Detroit Public School Division I Semifinals: Cody vs. King

In a rematch from just two weeks ago most people thought it would be a repeat of the 37-0 dominant performance by the Crusaders, somebody forgot to tell the Comets.  In a game plan that was developed to minimize the stout interior defense of King, Cody utilized sweeps and read-option plays to keep their opponent off balance for much of the first half.  Cody opened the scoring by capitalizing on a bad snap on the punt and tackled King in their end zone for a safety to go up 2-0. King seemed to be stuck in first gear on offense and couldn’t move the ball consistently until deep in the 2nd quarter when they opened up the passing game and Armani Posey connected with Lavert Hill for a touchdown to put the Crusaders up 6-2 at the half. Neither team seemed satisfied with the score.  Cody dominated the time of possession and a huge drop of a sure TD pass definitely left them feeling short-changed.  King knew they played nowhere near the type of football they are accustomed to playing and held a players-only meeting just prior to the end of halftime to attempt to maintain the momentum.

It didn’t take long for King to get back on the board as Martell Pettaway scampered 74 yards for a touchdown and with the failed conversion put King up 12-2 and the remained that way headed into the 4th. Even though standout WR Donnie Corley was shutout of the endzone, it didn’t stop him from making some spectacular catches in the game. After Cody attempted to go air it out failed with a couple of interceptions, Posey ran in for King’s final score and the Crusaders closed out the Comets 20-2.

The big storyline out of this game should be the much-anticipated rematch between King and arch rival Cass Tech at Ford Field next Friday, but some unfortunate circumstances occurred to take the spotlight away from that matchup, at least for the time being.  As the game’s outcome was all but decided there was a lot of unnecessary roughness going on the field.  Multiple flags occurred, the head official even conferred with both coaches and had them address their teams when things were getting out of hand.

As the final whistle blew the Crusader coaches had their team take a knee on their sideline and the Comets staff led their team to what most thought would be the customary end of game handshake. The King sideline objected to go with conventional reason and forgo the handshake due to the highly spirited and over emotional state of players on both sidelines.  But at the urging of the Cody staff and referees they agreed; no sooner than the first handshake took place chaos occurred.  The Comet players instigated and executed a physical attack on the Crusaders in a manner that almost appeared to be premeditated and the fight ensued.  After what seemed an eternity, peace was restored, but the incident didn’t have to occur. When charged to lead the youth, one must be mindful of the lessons they teach, both spoken and unspoken. Sometimes what isn’t done speaks volumes louder than what is.

There was a great opportunity for the coaching staff for Cody to teach their players a valuable lesson about dealing with failure yet they greatly failed these young men.  This has nothing to do with how they prepare them to battle on the football field, but the lessons young boys learn from men they look up to in life.  My hope is that all parties involved learn from this incident and are better off for it. Stay posted to see if there will be any suspensions from either team after this embarrassing situation.

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