Weber’s monster day lead Cass Tech past Chippewa Valley, into D-1 semifinals
DETROIT- Chippewa Valley head coach, Scott Merchant, tapped Detroit Cass Tech running back Mike Weber on the shoulders, and told him "you are the best player in the state." That’s quite the praise for your opponent who just beat your team, 48-35, in the Division 1 state regionals.
But when you rush for 404 yards, on 33 carries, and five touchdowns, you deserve to be called the best. Maybe ever.
"I think he (Mike Weber) is one of the best running back we have ever had in the PSL," said Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher. "You know, the PSL has had a long history of great running backs, but right now, in this period of time right here, I think Mike Weber is probably one of the best running backs we’ve ever had in the last 20-30 years."
Cass Tech (12-0) jumped out to a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter, when Weber went 45-yards for a score, basically untouched. All three of the Technicians touchdowns were scored by No.25 Weber, who despite cramps, ran wild all afternoon in his last home game at Cass Tech.
"I was cramping up in the the half, but my dad gave me the mustard trick, and pickles, and they went away," Weber laughed. "This was the most yards I ever rushed for, and it felt good playing on this field for the last time, and I left it all out on the field today."
The game had the feeling of another blowout for Cass Tech, but Chippewa Valley didn’t want to turn in their pads just yet. Junior quarterback Patrick Briningstool and senior Sean Bunting hooked up on a 27-yard touchdown to make it 21-14. Then when Cass Tech went back up two scores on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Rodney Hall, the Big Reds responded with a 2-yard touchdown run by Deangelo Washington to make it 28-21 at the half.
"We knew Chippewa would cause us fits, especially in the passing game," Wilcher said. "We really hadn’t seen a quarterback like they have, and luckily we came up with a few turnovers to slow them down."
Chippewa Valley (8-4) had a few costly turnovers early, that Cass Tech took advantage of, and was never able to recover from them. The second half belonged to Weber, who rushed for 211 yards and two scores. His 76-yard touchdown with 4:23 left in the third put Cass Tech up 34-21. And when Chippewa Valley continued to fight though until the end, trailing 40-35 with 3:13 left, Weber put the nail in the coffin with a 44-yard touchdown to make it 48-35.
"Every time I get the ball, I think it could be my last carry, so I just make the best of every carry I get," he said. "This game right here I will never forget for the rest of my life, playing with my brothers, and hopefully I can do the same thing on the next level."
Cass Tech has Saline (11-1) up next, a team they played two years ago in the state playoffs, walking away with a 21-14 win. Weber knows that the road only gets tougher as they advance, but that also means that a state title is in sight.
"I really have seen Saline this year, but every one at this point is good," Weber said. "But we are going to go to the drawing board this weekend, and prepare."