Cass Tech’s take-aways leave the ‘Ville flat
Detroit – Quarterback Anton Curtis sliced through Detroit Cass Tech secondary for much of the second half as Detroit East English Village Prep cut a three-touchdown deficit to 21-16 with 6:56 left to play.
Curtis was 6-for-9 for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the second half and the Technicians were pushed back on their heels. East English forced a three-and-out and took over on the Cass Tech 20-yard line with 4:23 remaining on third down Keyshawn Gilmore stepped in front of receiver Lindrell Mitchell for the interception at the 3-yard line.
Cass Tech was able to run out the clock and hold on to a 21-16 victory in a Detroit Public School League at Cass Tech on Saturday.
Cass Tech (6-0, 5-0) is ranked No. 4 in the State Champs top 25 and can clinch a tie for the regular season title next Saturday at Detroit Mumford (4-2) at noon.
Gilmore is the only senior in the secondary and it’s his responsibility to keep the younger players focused.
“I’m there to help them out,” Gilmore said. “We made some adjustments as the game went on.
“The play before the interception (Mitchell) was talking about how he was going to catch the next ball.
“That wasn’t our defensive effort. We can do way better. We just need to get better week after week.”
East English coach Rod Oden said his team let one get away. Cass Tech is the defending champions and East English had a good opportunity to knock off the Technicians.
“We had our shots,” he said. “You have to win the turnover battle.”
East English (4-2, 4-1) had four turnovers, Cass Tech had none.
Cass Tech’s defense owned East English in the first half and the Technicians led 14-0.
East English was held to 53 yards and four first downs, one by penalty.
The Technicians took advantage of good field position to take a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. Mike Weber’s 7-yard touchdown run ended a 30-yard drive.
Receiver Sean Hodges’ adlib move set up Cass Tech’s second touchdown. Hodges first went right on a jet sweep then reversed his field and ran 55 yards to the East English 2-yard line. Two plays later Weber scored from a yard out for a 14-0 lead.
Rodney Hall’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Demetric Vance gave Cass Tech a 21-0 lead after its first possession of the second half.
Hall suffered a shoulder injury and didn’t play much of the second half.
The Bulldogs got on the board with 5:09 left in the third on Curtis’ 55-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell.
Curtis’ second touchdown pass and subsequent conversion pass pulled East English to within five points.
Weber, the state’s top running back, was held to 104 yards on 30 carries but the Bulldogs were unable to overcome those four turnovers.
“That’s what happens when you don‘t practice well,” Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said. “We’re just trying to get the kids all on the same page.”