Detroit — Detroit Cass Tech sophomore quarterback Rodney Hall stole the spotlight in a Prep Kickoff Classic showdown Friday night at Adams Field, leading the No. 2 Technicians to a 27-26 comeback win over No. 5 Oak Park.
With two outstanding running backs playing, Michigan-bound Mike Weber of Cass Tech and John Kelly of Oak Park, it was Hall who threw for 178 yards and a touchdown, rallying his team with a 13-point fourth quarter.
Hall (13-of-20) — filling in for the Jayru Campbell, who’s serving a jail term — found Donovan Peoples-Jones for a 47-yard touchdown to pull Cass Tech within 19-13 with 11 minutes left.
Hall connected with Demetric Vance on a 42-yard pass to set up Weber’s two-yard TD run to cut the deficit to 26-20 with 7:16 left.
Hall again found Vance on the next drive, this time into double coverage, where Vance made an outstanding grab down the right sideline to the Oak Park 5. Weber scored on a two-yard run with 2:16 left and Jalen Sparks kicked the PAT for the difference.
Oak Park had one more chance, but Kelly was stopped short of a first down by Michael Onwenu on a fourth-and-three at the Oak Park 43.
Weber, who missed the Division 1 state semifinal game against Detroit Catholic Central because of an ankle injury last fall, showed he has fully recovered. He rushed for 151 yards on 23 carries, scoring three touchdowns.
Kelly accounted for 217 total yards, including 141 on 25 carries.
Oak Park junior quarterback Chauncey Lowman also had a strong showing, completing 12 of 25 for 290 yards and two touchdowns.
Lowman connected with Varandre White for an 85-yard TD with 10:46 left in the half to give Oak Park a 6-0 lead.
Lowman also hit Kelly on a screen for a 53-yard TD with 8:38 left in the third for a 12-6 lead.
However, Lowman’s biggest pass could have been on a fourth-and-two play from the Cass Tech 46 late in the third. He lofted a pass down the right sideline that was hauled in by White for a 20-yard gain, setting up Kelly’s one-yard run for a touchdown and a 19-6 cushion.
Kelly broke several tackles on a 61-yard TD run with just over 10 minutes remaining to give Oak Park a 26-13 lead.
Oak Park had other scoring chances. An early scoring threat came to a halt on Cass Tech’s 38 on a fumble, recovered by noseguard Alvin Clemons.
Lowman moved Oak Park deep into Cass Tech territory in the final seconds of the half, but cornerback Lavert Hill knocked the ball away from White at the goal line, then after a pass interference call with 3.3 seconds left to give Oak Park the ball at the 5, Lowman was stopped on a run at the 1 as time expired.