In Play with Tom Markowski


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King’s defense carries the load again, Crusaders top East English, 20-15

By: Tom Markowski, September 11, 2015, 9:13 pm




Detroit – Detroit King’s defense was outstanding in the first two weeks. The No. 3-ranked Crusaders held Warren De La Salle to 10 points and then they blanked Detorit Western 42-0.

This unit was put to the test again on Friday and when a big play had to be made, King’s defense made it.

Held scoreless in the second half, King held on to defeat a determined Detroit East English Village Prep 20-15 in a Detroit Public School League Division 1 opener for both teams at King.

James Ceasar’s second interception of the game gave East English (2-1) possession on King’s 45-yard line with 7:35 remaining. The Bulldogs gained three yards and punted.

King (3-0) was unable to gain a first down on the next possession and punted. East English took over on its 45 with 4:22 left and picked up two first downs, the second on an interference penalty.

East English faced a fourth-and-1 from the King 23 and East English coach called for Delvin Washington to get the necessary yardage on a quarterback keeper. Washington gained 11 yards on the previous play but this time King’s defensive front held him to no gain with 1:29 remaining.

“We left them off the hook,” East English coach Rod Oden said. “We knew coming on the road we had to play our game. We played (against) a bear front defense. They had nine in the box. We had our opportunities. It’s a learning experience. We just made too many mistakes.”

Both teams made numerous mistakes. King sophomore quarterback El-Julian Jordan (10-22, 219 yards) played well at times but he made some bad decisions and threw two interceptions. King was assessed 12 penalties for 95 yards and East English and nine penalties for 72 yards.

A holding penalty against King negated an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Lavert Hill and an interference penalty wiped away an interception by Donnie Corley, Jr.

Corley, a senior receiver-defensive back who was named the state’s top player by State Champs in the preseason, had just two receptions in Detroit King’s first two games for nine yards. Corley had much more of an impact on defense as he had an interception in the opener and 11 tackles last week against Western.

Corley needs to have more touches in order for King to be a more complete and Jordan, starting his third varsity game, looked for his star receiver more in this game. Coley had four receptions for 100 yards including a 37-yard touchdown reception with 1:51 left in the first half that gave King a 20-8 lead.

His 45-yard reception set up King’s second touchdown. Martell Pettaway’s 1-yard scoring run with 10 seconds left in the first quarter broke an 8-8 tie.

Pettaway 23-yard touchdown run five minutes into the game gave King a 6-0 lead.

After a King safety, East English tied the game on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Washington (7-14, 81 yards) to Lindrell Mitchell. Mitchell then caught the conversion pass.

Held to six rushing yards in the first half, Nathaniel Boleware broke free for a 23-yard touchdown run to pull the Bulldogs to within 20-15 with 1:50 left in the third quarter.

Untimely penalties and King’s staunch defense kept East English off of the scoreboard the rest of the way.

“I thought, overall, we played well defensively,” King coach Dale Harvel said. “Once we were able to step them (running the ball), it makes them one-dimensional.

“El-Julian is making mistakes. We have to be patient with him. You can’t have the type of receivers we have and not get them the ball. Corley is a big play kid. Hill can make big plays, too. And Pettaway got us going early.

“What helps us with this with is how tough they are. That’s a good football team.”

King held East English to 193 total yards. King had 222 yards in the first half but managed just 25 in the second.