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Cass Tech opens 2015 season with convincing win over Southfield

By: Jeff Dullack, August 29, 2015, 11:50 pm

Detroit – After losing star running back Mike Weber, who is now at Ohio State, Detroit Cass Tech found itself in need of a new running back when the 2015 season opened after Weber had become one of the state’s best running backs in his time with the Technicians.

And on Saturday night, Cass Tech may have found his replacement in Tim Cheatham.

Cheatham rushed for over 100 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns to help lead Cass Tech to a 27-0 win over Southfield at the Detroit Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State

Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said that Cheatham played just like he expected his running back to and added that he hopes Cheatham and his team continue to improve as the season goes on.

“Tim Cheatham is the back that we thought would be the back that he is,” he said. “He’s coming along and he’s getting better and better and I hope that we just keep getting better as a team.”

With 35 seconds left to play in the first quarter, Jaylen Kelly-Powell scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Technicians a 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

Less than four minutes into the second quarter, Cheatham took off on a 34-yard touchdown run as he outran the Southfield defense to push the Cass Tech lead to 14-0.

Wilcher said that the offensive line stepped up in a big way on Saturday night even though it was their first game playing together as they paved the way for four rushing touchdowns on the day.

“I think the offensive line stepped up huge,” he said. “They got a little nervous, a little stifled because they haven’t worked together as a unit.”

The 14-0 lead would hold up until the end of the third quarter, when Cass Tech quarterback Rodney Hall scored on a 27-yard touchdown run to give the Technicians a three score lead, 21-0, with less than a minute left in the third frame.

Hall finished the game with over 100 yards through the air to go along with his touchdown run.

Hall noted that Cass Tech’s ability to run the ball effectively on Saturday also helped open things up for himself and his receivers in the passing game.

“It helped because when they saw how he was running the ball, they had to come down stop the run,” he said. “And that helped open up the passing game.”

Cheatham would then put the game away with his second touchdown run, a 6-yard score with 2:35 remaining in the game to push the score to 27-0.

“It took a little bit of time,” he said. “This is our first game out here and we have new personnel in the game, they were seeing what Tim was going to do. We knew what Tim can do, but everybody else didn’t and he got loose and had a big game.”

Leading the way for Southfield on offense was freshman quarterback Sam Johnson, who totaled over 120 yards passing to pace the Southfield offense.

Southfield coach Tim Conley said that having his young team open the season against a top team like Cass Tech will help get his team ready for the remainder of the year.

“We replaced 20 starters from last year,” he said. “This game helps us focus and gets us ready for a tough OAA White season.”