When it comes to Michigan High School Football, there are few great rivalries that compare to the longtime rivalry of Detroit King and Detroit Cass Tech. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to wait long for both teams to face-off, as they took to the turf of Ford Field on Friday night for the 2013 Detroit PSL Championship. Coming into this game, both teams came in with unblemished records, Cass Tech undefeated at 8-0 and King undefeated at 7-0. However, someone had to lose and in this case it was King who suffered a loss to Cass Tech but they certainly didn’t go down without a fight.
In the first quarter, it was mostly all about defense. Both Cass Tech and King did a good job of bending but not breaking on defense. In the middle of the 1st quarter, King did allow momentum to switch Cass Tech’s way after fumbling the ball which Cass Tech was able to recover. Unfortunately, Cass Tech wasn’t able to do much with it and was forced to punt before closing out the first quarter.
However it was in the middle of the second quarter, that the Cass Tech offense got going. It all started with Cass Tech junior running back Mike Weber rushing for a 35-yard touchdown and after converting the extra point, Cass Tech led King 7-0 with five minutes left in the second quarter. However, they didn’t stop there, Cass Tech was able to force a quick three and out on defense, forcing to King to punt. Cass Tech then came right back with another touchdown, this time junior quarterback and Michigan State commit Jayru Campbell connecting with freshman wide receiver Donovan People-Jones for a 71-yard touchdown. After converting the extra point, Cass Tech led King 14-0 with only minutes left in the second quarter.
While some may have thought Cass Tech was getting ready to pull away, King certainly didn’t because they came right back with a score of their own. King senior quarterback James Speight connected with senior wide receiver Omari McCauley for a 65-yard receiving touchdown. King decided to go for the two point conversion but they were stopped, allowing Cass Tech to lead King 14-6 with under a minute left in the second quarter. Right before halftime, Cass Tech did their best to try to score again and increase their lead but junior quarterback Jayru Campbell was picked off by senior defensive back Omari McCauley of King forcing Cass Tech to go into halftime with a 14-6 lead over King.
To the start the second half, Cass Tech received the ball first and they didn’t waste anytime scoring on their first drive of the second half. Cass Tech junior quarterback Jayru Campbell was able to connect with senior tight end Christopher McDaniel for a 17-yard touchdown, the extra point was blocked, but Cass Tech still led King 20-6 early in the third quarter. Nonetheless, King came right back with a score of their own, when senior quarterback James Speight connected with senior wide receiver Omari McCauley for a 63-yard touchdown. King decided to go for another two point conversion but this time they were able to covert, making the score 20-14 with Cass Tech still leading to end the third quarter.
Going into the fourth quarter, it got real interesting, the first couple drives by both teams were stalled by good defense. However, momentum shifted to King, when senior defensive back and Iowa commit Jalen Embry of King was able to strip junior running back Mike Weber on the punt return which King recovered. However, King wasn’t able to do much with it, because after some costly dropped passes and careless penalties, King senior quarterback James Speight was picked off by Cass Tech senior defensive back and Ohio State commit Damon Webb. While Webb’s interception put Cass Tech in a good position to score, Cass Tech was unable to score and turned the ball over on downs giving King one last chance to tie or win the game with two minutes left in the game. However, Cass Tech’s defense came up huge and was able to stop King in their tracks, leading Cass Tech to win the 2013 Detroit PSL Championship with a final score of 20-14.
Overall, it was a great game, full of opportunities for both teams. Cass Tech had multiple chances to put this game out of reach, while King had multiple chances to win the game in the second half, but they just couldn’t execute like they needed to in the end. Nonetheless, I couldn’t have asked for a better PSL Championship game and I look forward to seeing both these teams in the playoffs this season. Be sure to tune into the Michigan High School Football Selection Sunday on FSN Detroit at 7pm (ET) on Sunday to find out what teams make the playoffs and what the first round match-ups will be.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com