King coach Harvel to return for PSL title game
Detroit – You did your job, Terel Patrick. Now it’s time for you to go back to your position as offensive coordinator and hand the head coaching responsibilities back to Dale Harvel.
Harvel, Detroit King’s head coach since 2009, suffered a heart attack on Sept. 27. It was speculated at that time that Harvel would not return to the sidelines this season. Patrick took over the head coaching duties and retained his title as interim coach last week despite’s Harvel return. Harvel came back to the team to assist the staff as King cruised past Detroit Renaissance 34-0 in a Detroit Public School League semifinal.
King (8-0), ranked No. 5 in State Champs’ latest Top 25 list, will face defending PSL champion and No. 4-ranked Detroit Cass Tech (8-0) for the title on Friday at Ford Field at 7 p.m.
King won the title in 2012 outlasting Detroit East English Village Prep 51-48. King lost to Cass Tech in the 2013 final 20-14.
“It’ll be 100 percent Dale’s team on Friday,” Patrick said. “I’ll be back to my normal spot (as offensive coordinator).”
King has not played a difficult schedule, a fact not lost on Patrick. Patrick is quick to point out that King, aside from its opener, is not responsible for its schedule, the league is. To King’s credit it did schedule its opener on the road against Port Huron (6-2, 4-1), co-champions of the Macomb Area Conference White Division and one of the top teams in the MAC.
“My whole thing is, we can only play our schedule,” Patrick said. “The way we see it, it’s all about us. We worry about ourselves. It’s King football. We can complete against anybody.”
No argument here. Let’s look at the state level. In 2011 and 2013 the Crusaders were eliminated in the Division 2 semifinals by Birmingham Brother Rice, the three-time defending state champion. In ’11 King lost to Brother Rice 27-26. The score was 43-20 last season.
King is led by linebacker/H-back Tyriq Thompson who has committed to Michigan State. At quarterback is Mikale Washington, a 6-4, 185-pound junior who transferred to King from California before the season.
“He’s getting better and better each week,” Patrick said of Washington. “The game is starting to slow down for him.”
PICK: King by 2.
All games at 7 p.m. on Friday unless noted.
Battle Creek Harper Creek (5-3) at Lansing Everett (5-3): Everett is coming off of a tough loss to Lansing Sextons (21-12). The availability of Everett quarterback Lane Porter looms large. Porter suffered an injury in the Sexton game. PICK: Everett by 2.
Clarkston (8-0) at Farmington Hills Harrison (7-1): Harrison finished in a three-way tie for first in the OAA White Division. Not much of a reward here. PICK: Clarkston by 15.
Detroit Mumford (5-3) at Detroit Cody (5-3), 4: The PSL schedule makers didn’t do Mumford any favors. The Mustangs lost to Detroit King and Detroit Cass Tech in competitive games. Mumford was the only PSL team to play both King and Cass Tech during the regular season. PICK: Mumford by 8
Grandville (4-4) at Hudsonville (5-3): Both teams are better than their records would indicate. Grandville, almost certainly, will qualify for the playoffs with a win. A win and Hudsonville is in, but even a loss might not prevent the Eagles from playing a 10th game. PICK: Hudsonville by 7.
Muskegon Mona Shores (7-1) at Muskegon (8-0): It’s all about the city championship (no offense, Muskegon Catholic Central) and playoff points here. If Mona Shores can show it can play with Muskegon, let along win, it will do much for the Sailors’ confidence heading into the playoffs. PICK: Muskegon by 9.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (7-1) vs. Birmingham Brother Rice (8-0), Saturday at Ford Field: Brother Rice won the game earlier in the season, 28-20. St. Mary’s holds a 14-12 edge in the series and the teams have split their last 20 meetings. PICK: Brother Rice by 4.
Traverse City West (4-4) at Walled Lake Northern (4-4): Few would have thought a few weeks ago this game could have playoff implications. It’s not a definite but the winner has a better than 50-50 chanceat getting in. Two-way junior tackle Thiyo Lukusa (knee injury) is not expected to play for West. PICK: Northern by 1.
Utica Eisenhower (5-3) at Romeo (5-3): The winner is in the playoffs. Even if Eisenhower loses its quite possible the Eagles will get in. The same cannot be said for the Bulldogs. Eisenhower has played well ever since its 28-10 loss to Rockford in the opener. PICK: Eisenhower by 7.
Waterford Mott (5-3) at Birmingham Groves (6-2): Groves punched its ticket to the playoffs after week six. Losing two straight can’t help Groves here. Mott needs a win to get in or coach Chris Fahr can collect the equipment on Monday. PICK: Mott by 5.
Last week’s record: 6-4
Season record: 45-35