No one said life was fair. If it was East English or Cass Tech wouldn’t be left out of the PSL playoffs.
But, that’s what is going to happen to the loser of Friday night’s game between the teams at East English. Cass Tech is ranked No. 5 in The News Super 20 poll and East English, No. 11.
The top two teams from the East, which includes top-ranked King, Cass Tech and East English will advance to compete in the PSL semifinals Oct. 16 against the top two teams in the West, more than likely Mumford (3-2) and Cody (2-3).
King is locked into the top spot in the East, handing both East English (20-15) and Cass Tech (31-28, OT), their lone losses.
Cass Tech owns one-sided wins over both Mumford (42-9) and Cody (47-6). King plays at Cody on Friday in what well could be a PSL semifinal preview between the teams.
“It essentially makes this a playoff game,” East English coach Rod Oden said. “The loser of this game will be eliminated from the city playoffs. It’s a crazy system which is unfortunate, but we knew that coming in.”
Yes, a lot’s on the line in this Cass Tech-East English showdown. The loser will play two crossover games at the end of the season, more than likely two blowout victories instead of playing in competitive games to prepare for the state tournament.
Cass Tech defeated East English 21-16 during the regular season last year, then 19-12 in the PSL semifinal after coming back from a 12-0 second-half deficit.
East English has an outstanding passing combination of 6-foot-3, 230-pound junior Delvin Washington (1,000 yards, 12 touchdowns, no interceptions) and senior Lindrell Mitchell (34 receptions, 580 yards, seven touchdowns). Nathaniel Boleware, a 5-6, 165-pound senior, has used his 4.4 speed to rush for 906 yards.
Look for Cass Tech junior quarterback Rodney Hall to be the difference with his running and ability to get the ball to big-play threat Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Pick: Cass Tech by 2.
Detroit Loyola (4-1) vs. Warren De La Salle (4-1), Friday, 7 at Wayne State: De La Salle is the dominant team in all the Catholic League and one of the top teams in the state.
Look for De La Salle’s defense — which only allowed 102 yards in a 30-6 win over Birmingham Brother Rice and less than 100 in a 31-8 victory over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s — to continue its strong play against Loyola, which is averaging 36.2 points.
Pick: DeLaSalle by 8.
Romeo (5-0) at Macomb Dakota (4-1), Friday, 7: Romeo’s defense has been outstanding, allowing just 13 points this season with three shutouts.
The question is can Romeo slow down Dakota running back Kaiser Carleton? Probably not.
Pick: Dakota by 6.
Northville (5-0) at Livonia Stevenson (5-0), Friday, 7: This Kensington Lakes Activities Association Central Division showdown will showcase Northville’s stingy defense against Stevenson’s high-scoring offense (39.8-point average).
Stevenson running back Austin Petrie has the ability to do damage in multiple ways, including making the big plays on special teams.
Pick: Stevenson by 4.