Cass Tech, King win PSL Divisional titles
Prep Football Roundup — Week 7
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Not only did Martin Luther King and Cass Tech give their student bodies and fans a happy homecoming, but they both clinched first place in their respective divisions in the Detroit Public School League.
Both teams won their showdown games in convincing fashion on Oct. 11.
King (5-0 PSL East, 6-0) routed Denby 52-12, while Cass Tech (6-0 PSL West, 7-0) won the “The Battle of the Unbeatens” with a dominating 41-6 triumph over Mumford later that night.
It looked as if Denby (3-2 PSL East,5-2) was going to give King a run for the title when quarterback Raynard Lewis threw a 60-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Malik Whitehead to give the Tars a brief 6-0 lead. That was all the offense Denby could muster because King would score the next 22 points.
Fullback Tyrig Thompson started things off for the Crusaders catching an eight-yard pass from quarterback James Speight to give King an 8-6 lead. Then touchdowns by running back D.J. Griffin (nine yards) and running back Raymond Mitchell (eight yards) would extend the King lead to 22-6 after one quarter of play.
Speight would get into the act in the second quarter, throwing TD passes to wide receiver Avonte Maddox for 32 yards and a 42-yard strike to wide receiver Jalen Embry. King led 38-6 at the half.
Thompson made it 44-6 when he scored his second touchdown of the game by catching a five-yard pass from Speight in the third quarter. Both teams scored a touchdown each in the fourth quarter. Denby got its second touchdown of the game when Whitehead scored his second TD of the game, catching a 53-yard strike from Lewis. King got its final points of the game when Speight scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak.
The players were pleased with their accomplishments.
“It feels great because we practiced hard all week,” said Speight. “This was a good game.”
“This was a great win for the whole team,” added Thompson. “The coach said we had to stay focused to get the job done.”
Maddox said although they’ve done well, they’re not finished yet. “We have to still go hard to get through the city and state (playoffs),” he said.
Embry attributed the win to the team’s “mental practice.” “We stayed focus, strong and humble. We got the job done the way we wanted,” he said.
King Head Coach Dale Harvel is looking forward to the playoffs.
“We have to keep the intensity up for the playoffs,” said Harvel. “The kids have done great since the start of the season and they keep getting better each week.”
Mumford v. Cass
The game between Mumford and Cass Tech was touted as the “Battle of the Un-beatens.” However, the Technicians proved to be the better team this time around as Cass Tech used a strong running game and took advantage of several Mumford miscues to rout the Mustangs 41-6 in front of a lively crowd at Cass Tech.
In the first quarter, the Technicians punted to Mumford, pinning the Mustangs deep in their own end at the two yard line. Unable to move the ball, Mumford punter Kameron Pleasant shanked a punt to their own eight-yard line. That’s when running back Mike Weber, who sped like a Corvette all night when he carried the ball, put the Technicians on the board with an eight-yard run at the 9:01 mark. Cass Tech led 7-0 after one quarter.
The Technicians made it 14-0 in the second quarter when running back Gary Hosey scored on a one-yard plunge. The Mustangs answered back; quarterback Monty Stewart hit junior wide receiver DeShawn Foster on 20-yard scoring strike to make it 14-6.
Cass Tech responded with Weber scoring on a four yard-run, giving the Technicians a 21-6 lead at the half.
Quarterback Jayru Campbell made it 27-6 in the third quarter scoring on an 11-yard run. Then two touchdowns in the fourth quarter wrapped it up for the Technicians, when Hosey scored on a one-yard plunge and James Mabins returned an interception 97 yards as time expired.
“This victory was a step to the PSL playoffs and championship,” said Weber. “We’re working hard taking one step at a time.
Weber said the team has to “follow the game plan.”
“This win was a step up. It’s still one game at a time.”
Hosey said the game was important because it decided which team would advance to the playoffs. “This win also made a statement: We’re still unbeaten and we’re still alive to win the city and the state,” he said.
Sophomore Kobe Warren said, “We had to step it up and make the big plays. We had to head into this game and play physical to get things done.” Warren said he’s glad to see his team make it to the playoffs. “So we can win the city and go back to win the state championship again.”
Cass Tech and King are the number ones heading into the upcoming PSL Playoffs Oct. 18 at DCP-Northwestern. Cass Tech (7-0) will play East English (5-2) at 5 p.m. and King (6-0) will play Mumford (6-1) at 7 p.m.