Milan @ Chelsea Preview

The Milan (5-4) Big Reds will travel to Chelsea (8-1) on Friday for the first round of the MHSAA State Football Playoffs. Chelsea defeated Coach Jesse Hoskin’s team in Week 1 of the season at Milan by a score of  27-7. Milan finished in a tie for 2nd place in the Huron League this season while Chelsea were Co- Champions of the SEC White Division. Chelsea leads the all-time series 30-25-1 in a rivalry that goes back to Milan’s days in the SEC.

Milan has battled through injuries all season and dressed only 19 players in the season finale @ Ypsi Lincoln. The Big Reds put solid talent on the field though and are led by Wisconsin commit Michael Furtney. Furthey anchors the defensive line and has been playing in the backfield the last few games as a lead blocker. The running game is led by the tandem of Tristen Hines and Hunter Aeshbacker. The duo has ran for over 2,000 yards and 22 TD’s. Defensively, the Big Reds give up nearly 26 ppg. Seniors Justin Beck Chris Beck and Brandon Lange have had big seasons on defense along with Furntey, Hines and Aeshbacker, but this isn’t a vintage Hoskin’s defense.

Chelsea was recently ranked 10th in Division 3, but dropped to Division 4 for the playoffs. The Bulldogs lone loss was a 26-14 loss to Ypsi Lincoln. The Chelsea offense is led by senior QB Thomas Steele and receiver Hunter Neff along with RB Kyle Knight. Defensively, the Bulldogs have a host of defensive players that standout. DE Donnie Buford has committed to Western Michigan University Owen Nikisch leads the linebacking corp. Gus Reynolds is a solid 2-way player.

Don’t be fooled by the week 1 score at Milan early in the season. This will be a competitive football game. Milan has played better since the Furtney position change. While Chelsea is playing at home, the Big Reds could benefit from playing on the turf.

* Look for our Week 1 Playoff Picks tomorrow night*

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