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East English Village, King to play for PSL Title at Ford Field Oct. 19

East Village vs. Cody

East Village vs. Cody: East English Village’s
Desmond King (20) eludes Cody’s Shawn Pitts. CHUCK JOHNSON, DPS PHOTOS

Prep Football Roundup — Week 8:

Bulldogs to defend title against last year’s opponent

By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — At this year’s Detroit Public School Championship football game at Ford Field, the same squads from last year will play. But this year one squad has a different name. Formerly Crockett Tech, The East English Village Academy will face the same opponent they defeated for the PSL Crown, Martin Luther King.

Playing under the nickname the Rockets last season, the defending champion Bulldogs (7-1) fought off a determined Cody squad 37-32 in the first of two PSL semi-final games played Oct. 12 at Northwestern High School.

“We have a great bunch of seniors that play hard,” said East English Village head coach Rod Oden. “We take our hats off to them to make it back to the city championship.”

The Comets (5-3) jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead when quarterback DeMarco Gulley threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Jamel Anderson at the 6:38 mark of the first quarter. Cody led 7-0 going into the second quarter.

East English quickly tied the score at 7 on their next possession when Bulldogs quarterback Anton Curtis hit Khalid Hill on a eight-yard pass to cap off a 66-yard scoring drive. The Bulldogs made it 13-7 after a Matthew Simpson interception. Desmond King scored from a yard out after two plays at the 9:13 mark.

Cody tied the game at 13 when Gulley hit Fluker on a six-yard scoring pass. But East English struck again before the half ended when Rico Lewis caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Curtis to go up 19-13 at the half.

The Bulldogs outscored the Comets 18-6 in the third when King scored on runs of six and 35 yards. Simpson added the third touchdown in the third quarter on a 42-yard run, giving East English a 31-19 lead after three quarters of play.

The Comets answered back in the fourth when Gulley scored from five yards out at the 7:05 mark and four yards out with 2:09 left to play.

The second contest had plenty of fireworks on the field and in the stands as the bands from both schools showed Cass Tech (5-0, 6-1) was one of the top-ranked teams in the state, while playing in a must-win situation to keep their state playoffs hopes alive. At 4-3, the Crusaders had to win not just to make the PSL Finals, but to keep playing beyond nine weeks. A fourth loss would end their season at nine weeks. King struck first at the 8:59 mark when quarterback Devaun Williams fired an 80-yard scoring strike to Jalen Embry to make it 6-0 Crusaders. Despite explosive plays on offense, miscues and penalties kept the Technicians off the board.

The Crusaders made it 12-0 after recovering a Technicians fumble on the Cass Tech 41. Jerrod Davis raced two yards to pay dirt with 3:16 left in the first. But the Technicians answered right back when Damon Webb caught a 22-yard pass from Jayru Campbell at the 1:51 mark making 12-6 in favor of King after one quarter of play.

Cass Tech took the lead for the first time at the start of the second quarter when DaQuan Pace blocked a punt deep into King territory and recovered the fumble in the endzone for touchdown to give Cass Tech a 13-12 lead.

It would be last time the Technicians would put any points on the board that night.

King answered with two straight touchdowns to go up 24-13 at the half. Williams hit Mycial Allen on a 25-yard pass with 6:08 on the clock and another scoring pass for 14 yards with 11.8 seconds to go before halftime.

The only points in the third quarter were scored on a safety in favor of the Crusaders when a bad snap from the center sailed over Campbell’s head into the endzone at the 2:41 mark. King led 26-13 going into the fourth.

King opened the floodgates in the fourth, scoring 18 points. Williams threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game hitting Rico Lewis from 14 yards out (11:56). Williams then scored the next two rushing touchdowns on a one-yard sneak (10:22) and again from three yards out (4:43).

The Crusaders upped their record to 5-3 while the Technicians dropped to 6-2. “This was a must-win — not just to make the championship game, but to make the state playoffs,” said King head coach Dale Harvel. “You must win six games to make the state playoffs.

“This isn’t just the city championship, but a chance to get into the state playoffs. We got to close out next week with a win or our season is over.”

East English Village will clash with Martin Luther King Oct.19 at Ford Field. Kickoff time is 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the gate.

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