FOOTBALL: Detroit King Rebounds With 32-6 Victory Over Detroit Cody In Play-Off Opener
DETROIT – After losing to rival Detroit Cass Tech in the city championship last Friday 20-14, Detroit Martin Luther King found themselves back on the field ready to face another league opponent. This time it would be the always tough Comets of Detroit Cody.
The last time the two programs faced off, it was for the city championship back in 2009, which King won 19-14, led by former standouts Dennis Norfleet and Derond Crawford.
The score may have been different in this most recent meeting, but the outcome was the same as King was able to pull away from Cody in the second half 32-6.
"Cody has a good football team," said King head coach Dale Harvel. "They’re big and physical, and they’re going to give you problems because they’re going to be physical for four quarters, and that’s what they did today."
King scored on their very first possession of the game, going 62-yards down the field in nine plays for a score. Senior quarterback James Speight found senior wide receiver Avonte Maddox open in the endzone for a 5-yard touchdown.
The Crusaders would score again on their second offensive possession on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Speight with 8:18 left before halftime. With the score 14-0 now, the game had the makings of an early blowout for King, but Cody refused to go away.
On a fourth down play near midfield and Cody ready to punt it away, a King player ran into Cody’s punter, which gave the Comets a first down, and new life. After that penalty, Cody drove all the way to the King 1-yard line, where running back Mark Pearson punched it in to make it 14-6 at halftime.
Cody’s running game was able to keep King’s explosive offense off the field in the first half, keeping the game close. That score would be it for Cody (6-4), as King’s defense was able to clamp down, and the offense was able to do it’s job in the second half.
With 5:03 left in the third, Iowa commit Jalen Embry took a screen pass from Speight (9-15, 105 yards 2 touchdowns) straight up the middle of the Cody defense 40-yards for a score to make it 20-6.
Running back RJ Mitchell had himself another productive day on the ground for King, rushing for 182 yards on 21 carries, and looked more like OJ than RJ, the way he cut defenders up in the open field on his 33-yard rushing touchdown that made the score 26-6 with just 1:21 remaining.
With the game all but over for Cody, they attempted a hail mary pass down the field, which Maddox intercepted for his second of the night, returning this one 72-yards for a touchdown.
King (8-1) went on to win 32-6, and will face divisional foe Detroit East English Village Prep, who defeated Grosse Pointe North 41-7 in their first round game, in the district finals next Friday. King won the week two meeting 6-0 in double-overtime.
"I was afraid we left our game at Ford Field mentally," Harvel said. "We had a lot of penalties tonight, and they kept Cody in the football game, but eventually we were able to overcome it."