Detroit King coach Tyrone Spencer knows his team has to play its best to come away with the PSL championship trophy Friday night at Ford Field when it plays Detroit East English.
East English — 8-0 and ranked No. 6 in The News Super 20 poll — has a strong ground game and a threat at quarterback in Charles Lake.
But Spencer also feels No. 4 King (7-1) has been tested the last two weeks in victories over Detroit Central (46-34), and then Detroit Cass Tech (17-7) in the PSL semifinal.
Oh, and King has some special players of its own in quarterback Dequan Finn, running back Jalen Jackson and receiver Jaeveyon Morton, who returned the opening kickoff for a TD in the win over Cass Tech.
“I think we just have to be solid in all phases,” Spencer said. “We can’t kill ourselves. We can’t turn the ball over. We can’t get punts blocked. We can’t muff punts and then we have to play with energy.
“East English is going to come out fired up because they haven’t beaten us in a while so our kids don’t know how that feels, and on the other side they really want it bad.
“I like their quarterback, I don’t think that people talk about him enough, the Charles Lake kid who is a good football player. He throws a good ball.
“They have good skilled players too so we’ll have our hands full, but I just think our schedule has helped us. We’ve been in those kind of dog fights and hopefully we’ve got enough to get the win.”
Look for Morton to be the difference in all three phases to help King win its seventh straight game in the series with East English to earn its second PSL championship in the last three years.
Pick: King by 6.
Warren De La Salle (6-2) vs. Detroit Catholic Central (5-3), 7 p.m. Saturday at Ford Field: This will be the second time the teams have played in as many weeks with De La Salle defeating Catholic Central 20-6 at Wayne State last weekend to clinch the Catholic League Central Division title.
De La Salle hasn’t won the Prep Bowl since 2008.
Catholic Central enters the game as the defending champions, defeating Orchard Lake St. Mary’s a year ago.
De La Salle coach Mike Giannone, who had tremendous success at Macomb Dakota, has received strong play from quarterback Luke Pfromm, but Jacob Badalamenti has been the difference maker, returning kicks of 96 and 99 yards the last two weeks for TDs.
Pick: De La Salle by 2.
Canton (7-1) at Livonia Churchill (7-1), 7 p.m. Friday: This is the Kensington Lakes championship game showcasing Canton’s outstanding running game against a strong Churchill offense led by dual-threat quarterback Drew Alsobrooks.
Look for Alsobrooks to have a good game, but Canton will control the ball with its running game and grind out the win.
Pick: Canton by 8.
Birmingham Groves (7-1) at West Bloomfield (6-2), 7 p.m. Friday: West Bloomfield won a share of the OAA Red title and Groves a share of the OAA White crown. The teams will meet for the first time since the 2016 season opener, a West Bloomfield 31-28 overtime win which ultimately was forfeited to Groves because West Bloomfield using an ineligible player.
West Bloomfield will be looking to put this one in the win column for good with the passing attack of Bowling Green-bound quarterback Bryce Veasley and Wisconsin-bound receivers in Taj Mustapha and A.J. Abbott.
Pick: West Bloomfield by 2 (OT).