,When you think of great rivalries you think of Michigan versus Michigan State, Michigan versus Ohio State, Florida versus Florida State, Lions versus Packers. Here in the city of Detroit, there’s a rivalry that’s just as deep, Detroit Martin Luther King High School and Detroit Cass Technical High School. A rivalry that goes back generations. The funny thing about this rivalry, it goes beyond the Football Field.
For years King and Cass have been going back in forth in probably every aspect of Detroit Public High Schools. Whether it be academics, band, choir, baseball, softball, swimming, track and field — you name and King and Cass are probably the top 2 schools. In fact, just last night Cass was named Michigan Chronicle’s Best in Black Award for “Best Marching Band” and “Best High School” over King.
Today, this rivalry starts again as King and Cass battles for the City Championship for the 4th year in a row. This season has been a wild one for the Crusaders, who lost their beloved Coach Dale Harvel to a heart attack this summer, as they crushed opponents 243-6 in their first 5 games. That was until an ugly Saturday in October where the Crusaders received their only loss of the season by Cass 31-18.
The Crusaders, the 1st Detroit Public School League team to win a State Championship, are led by senior four-star defensive back/wide receiver Ambry Thomas — the No. 2 ranked player in the state. Along with Thomas, the Crusaders have been running all over defenses with senior running Back Kevin Willis. Willis, who has 4.5 speed and is averaging almost 9 yards a carry has been pounding opposing defenses all season.
Not to be outdone, the Crusader defense has been rock solid. In the game earlier with Southfield A&T, the defense made several huge stops to keep the Warriors from scoring. With huge plays by Seniors Cepeda Phillips and Thomas, as well as junior Jaeveyon Morton and sophomore Marvin Grant, the defense has done its job.
King will be coming into this game with a chip on its shoulder, trying to avenge the regular season loss to the Technicians.
Cass, who is the 1st Detroit Public School League team to win back to back state championships, is coming into this game on fire. Cass is lead by the No. 1 ranked player in the state of Michigan, senior wide receiver/defensive back Donavon Peoples-Jones. Peoples-Jones is not alone, he also has help from fellow seniors Donovan Johnson and Rodney Hall, whose legs and arm respectively, have carried this explosive Technician Offense.
The Technician defense isn’t too shabby either. In eight games this season, Cass has only allowed 63 points. The defense is led by hard-hitting seniors defensive end Zach Morton, Jr. and linebacker Desean Boyd. With these two in the front seven, along with Peoples-Jones, Johnson, and Senior Jaylen Kelly-Powell in the Defensive Backfield, be on the lookout to see some fireworks.
Cass will be coming into this game trying to re-take the title of best in the City.
When the dust settles, we will again crown a Detroit Public School City Champion. Will it be the high-powered offense of Detroit Cass Tech or will it be the stingy defense of Detroit Martin Luther King? We won’t know until tonight, but this will an all-out WAR.
After this game, both teams will start preparing for the State Playoffs. King will be preparing to defend its Division 2 State crown, Cass will be preparing to capture another State Title.
Tonight, when that clock strikes 00:00, there will be one team sitting on the throne of the City.