Football: Dreadnaughts drop season opener to host Chelsea, 34-20

It was Dexter’s 1995 varsity football team that last beat the Bulldogs, 16-5 on Oct. 6 of that year. And despite showing plenty of positive signs on the field and on the scoreboard, the wait will continue for at least another year after Chelsea’s 34-20 win on Friday in a season opener for both schools.

And, yes, Dexter opening with Chelsea doesn’t happen very often – nor should it. It’s like Michigan opening with Ohio State or even Michigan State. The last time Dexter opened the season with Chelsea was 1958.

The Dreadnaughts are getting closer to beating their neighbors. The Bulldogs won 45-0 in 2015, then 33-6 in 2016, 34-14 last year and now 34-20 as the Dreads have progressively trimmed the margin.

The host Bulldogs opened the scoring in the first quarter on a 1-yard run to take a 7-0 lead. But the Dreadnaughts answered quickly. Also in the first quarter, Dexter quarterback Colin Parachek threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Antwan Ficklen for the Dreads’ first TD of the season. The extra point was no good leaving Chelsea with a 7-6 lead after one quarter.

The Bulldogs scored two second-quarter touchdowns on short runs to take a 20-6 lead into halftime.

Chelsea scored once in the third quarter to push the lead to 27-6.

In the fourth quarter, Chelsea scored again to make it 34-6.

The Dreadnaughts finished strong as Parachek and Andy Durand hooked up on a 51-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 34-13. Durand got behind the Chelsea safety and Parachek delivered a strike down the middle of the field as Durand out ran the defender to the end zone.

The two connected again later in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to 34-20.

On the stat sheet, Dexter had 10 first downs to 15 for Chelsea while the Dreads had 10 penalties for 115 yards to Chelsea’s eight penalties for 95 yards. Dexter had 274 yards of total offense to Chelsea’s 258.

Parachek finished 15 of 26 passing for 240 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 27 yards on six carries. Mason Loudermilk had 20 yards on five carries.

Alex Mills led Dexter with five catches for 88 yards. Durand had three catches for 72 yards, Ficken had three grabs for 40 yards and Rhett Jacobs had three catches for 38 yards.

The Dexter defense was led by Jordan Watson with eight tackles and eight assists; Evan Chapell with six tackles and six assists; David Kreske with five tackles and five assists; and Nathan Norris with four tackles and five assists.

Dexter hosts Ypsilanti at 7 p.m. on Friday in the Dreadnaughts’ home opener. The Grizzlies dropped their season opener 27-20 to Jackson. Ypsilanti went 4-5 last year including a 45-0 win over the Dreads.

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