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Cass Tech rolls past rival Detroit King, 41-20, to reclaim PSL title

By: Ben Szilagy, October 21, 2016, 11:40 pm

Detroit — Rematches are tricky. Rivalries are even trickier, but Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher wouldn’t have it any other way. When a league title is on the line he wants it to always be between his Technicians and Detroit King.

“This game is always going to be about Cass and King. You really want to make sure the passion of the rivalry keeps going. It’s always a clean, hard fought rivalry, and the kids love it,” he said.

“Winning a city championship is great, but you want it against King.”

Cass Tech reclaimed and captured its eighth Detroit PSL title with a dominating 41-20 over King on Friday night.

Senior Rodney Hall led the Technician charge two plays into the first quarter on Tech’s opening possession. Hall hit fellow senior Donovan Peoples Jones on a 54-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead.

“They played man across the board the whole game. If you test us, we’ll go deep on you,” Hall said.

After Cass (9-0) received an interception from senior Donovan Williams, Hall utilized his feet and highlighted his duel-threat ability. The 6-foot-2 senior kept the ball on a read option and bolted for a 40-yard touchdown to quickly build a 14-0 lead with 50 seconds left in the first quarter.

“He’s played for us for four years. We knew he’d have some success. He’s a great asset to this team, and does a lot of great things for this team. He helps set us up for what we want to do,” Wilcher said.

Hall spread the wealth around hitting Jaylen Kelly Powell on a 32-yard pass that helped set up a 1-yard touchdown run by backup quarter back Aaron Jackson, 21-0, a few plays later.

Hall capped his impressive day (6-for-9 129 yards, TD, 65 yards rushing 2 TDs) with his third touchdown midway through the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run. Hall left the game in the third quarter with a minor left foot injury, but isn’t expected to miss any time.

King (8-2) wouldn’t go quietly as the Crusaders leaned on the hands of senior Ambry Thomas to stop the bleeding on the ensuing drive. Sophomore Dequan Finn found Thomas on a 37-yard touchdown pass over the middle, 28-6. The extra point was missed.

After Cass Tech received six points from senior Luis Borjas from 40, and 49 yards out, Thomas and Finn struck again on a 18-yard touchdown, and the two-point conversion, 34-14 with 5:12 left in the fourth quarter.

“Film tells it all. If you prepare enough, you start seeing tendencies to exploit,” Thomas said.

Tech senior Willie Reid returned the ensuing kick off 60-yards, before Thomas and Detroit King would add another touchdown, 41-20, with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter.

Thomas finished the game with 6 receptions for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns.

“We wanted to concentrate on special teams. You always look to elevate your team and I thought our special teams did that for us tonight. We had great kicks by Borjas and the return at near the end,” Wilcher said.

“We just need to prove we have kids that can do it all. We did it all tonight. The elevation of our team, our league, and our players depends on it.”