FOOTBALL: ML King and Cass Tech Both Advance To Detroit PSL Final Friday
DETROIT – In last year’s Detroit Public School League semifinals, Detroit Martin Luther King defeated rival Detroit Cass Tech 44-13 to advance to the title game at Ford Field.
King would eventually defeat East English Village Prep in a 51-48 thriller to take home the championship trophy, while Cass Tech repeated as Division 1 state champs.
The two team’s would cross paths again possibly in the 2013 Detroit PSL title game, but first they had to take care of business in their respective semifinal matchups.
King (7-0) took care of Mumford (6-2) 42-14 in the first semifinal game at Detroit Northwestern High School. The Crusaders relied heavily on senior running back RJ Mitchell, who rushed for 241 yards, and four touchdowns on 39 carries.
"I think my performance was good today," Mitchell said. "Every game I have a goal of doing better than what I did last game, and I did. I came out here and showed up for my team.
King marched 57 yards down the field in eight plays on their first possession, capped off by a 6-yard touchdown run by Mitchell, his first of two in the quarter. King pushed their lead to 28-8 early in the third on a 3-yard touchdown by Mitchell and looked to pull away, but Mumford continued to fight until the end.
Mumford quarterback Monty Stewart found wide receiver Carl Miller wide open down the field, after King cornerback Jalen Embry slipped on the play, allowing Miller to score from 48-yards out.
King now held on to a 28-14 lead, but King would eventually close the door on any comeback attempts, and seal the win. After forcing King into a three and out,Mumford had an opportunity to come within seven of King, but their drive was stalled when Embry picked Stewart off for the second time. Mitchell would score again on the ensuing drive from 4-yards out to put King up 34-14 with 9:21 remaining.
The Crusaders would add another score late in the fourth to seal the 42-14 victory over Mumford.
They will now face Cass Tech (8-0) once again, as the Technicians shutout Detroit East English Village Prep (5-3) 19-0 Friday night. Cass Tech has been good for at least thirty points per game this season, but only led 13-0 heading into the final quarter.
East English Village Prep had multiple opportunities to get on the scoreboard, but Cass Tech’s defense proved to be too fast and athletic on the night. Back from a knee injury that sidelined him most of the year, Michigan State commit Deon Drake put the nail in the coffin for Cass Tech, rushing for a 34-yard touchdown that gave Cass Tech the 19-0 lead with 6:21 remaining in the game.
That would be the final score as the whistles sounded, and Cass Tech would finally be able to get their second shot at King on the field.
"All year we heard about how good King was," Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher said. "Now we get to see what they’re all about on Friday."
The championship game is scheduled for Friday October 25 at 7 p.m. Ford Field is the venue once again this year, and admission is $10.