Rarely does a much-anticipated matchup live up to its billing, but when King and Cass Tech battled it couldn’t have been scripted better than the outcome. These two teams showed up and showed out giving the rest of the city and state and ideal of what they have to reckon with come state playoff time.
The game started off fast and furious and the energy didn’t break until the final whistle. There were no stars in the sky midday in Detroit, but they were definitely shinning on the field. The Technicians got off to a fast start putting King in a 14-0 hole with scores by QB Rodney Hall and Donovan Johnson, both on the ground. Martell Pettaway got the Crusaders on the board with a short TD run but definitely a catalyst to his most productive day donning the Black and Gold. Donnie Corley invoked his will against Cass with another impressive interception and followed it with a TD reception to tie the game at 14, that is how the game stayed until the half.
King countered Cass Tech’s fast start and eventually scored 20 unanswered points as Dontre Boyd took an interception to the house. The Technicians were able to answer late in the 3rd quarter as Hall connected with Donovan Hall to make the score 21-20 headed into the 4th quarter. King went ahead on a score by Kevin Willis and with the 2-point conversion to put them up 28-21 midway through the 4th quarter. Per usual in this game the big-time players made big-time plays and star WR Donovan Peoples-Jones almost took Cass to the house on his back; Rodney Hall finished the deal with a 1-yard keeper and the game was tied yet again.
The defense ruled the remainder of the 4th quarter through a barrage of sacks, tackles and pass deflections….sending the game into overtime. During the overtime Cass took the ball first and a TD from Rodney Hall was nullified by a holding penalty; the Technicians started going in the opposite direction. Their attempt at a field-goal came up short and this is when things really got interesting. Martell Pettaway got the Crusaders close to a score, but a short run and a fumbled snap put the game in the foot of the most unrecognizable Crusader on the field, Anwar Miah. The senior kicker from Bangladesh almost didn’t suit up for the game due to disciplinary issues, but at the urging of team captains he was allowed to take the field with his teammates. With one 18-yard field-goal from the left hash, he went from anonymity to Crusader legend.
As great as this game was it only sets up what could be an even better game at Ford Field in four weeks in the Detroit Public Schools City Championship on October 23rd. Until then the Crusaders have proven themselves the true King of the city and this win just adds to their impressive season resume. Long live the King!
Photos by Darin Battle