Detroit — King coach Dale Harvel said his Crusaders had to establish the running game to have a chance at defeating Cass Tech in the PSL championship game.
Well, it didn't happen.
Instead, it was Michigan-bound Mike Weber who ran wild to lead Cass Tech (9-0) to its second consecutive PSL title with a dominating 39-7 victory Friday night at Ford Field.
First, Weber broke loose up the middle for a 19-yard touchdown run on the game's opening drive.
After Cass Tech's defense forced King to a three-and-out, Weber turned a bad situation — a drive that started at its own 10-yard line — to a good one with a 62-yard run on the first play, leading to sophomore Rodney Hall's 18-yard touchdown pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones for a 14-0 cushion.
It didn't end there. On Cass Tech's fourth drive, Hall was under heavy pressure on a blitz and tossed a screen pass to Weber who hauled it in with one hand, then sprinted 76 yards for a touchdown and a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter.
"On the screen play the ball was kind of outside my range and I just stuck it out there, grabbed it. I turned up-field and I had a lot of good blocks up-field and I just made it happen," said Weber of his touchdown grab which gave him 170 total yards at the time.
"It feels good to win it (PSL title) again. A lot of our hard work paid off and everything the coaches told us to do in the game plan worked. We practiced hard, we played hard and we won easy.
"I have to give a shout-out to my offensive line. It's one of the easiest games I've had since I've played high school and it's because of my O-line."
Yes, it was total dominance by Cass Tech. Weber gained 179 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns, including a 68-yard run to open a 27-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
Hall completed five of 10 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns, including an 82-yard scoring toss on a screen to Peoples-Jones for a 33-7 cushion late in the third.
"Peoples-Jones is a freak," Cass Tech offensive coordinator Dave Malecki said. "He made some great plays and didn't even practice this week due to an injury."
King had the ball three times in Cass Tech territory during the first half, but came up empty each time.
On King's second drive in Cass Tech territory, it had a first-and-goal and still couldn't score when Cass Tech cornerback Donovan Johnson shut down standout receiver Donnie Corley on third- and fourth-down passes from Mikale Washington.
Then, King (8-1) had a touchdown pass called back due to a holding call, followed by a 31-yard loss on a fumbled snap which put the ball back to King's 25.
In all, Cass Tech held a commanding advantage in total yards (232-19) in the half with Weber accounting for 186.
King's passing game has been strong all season with the transfer combination of Washington from San Diego and Corley, who played at Wyandotte last year.
King scored its lone touchdown on Washington's 12-yard touchdown to Corley on the first drive of the second half, but Cass Tech quickly answered when Weber broke through the line, then went down the right sideline for the 68-yard touchdown run.
Mumford 13, Cody 8
Mumford (6-3) earned a bid to the state playoffs with the victory in the PSL consolation game.
Trailing 8-7 early in the fourth quarter, Mumford senior Monte Stewart scrambled out of the pocket and found Tee'Ondre Harvey wide open in the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown and 13-8 lead with 9:29 left.
"I just scrambled, my blocks held up and they (Cody) must have forget about him," Stewart said. "It was a good play and I'm glad it happened because it's my senior year and we want to play in the state playoffs."
"I just rolled with him, got open and he threw it up and I caught it," said Harvey who also had an interception.
Cody fell to 5-4 with the loss.