Grosse Ile finished the regular season with a 9-0 record after defeating previously undefeated Crestwood 29-13 in week 9. The Red Devils were also champions of the Huron League. Grosse Ile has qualified for the playoffs 12 times and has overall playoff record of 9-11. The Chelsea Bulldogs finished with a 6-3 record while playing in the SEC White division and have qualified for the playoffs for the 21st time including 19 times in the last 20 seasons. Chelsea’s overall playoff record is 23-20 and includes a trip to Ford Field in 2015.
Grosse Ile: 9-0 (7-0, Huron League)
Record vs. Playoff Teams: 5-0
Grosse Ile is led of offense by QB Zak Thompson. The 6-2, 195 lb senior has thrown for over 1,500 yards and 17 TD’s. Senior RB Luke Harwood has rushed for nearly 1,400 yards and has scored 14 TD’s on the ground. Thompson has two sure-handed receivers in seniors Phil LaBelle and Karar Al-rekabi. The pair has teamed up for 58 receptions and nearly 900 yards receiving. The offensive line is led by senior Antonio Alongi. Defensively, the Red Devils are led by an outstanding linebacking corp. Junior Johnny Blanzy is one of the best LB’s in SE Michigan and is joined by fellow junior Josh Zemmin along with seniors Chance Marx and Phil LaBelle.
Chelsea: 6-3 (4-2 SEC-White)
Record vs. Playoff Teams: 1-1
Chelsea is led by first year coach Josh Lucas. Lucas replaced 21 year veteran head coach and current AD Brad Bush in May. The Chelsea offense is averaging 29 ppg and is led by senior QB Quinn Starkey. Starkey has thrown for 1,500 yards and 15 TD’s. RB Aaron McDaniels has rushed for over 700 yards and 14 TD’s. The receiving corp is led by Hunter Neff, who has 46 receptions and 10 TD’s. The offensive line is led by 6-3, 300 lb tackle Holden Monica along with Josiah Fitch and Ty Stacy. Defensively, the Bulldogs give up 16 ppg. Sophomore FS Joe Taylor leads the team in tackles with 46 tackles and 4 interceptions. Others on defense to watch are Evan Mite, Evan Vaughn, Parker Murphy and Doug Zarinnia.
Outlook: This should be a great game between two teams with diverse offenses. Grosse Ile proved themselves this year by running the table and going a perfect 5-0 against playoff teams. Chelsea is a proven football program that has made it past week 1 in the playoffs each of the last four seasons.
Chris’s Pick: Grosse Ile 28 Chelsea 27
Gary’s Pick: Grosse Ile 34 Chelsea 17
Frank’s Pick: Grosse Ile 35 Chelsea 24