Hazel Park — Two-time defending state champion Detroit King caught a break when it stuffed Warren De La Salle at the goal line to force a field-goal attempt early in the fourth quarter Saturday. With the score tied at 7, De La Salle botched the snap and wasn’t able to take the lead.
Later in the fourth quarter, trailing 14-7, King quarterback Dequan Finn led a 13-play, 60-yard drive that he capped with a 1-yard touchdown with 3:42 remaining. All that remained was the tying extra point.
But the rain wasn’t done causing havoc on special-teams play.
King was unable to execute, botching the snap and coming up just one point short in a 14-13 loss to De La Salle in a Division 2 semifinal on Saturday afternoon at Hazel Park High School.
“Heartbreaker,” King coach Tyrone Spencer said. “It comes down to execution. We talk to our guys about executing. It’s something that we pride ourselves on, but we couldn’t get it done today. We can blame it on conditions, but at the end of the day, De La Salle had to play through it, we had to play through it, and we just came up on the wrong side of it.”
The win puts De La Salle back in the championship game for the first time since 2014. It will take on Livonia Franklin at 1 p.m. next Friday at Ford Field.
Senior quarterback Luke Pfromm was 5-for-6 for 95 yards for De La Salle, including a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jake Badalamenti midway through the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference. Pfromm also added a 3-yard rushing score in the first quarter.
“Our kids are very confident,” De La Salle coach Mike Giannone said when asked about going up the two-time defending champions. “They’re not intimidated, and that’s through preparation.”
De La Salle finished with 181 yards on the ground. Cordy Tannehill led the way with 18 carries for 93 yards.
Finn finished with 131 yards on the ground for King (11-2). The junior signal caller was 6-for-15 through the air for 64 yards.
“We executed our game plan offensively,” Spencer said. “We just had a couple of dropped balls, and that was the difference. They made their plays at opportune times, and we didn’t.
“Anything short of a state championship is not what we’re looking for. That’s our goal, and that’s something that we pride ourselves on.”
Farmington Hills Harrison 21, Riverview 0: Roderick Heard ran for 159 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown, and added 30-yard TD catch in the semifinal victory. Joe Stevens scored on a 43-yard run for Harrison (10-3), which will play Muskegon in the state final Saturday at 7:30. Zach Warlick had 90 yards on 14 carries for Riverview (11-2).