Saturday’s roundup: Detroit King cruises past Oak Park

Kevin Moore, Special to The Detroit News
King's Christian Chatman hauls in a touchdown pass as he is pursued by Oak Park's Jerimiah Davis  late in the second quarter.

Detroit – Detroit King kept its hopes alive for a second straight state championship as the Crusaders dominated Oak Park 34-7 in a Division 2 district final on Saturday.

“We got off to a slow start, but we were able to pick it up once the game went along,” said King coach Tyrone Spencer, whose team advances to face Temperance Bedford in the regionals.

Both teams were unable to get their offenses moving along early and the first quarter was scoreless.

King (9-2) finally got its offense rolling early in the second when sophomore quarterback Dequan Finn connected with junior receiver Jae’Veyon Morton for a 58-yard touchdown for 6-0 lead.

Morton finished the first half with eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.

King took a 14-0 lead into halftime when sophomore defensive back Marvin Grant Jr. made a terrific one-handed interception, and the Crusaders’ offense followed with a 27-yard TD pass from Finn to senior wide receiver Christian Chatman.

The second half was all King as two-way star Ambry Thomas got into the mix. He caught scoring passes of nine and 48 yards and totaled 114 yards on six receptions. He also had an interception on defense.

Spencer was impressed with the play of Thomas and Morton.

“Man they played good today,” said Spencer. “Jae’Veyon has been playing well for us all season – he’s developing into a playmaker for us – and Ambry is just a hard worker, flat out.”

King’s defense kept Oak Park in check most of the game.

“Our guys really stepped up defensively and I’m proud of the way they played,” Spencer said.

Oak Park finally got on the board with 6:03 left in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Dwan Mathis to senior receiver Keveon Clark.

Morton says the Crusaders will have to play better if they hope to continue their match toward a state title.

“I did great today, I feel like I can do better though,” Morton said.

Oak Park finishes 7-4.

More football playoffs

Detroit Catholic Central 35, Novi 21: Austin Brown completed 12-of-19 passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns, leading Catholic Central (11-0) in a Division 1 district final. Mike Harding caught two TD passes (11, 27 yards) and Isaiah Popp had one scoring catch (40 yards). Linebacker Isaac Darkangelo had 13 tackles for Catholic Central, which advances to face Grandville in the regionals. QB Alec Bageris was 15-of-29 passing for 252 yards and three TD for Novi (6-5).

Detroit Country Day 45, Marysville 7: Steve Mann had a 44-yard touchdown pass to Eric Jackson and Chris Bergin had two rushing touchdowns for Country Day (11-0), leading it to the district title against Marysville. Nick Neibauer had a 2-yard rushing touchdown and Jalen Graham scored on a 17-yard rushing touching in the second half for Country Day, which will face Corunna (9-2) in the regional final.

Detroit Loyola 46, Grosse Pointe Woods Liggett 7: Sophomore Marcus Lee made his first start at quarterback and led Loyola (9-2) to the district final win over Liggett (10-1). Lee had TD passes of 36 yards to Hunter Harris and 70 yards to Keith Johnson. D’Anthony Robinson rushed for 225 yards and one 25-yard score, and cornerback Curtis Martin had two interceptions for Loyola, which will meet Hudson in the regionals.

Royal Oak Shrine 49, Clarkston Everest Collegiate 25: Shrine (9-2) took the district final crown, defeating Clarkston Everest Collegiate for the second time this season as quarterback Asher Smith threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns and Jay Hester had 152 yards rushing and 143 yards receiving. Dan Romano had two rushing touchdowns for Shrine, which will face Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (9-2) Friday in the regional final.