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Dequan Finn, Detroit King roar to season-opening victory

Larry O'Connor
The Detroit News

Detroit King's Dequan Finn appeared to try and defeat Indianapolis Cathedral singled-handily Saturday in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic.

Detroit King quarterback Dequan Finn (5) fires a touchdown pass over Indianapolis Cathedral defender Hugh Davis (11) in the fourth quarter.

Finn needed some help and King still got the job done, holding on to win 38-35 in a see-saw battle of a high school football game at Wayne State University.

Jalen Jackson's 55-yard sprint to the end zone with 2:25 left proved to be the difference. Cathedral closed the gap on a Roman Purcell-to-Haven Montefalco 34-yard strike with 21 seconds remaining.

King recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

"We got off to really good start. I felt like we could have pushed it a little bit more, but those guys don't quit and it turned into a dog fight," King coach Tyrone Spencer said. "I'm just glad we came out on the winning side."

Finn finished with touchdown runs of 71, 5 and 1 yards while passing for scores of 56 and 25 yards. He ran for 170 yards on 16 carries and was 10-of-19 passing for 150 yards.

The junior quarterback flashed his arsenal early.

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First, Finn displayed his brilliant speed, racing 71 yards on the opening drive to give King a one-score lead.

On King's next possession, Finn showed his dexterity as an elite passer, lacing a perfect strike to Jae'veyon Morton who dashed 56 yards to the end zone to give King a 12-0 lead (point-after attempts failed on King's first two scores).

Finn's work was far from finished, though. Purcell saw to that.

Cathedral's sophomore quarterback had TD passes of 54 and 34 yards and ran for a score. Notre Dame commit Markese Stepp had TD runs of 1 and 74 for Cathedral (0-2).

Purcell's 1-yard TD plunge early in the second quarter erased King's 12-point lead. However, Jackson's 62-yard return on the ensuing kickoff enabled King to retake the lead on Finn's 5-yard TD run three minutes later.

Jackson finished with 115 yards return yards to go along with 154 yards rushing on 15 carries.

Cathedral capitalized on the second of two Finn interceptions, setting up Stepp's second scoring run with 3:03 left in the third quarter to put the visitors up 21-18.

Finn connected with sophomore receiver Rashawn Williams in the end zone for a 25-yard TD strike. Forced out of the pocket, the junior wheeled to his left before unleashing a tight spiral to Williams, who managed to stay inbounds and catch the ball.

"(Finn has) been doing that all summer," Spencer said. "He's really got on track. I've been telling people he's going to be real dangerous. I'm proud of him. He had a good day."

King's defense made several key stops. Junior defensive end Tyrece Woods registered three sack while junior safety Marvin Grant Jr. had six tackles.