Detroit — Marvin Grant and Detroit King took advantage of Detroit East English’s mistakes to earn a 21-0 victory in the PSL championship game Friday night at Ford Field.
It was the second PSL title in the last three years for King (8-1) — ranked No. 4 in The Detroit News Super 20 poll and the two-time defending Division 2 state champion — and also its eighth straight win in the rivalry.
No. 6 East English (8-1), which was making its first championship-game appearance since 2012, the first year of the program when it suffered a 51-48 loss to King, was 0-for-4 in the red zone.
Grant, a junior defensive back who has offers from Michigan and Notre Dame, returned a blocked punt 20 yards for a touchdown to open a 14-0 lead with 8:05 remaining in the second quarter.
“I just took a chance, didn’t see who got a hand on it, but saw the ball go up in the air and I didn’t know if they wanted me to fair catch it or what, decided to catch it and run,” Grant said. “It felt great to score and give us some momentum.
It was the first of two costly mistakes for East English in the first half. The blocked punt was set up when the ball bounced to the punter, allowing the rush. Then, East English had bad time management in the final minutes of the half, failing to take advantage of a first-and-goal following Charles Lake’s 11-yard pass to Lemuel Neely-Watley on fourth down to the 4 with a minute remaining.
East English’s threat ended on a fourth-down interception by Jerry Tucker in the left corner of the end zone as time expired in the second quarter.
East English also had a scoring opportunity in the first quarter, advancing to King’s 20 before Lake’s fourth-down pass went through the hands of his receiver.
King scored on the game’s opening series when it used the I-formation and gave the ball to Jalen Jackson on the first four plays, picking up 46 yards, before Dequan Finn found Jaeveyon Morton for 7 yards, followed by a 6-yard touchdown pass with 7:25 left in the quarter.
East English had a chance to get back in the game in the third quarter, but Finn’s fourth-down pass to Deovion Brown was stopped at the 9, a yard short, and King scored on a 90-yard run by Jalen Jackson for a 21-0 lead with 2:34 left in the third.
“I challenged him at halftime,” King coach Tyrone Spencer said of Jackson. “Told him that you have to run the football, and he looked at me after that run with a look that said, ‘You satisfied.’”
East English also advanced to King’s 10 midway through the fourth, but junior defensive tackle Trevion Oldham had consecutive sacks and Tyrece Woods followed with a strip sack on fourth down to end the threat.
Jackson finished with 133 yards on seven carries.
East English entered the game averaging 270 yards rushing, but was limited to 60 yards on 32 carries. Its longest run of the game was for 9 yards.