Local schools win district championships
State football playoffs
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Cass Tech (11-0) needed second-half heroics to keep their season alive. With veteran junior Jayru Campbell feeling ill, Cass Tech freshman Rodney Hall started as the QB. The Technicians weren’t able to move the ball, but the Warren Mott Marauders did. Cass Tech’s defense held strong though, keeping the first quarter scoreless.
In the second quarter, Campbell returned at quarterback and the Cass Tech offense found some life. The Technicians’ defense maintained their intensity as they blocked a Mott punt, which defensive back Antoine Price returned to the Marauders’ five-yard-line. Half-way into the second quarter, Cass Tech’s Mike Weber scored. Cass Tech led 6-0 after the extra point kick went astray.
Mott responded quickly. After three more minutes of play, quarterback Connor Madigan threw a five-yard TD pass to receiver Angelo Proulx in the end zone. Their PAT kick sailed through the goal posts.
With 16.8 seconds left in the half, a 45-yard TD pass from Campbell to Weber was called back. The Technicians attempted a 34-yard field goal, but it fell short, leaving Mott up 7-6 as the players entered the locker room at half-time.
“Coach came in and told us what we were doing wrong,” Weber explained. “We had to play hard-nosed football. Our defensive and offensive line had to play better.”
In the second half, Campbell threw a 10-yard scoring strike to tight end Chris McDaniel. Next, Gary Hosey scored on a one-yard plunge and Weber made the two-point conversion run, extending the Technicians lead to 20-7.
The Marauders rallied in the beginning of the fourth quarter when quarterback Austin Ross scored on a one-yard sneak, bringing the score to 20-13. But Weber returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards to give Cass Tech a 26-13 lead with 10:14 on the clock. Deon Drake made it 28-13 running in the two-point conversion.
Although Mott didn’t win in the end, they kept fighting; tight end Ken Goins caught a six-yard TD pass for Mott to make it a 28-19 game in the last two minutes. A victorious Cass Tech will play Macomb Dakota Nov. 15 for the Division 1 Region 4 Championship.
“Macomb Dakota is a good team,” Weber told the Michigan Citizen. “We have to play a better first half than we did this week (if we want to win).”
Martin Luther King (9-1) punched its ticket to the Division 2 championship with a 28-20 win over rival East English Village (7-4) Nov. 8.
Early on, King’s Raymond Mitchell sprinted 98-yards for the Crusaders’ first touchdown. Fullback Tyriq Thompson caught the two-point conversion pass and King led 8-0. The Crusaders pushed it to 14-0 when wide receiver Avonte Maddox caught a 68-yard scoring strike from QB James Speight.
The second quarter belonged to East English Village. Armani Posey scored on a 40-yard run and running back Malik Lewis made the two-point conversion run. With 25 seconds left in the quarter, quarterback Anton Curtis threw a 66-yard TD pass to wide receiver Rico Lewis tying the game at the half, 14-14.
King’s Maddox dominated the second-half scoring on a 19-yard run and on a seven-yard toss sweep. Thompson scored on a two-point conversion pass. The game ended in King’s favor, 28-20. “It feels good we got the win to keep playing in the state (tournament),” said Maddox. “We’ve got to play harder and cut down on mental mistakes.”
The U-D Jesuit Cubs (7-4) kept their season alive with a very close 14-8 win over Oak Park in the MHSAA Division 2 District Final at Ferndale High. The Cubs got 97 yards passing and 78 yards rushing from quarterback Ryan Brand who scored on a 13-yard run in the first quarter and threw a 19-yard pass to Jaren Kirkland in the second quarter. Loyola (11-0) ran away with the Division 7 District crown as the Bulldogs blew out Britton-Deerfield 57-0 at Mumford on Nov. 8. The Bulldogs had a 44-0 halftime lead thanks to touchdowns by Mideyn Wilson (56 and 51 yards), Alan Taylor (one and 14 yards), Paul Ingram (19 yards) and Marvin Campbell (22 yards). In the second half, Ian McNeal scored on a 25-yard run and John Stewart scored on a33-yard run. “We’re glad we’re leaving our district healthy and ready for the regional,” said Loyola Head Coach John Callahan. “I’m pleased the way the defense played; I’m pleased the way everyone played.”
One Detroit school was not victorious in its endeavors. The Educational Achievement Authority’s Mumford High School lost the Division 3 State Championship to the St. Clair Saints 46-24. “We had many opportunities we just didn’t convert,” said Mumford Head Donshell English. “We had three touchdown passes dropped.” Trailing 22-0 going into the second quarter, Mumford got on the board with two seconds left in the half when quarterback Monty Stewart connected with wide receiver Carl Miller on four-yard scoring strike. A two-point conversion made it 22-8 half-time. Mumford pulled within eight points when Stewart threw his second touchdown pass of the game to wide receiver Kameron Pleasant for a 27-yard scoring strike. St. Clair scored twice after the Mumford offensive effort and led 38-16 after three quarters of play. But the Mustangs didn’t give up; in the final quarter Stewart found Pleasant again this time on a 70-yard TD pass. After the two-point try, Mumford trailed 38-24, but couldn’t get any closer. Mumford had three other scoring opportunities that fell short. In the third quarter, the Mustangs drove down to the Saints one-yard line, but ended with a St. Clair interception. “The play in the third quarter, when we were on the one-line that resulted in an interception, changed the momentum of the contest because we were going to score, English said. “But the kids fought hard and never gave up. We learned a lot playing Cass Tech and King which will make us a stronger team next year. We had a lot of experience that returned this year which helped. We have a lot of experience coming back and we’ll be ready.”