Detroit King wins first PSL Title since 2012 with 27-25 win over Cass Tech
Detroit – Detroit King entered Friday night’s Public School League Championship game with plenty of uncertainty after a whirlwind week where the Crusaders weren’t even sure if they’d be playing on Friday night.
After it was announced on Monday that King would be forced to forfeit Friday’s game due to a brawl after last week’s game against Detroit Cody, the decision was overturned 24 hours later that King would be allowed to play in the game, although several players were suspended.
While King got out to a bit of a slow start, the Crusaders would get things going in the second quarter and outlasted rival Cass Tech to earn a 27-25 victory to win their first PSL title since 2012.
King coach Dale Harvell said that while it has been a wild week for his team, he credited his team for being able to focus on Friday night’s game even after practicing just once throughout the week.
“It’s been a crazy seven days,” he said. “But I give all the credit to the young men, they fought through all of the off the field stuff and were able to focus, because they were only able to practice for one day this week.”
After Donovan Johnson took the opening kickoff of the second half 92-yards for a touchdown to give Cass Tech an 18-13 lead, King would respond less than two minutes later when Penn State-commit LaVert Hill took an 85-yard pass from Armani Posey to give the Crusaders the lead right back, 21-18 with 10:22 left in the third quarter.
Posey said that with the Cass Tech secondary focusing heavily on star receiver Donnie Corley, he knew that he needed to make sure he connected with the rest of his receivers.
“They were dropping deep and double teaming Donnie Corley,” he said. “I just had to hit my other guys on the field.”
Posey threw for three touchdowns on the day to help lead the way for the Crusaders.
Cass Tech would regain the lead with just six seconds left to play in the third quarter when Johnson would score from 4-yards out, to put the Technicians on top, 25-21.
King would respond once again as the Crusaders would take a 27-25 lead after Kevin Willis scored on a 10-yard run with just five minutes left to play.
From there, the King defense took over.
The Crusaders first forced a turnover on downs and after the King offense was forced to punt, giving the Technicians the ball back with 19 seconds left with the ball inside their own 10-yard line, but the suffocating King pass defense forced three incompletions to end the game.
The Crusaders allowed just 34 yards passing for the game.
Harvel said that the performance by the secondary was yet another impressive effort that he has seen all season long and also credited his defensive line for generating pressure on the Cass Tech passing attack.
“They’ve been doing that job all year,” he said. “But a lot has to go to that defensive line, because they pressured them all night. They may not have gotten all of the sacks, but they didn’t have time to throw, so it was a team effort.”
In the first half, King jumped out to a 13-11 halftime lead after Posey and Dontre Boyd connected for two touchdowns, including one with two seconds left before halftime.
Posey said that all week, Boyd had been telling Posey to make sure to get him the football, and Posey made sure he was able to do that on Friday night.
“All week, he (Boyd) had been telling me, get me the ball,” he said. “I told him I had him all week and look at what we did out here.”
Cass Tech’s lone first half touchdown came on a 44-yard punt return by Donovan Peoples-Jones.