Chelsea defense were DeOliveira with 10 tackles, senior defensive tackle Yardley Lemus, Eyler Lobo, and senior linebacker Anthony Cuellar.
The Red Devils will make the short trip across the Mystic River tomorrow evening (Friday) for a Friday Night Lights encounter at Charlestown. Kick-off time is 6:00 p.m.
CHS boys soccer team wins two more
The Chelsea High boys soccer team enjoyed a near-perfect week, winning two of their three games and tying the third. Coach Mick Milutinovic’s squad now stands at a lofty 10-1-2 on the season.
The Red Devils avenged the lone blemish on their Commonwealth Athletic Conference record, a previous tie with Greater Lowell, with a 4-3 triumph on GL’s home field Monday.
As is usually the case in contests with Greater Lowell, the match was a physical affair, with the home team clearly trying to knock the Red Devils off their stride with more than the usual amount of pushing, body blocks, etc. Greater Lowell also had the advantage of their home field, a natural grass surface that is not in the best of shape, with many muddy spots.
The contest was a see-saw affair in the first half. After GL took a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes into the game, Red Devil junior Josue Ramirez delivered a perfect direct kick into a top corner from about 20 yards out to even matters at 1-1.
The Red Devils soon returned the favor just a minute later however, committing a foul just outside the box that gave GL its own free kick. GL took advantage of the opportunity to make it 2-1.
Chelsea regained the momentum in short order with a pair of unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead. Luis Cruz somehow got off a hard shot amidst a lot of traffic just inside the box and then Wilber Tejada took a nice pass from Allan Garcia on the right side of the box and delivered a strike to the far left of the goal to beat the GL keeper.
Still, GL hung tough and counterpunched, notching the equalizer, to leave matters level at 3-3 at the half.
“Greater Lowell always seems to make us to play sloppy soccer, for want of a better word,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “They play a very physical style of soccer and it takes us out of our usual game.”
However, the Red Devils regrouped after the intermission, most notably on defense, shutting down the GL attack over the final 35 minutes of play. Garcia, who has been stepping into the forefront of late for the Red Devils, scored what would prove to be the game-winner five minutes into the second half after taking a nice pass from Cruz, who was receiving extra attention all game from the GL defenders.
“It was a tough win, but it was a learning experience for us against a team that always gives us a tough battle,” noted Protasowicki.
The Red Devils opened their week last Wednesday with a scoreless, nil-nil battle with Everett under the lights at Everett Stadium. Chelsea had been looking to avenge its lone loss of the season, a 2-1 defeat to the Crimson Tide, but could only come away with a tie.
“Everett has very strong defenders,” said Protasowicki of the Crimson Tide squad, which plays a full Division 1 schedule and which lost to top-ranked Somerville by a slim 1-0 score a week earlier. “They never seem to let you have an open shot; they’re always right on top of you.”
Sandwiched between those two hard-fought battles was an 8-1 cakewalk over North Shore Tech on Friday. Chelsea led 6-0 at the half, enabling Milutinovic to utilize all of his players for lengthy service. Cruz, the leading scorer in the CAC, notched a hat trick and an assist to pace the CHS onslaught. Josue Ramirez scored a goal and had an assist. Other Red Devils to reach the back of the No. Shore net were Tejada, Javier Mendez (his first varsity goal), Christopher Pacas, and Gustavo Barahona.
Milutinovic and his crew were set to play at Shawsheen Tech yesterday (Wednesday) to conclude a stretch of five straight road games. They will host Arlington Catholic Monday, Mystic Valley Tuesday, and Northeast Regional next Thursday.
Cross country teams fall to Greater Lowell.
The Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams trekked to Greater Lowell last Wednesday and came out on the short end of a 24-33 decision for the girls and a 16-44 contest for the boys.
On the girls’ side, Lady Red Devil Wendy Becerra topped the field with a time of 23:24. Katherine Cabral was fifth for Chelsea with a clocking of 25:17. Yessenia Motta was seventh in 27:03, followed by Melanie Nguyen in eighth and Katherine Villagran in 12th.
“The girls ran well,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “Greater Lowell was just a little stronger in the front, but we had a very good pack two through five. We will be here again in two weeks for the league meet.”
For the boys, the first Chelsea finisher was Jeff Estrada in 19:18, good for fifth place. Brian Horn was seventh in 19:23 and Sam Hernandez was ninth in 19:25. Biruk Mulaw took 13th in 19:39 and Jay Pedroia came in 15th in 20:05.
“Greater Lowell is a very strong team,” noted Fay, “and it shows us that if we want to compete to be the best, we have to have a better pack and have more runners up near the front. We have a young team, so we do have the potential to do that if we all work together towards this goal. “
The CHS girls were set to face Notre Dame yesterday (Wednesday) and the boys were scheduled to meet Essex Aggie and Mystic Valley in Danvers. The next meet after that will be the league meet October 26 at Greater Lowell.