FOOTBALL: Cass Tech Dethrones Defending Champ ML King 20-14 In Detroit PSL Football Title Game
DETROIT – If Detroit Cass Tech needed any motivation coming into tonight’s Detroit Public School League football championship game against Detroit King, it was last year’s 44-13 loss in the city semifinals.
Cass Tech avenged last year’s loss with a 20-14 win over King to become the 2013 Detroit PSL football champions.
"This win was very important for us," Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher said after the game. "Being considered one of the top teams in the country, and to keep falling in your own league, it’s kind of hard.
"But when you got a great coach like coach Harvel, you always expect to face a great team. King high school has a great head coach, a great coaching staff, a great team, and we have to respect them every year."
Unlike last year’s early fireworks by King, this game turned out to be a low scoring affair for both teams, due to great defensive play. After neither team was able to get on the scoreboard after one quarter, Cass Tech was finally able to break through midway through the second quarter.
Junior running back Mike Weber burst through the middle of the King defense for a 38-yard touchdown untouched to give them a 7-0 lead. After forcing King into a three and out on their next possession, Cass Tech didn’t waste time putting up more points on King. Quarterback Jayru Campbell connected with freshman wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, who did the rest taking it 71-yards for a score with 1:41 left before the half.
Just when it looked like Cass was about to open up the game on King, the Crusaders responded with a big play of their own. Seniors James Speight and Omari McCauley hooked up for one of their two touchdowns on the night on a 65-yard bomb, that made the score 14-6 going into halftime.
Cass Tech (9-0) came out of the locker room and continued to keep their foot on the pedal. A nine play, 69-yard drive culminated with Campbell (7-18, 153 yards, two touchdowns) lobbing a pass to tight-end Chris McDaniel from 17-yards out.
The Technicians now led 20-6 with, but once again King remained resilient in their effort. With 4:04 left in the third, Speight and McCauley hooked up again for a score, this time from 63-yards out to pull within six at 20-14. King (7-1) had multiple opportunities to either tie the game, or take the lead, but wasn’t able to convert possessions into points. After a King wide receiver dropped a wide open pass that would have tied the game, Cass Tech cornerback and Ohio State commit picked off Speight, ending King’s scoring threat with just under eight minutes remaining.
The Crusaders had one more opportunity to make something happen with 2:17 remaining, but Cass Tech’s defense proved to be too much, sacking Speight to end the game. Cass Tech won it’s first city title since 2010 by a final score of 20-14, and are geared to make another run at a Division 1 state title.
"I was very impressed by my team," said King’s head coach Dale Harvel. "We had two dropped touchdown passes, but it is what it is. You can’t win with plays like that."