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Donovan Johnson scores two TDs, Cass Tech defeats King, 31-18

By: Tom Markowski, October 1, 2016, 4:29 pm

Detroit – Donovan Johnson was honored at halftime, as was his Detroit Cass Tech teammate Donovan Peoples- Jones.

It wasn’t until after Saturday’s game against rival Detroit King did Johnson receive high praise from his coach.

Johnson scored two touchdowns, executed a fake punt that kept a drive going and had a 38-yard kickoff return as Cass Tech upended King 31-18 in a Detroit Public School League Division 1 showdown at Cass Tech.

“I expected this,” Johnson said. “I didn’t think King had a chance against us.”

Johnson and Peoples-Jones were selected to participate in the U.S. Army All-America game and the official announcement was made at halftime.  

Twice King defeated Cass Tech last season on its way to winning the Division 2 state title. While Cass Tech did reach the Division 1 final before losing to Romeo, its season ended without winning a city or a state title.

King accomplished both.

This afternoon belonged to Johnson and Cass Tech. The top-ranked Technicians (6-0) led 17-0 at halftime as their defense held King (5-1) to 40 yards and two first downs.

Rodney Hall’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Kyron McKinnie gave Cass Tech a 10-0 lead with 4:44 left in the half.

When Cass Tech got the ball back Johnson raced 70 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead.

On King’s first drive of the second half Willie Reid returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown as he stepped in front of the receiver who slipped on the slick grass field.

Johnson’s 82-yard touchdown reception from Hall proved to be the clinching touchdown as Cass Tech led 31-6 with 9:42 remaining.

 “As soon as I got the ball in my hands today I wanted to score a touchdown,” Johnson said.

“I did it on my own,” he said of the fake punt. “I bobbled (the snap) but I wanted to run it all along.

“I’m a playmaker.”

Running back Kevin Willis (16 carries, 77 yards) did his best to keep King in the game. His 85-yard kickoff return set up his 5-yard touchdown run that pulled King to within 31-12 with 8:45 left.

He closed out the scoring with a 21-yard touchdown reception from sophomore quarterback Dequan Finn.

Cass Tech had 375 in total yards but the Technicians committed 14 penalties for 95 yards (King had 12 for 75 yards). These mistakes and others caused Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher to use harsh words directed at his team.

“I didn’t think we played well at all,” he said. “We left so many points out there. We’ve got to clean it up. The defense played great. They stopped them every time. And Johnson, big time players make big time plays.”