By Chris Graham, SWMsports.net
The division three regional championship game was held on Friday night at Chelsea High School. The Edwardsburg Eddies traveled the 2 ½ hours to take on the 11-0 Bulldogs for the right to move on to the state semi-finals.
Not once this season has the Eddies defense been as challenged as they were on this night. They were facing a potent passing attack, and a 1,000-yard rusher. The defense did a nice job at the onset turning away the Bulldogs on their opening possession, and then the offense followed it up with 8 points of their own on a 19 touchdown run by Nick Bradley.
The offenses would exchange blows through the first, and the Eddies would find themselves with a 22-7 lead at one point. However, the Bulldogs were able to get a touchdown on a 19 yards pass play before the end of the half to cut the Eddies lead to 22-13.
The third quarter produced more offense from both teams. Nick Bradley was able to continue his scoring ways and take it in from 26 yards out on his fourth touchdown of the night. Kyle Shrider jumped into action and found a crease from seven yards away. When the dust settled in the third quarter the Eddies were holding on to an eight-point lead, 34-26.
The fourth quarter was a quarter of defense for both schools. The Bulldogs held the Eddies scoreless throughout, in spite of driving deep into their territory on multiple occasions. Edwardsburg only gave up one score, and were fortunate in the Bulldogs missing a 28-yard field goal, which could have sealed a Chelsea victory. That one score was good enough to tie the contest at 34 apiece, and force an overtime showdown.
Chelsea won the toss and elected to go on defense first. The first play for the Eddies from the 10-yard line resulted in a sweep for Kyle Shrider and with a convoy ahead of him he was able to easily find the pylon. The two-point conversion was the same play and the same result. It was Chelsea’s turn on offense, and their senior quarterback found a receiver in the back of the end zone for what appeared like a completed pass, but the receiver landed out of bounds. The original call of a touchdown from the officials stood, nonetheless. They needed to convert on a two point try, and while the protection was good the throw to the receiver was off the mark and fell incomplete. Final score, Edwardsburg 42 Chelsea 40.
Saturday, at 1pm, the Edwardsburg Eddies will face the Muskegon Big Reds in the state semi-final matchup. The Big Red are 11-1 on the year, and have high caliber players at every position. Health and execution are two key components the Eddies will have to focus on to move on to Ford Field. The game will be broadcast live on swmsports.net starting at 12:45pm.