Tribe falls 31-28 against Chelsea

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Tecumseh had a couple of questionable play calls at Chelsea, prompting defensive coordinator Todd Theiken (left) and head coach Al Romano to discuss the issues with officials. Photo courtesy of John Discher.

A six game win streak came to an abrupt halt for Tecumseh’s varsity football team as Chelsea’s Bulldogs defeated the Indians 31-28 on Friday, Oct. 5 during a cold, hard rainy evening.

Chelsea took a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter starting with Kyle Koseck hauling in a 52-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zack Rabbit.

The Indians fumbled the ball eight seconds later on their ensuing possession and the Bulldogs’ Garrett Gieske returned it 22 yards and into the end zone. Tecumseh head coach Al Romano argued that the player was down on the fumble recovery but the refs didn’t change the call.

“That was a huge play, but the kid was down,” said Romano. “If we did fumble, which I’m not sure we did, the recoverer was down, there was nobody standing up, everyone was down.”

Rabbit made good on both Point After Touchdown attempts and the ‘Dogs were up 14-0 heading into the second quarter.

The Indians came screaming back with two touchdowns scored in the second quarter. The first was on a five-yard pass from Ben Dreslinski to Spencer Hite with 5:50 remaining in the opening half. The second touchdown came just under four and a half minutes later with John Terry rushing into the end zone from one yard out. Casey Hunt connected on the first PAT attempt but missed the second kick to set the score at 14-13.

“The special teams is what really hurt us,” said Romano. “Because they didn’t make any mistakes and we did.”

With just 33 seconds remaining in the first half, the Bulldogs scored again on a one-yard rush by Berkley Edwards. Rabbit connected on the PAT and the half finished with Chelsea holding a 21-13 lead.

Chelsea added another seven points with 9:19 remaining in the third quarter with Edwards breaking through the Indians defense for a 76-yard touchdown run. Rabbit made good the PAT and the Bulldogs increased their lead to 28-13.

Dreslinski cut into the Bulldogs’ lead with a three-yard touchdown run with 2:35 left in the third quarter. Terry added two points on a conversion run and the Indians trailed Chelsea 28-21.

Despite having a hard rain drenching the field, Rabbit connected on a 41-yard field goal attempt and put the Bulldogs up 31-21 with 11 minutes remaining in the final quarter. Rabbit is 14-for-14 on career field goal attempts.

Tecumseh added another touchdown in the fourth quarter with Spencer Adams receiving a 17-yard touchdown pass from Dreslinski. Hunt hit the PAT and the Indians had ample time remaining in the game to score again.

“We weren’t worried about the time,” said Romano. “We caught the fair catch on the punt with 2:28 on the clock. When we got into the red zone we started running the ball to eat up some clock because we still had all of our time outs and I didn’t want to score to soon. And then we get a big penalty and put a damper on things.”

Tecumseh was forced to a 4th down and 21-yard situation on their final drive and was unable to score again.

“The positive thing about the game is we kept coming back,” said Romano. “There was no quit in the Tecumseh Indians that night.”

The Indians are now 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference.

Dreslinski connected on 19-of-33 passes for 280-yards. Casey Hunt totaled 96-yards on three receptions while Eric Eldred added 61 yards on three receptions. Tecumseh’s Kyle Bryan had three catches for 60 yards: Terry, five for 35 yards, Spencer Adams, two for 24 yards and Hite, one for four yards.

Tecumseh rushed for 103 yards, led by Dreslinski with 43, Terry, with 42 and Hite with 28.

Preston Pelham led Tecumseh defense with 15 tackles while Terry and Coffin each had 10.

Chelsea accumulated most of its total 348 yards from rushing with 268 yards gained on the ground.

The Indians play Adrian at home on Friday, Oct. 12, beginning at 7 p.m.

“You can just throw out their record,” said Romano of the upcoming game against the Maples. “They’ve beaten the same people we’ve beaten, lost to the same team we lost to... and lost three other games to people we didn’t play. It really doesn’t matter. It’s going to be four quarters of crazy football. I’m so glad we’re playing at home.”

The Maples are 3-4 overall with losses against Carleton Airport, Fenton, Saline and Chelsea. Adrian beat Dexter, Ypsilanti Lincoln and Ypsilanti.

“It’s going to be a fun night,” said Romano. “We’ve got a lot to play for. We can still tie Chelsea for the league title if we win... and closing out with two wins will probably give us a home field in the playoffs, and that’s huge.”

Game time is 7 p.m.

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