Dearborn Heights — Homecoming festivities came second to football on Friday night as Dearborn Heights Crestwood hosted Dearborn Heights Robichaud in a battle of unbeatens for the Western Wayne Athletic Conference championship.
In a game that seemed as if it had more penalty yards than total yards, Crestwood beat Robichaud, 32-22, for the conference crown.
Neither team was expected to be fighting for first place when the season began, but the new-look conference hasn't lacked in intrigue.
"I'm happy about these guys being winners," Crestwood coach Mike Berry said. "I'm proud of these kids, they're great kids."
Early on, Crestwood raced out to a 18-0 lead before Robichaud freshman quarterback David Williams made things interesting.
He added a momentum-building score on a 67-yard pass to Cameron Underwood with three minutes left in the first half, followed by a 15-yard touchdown toss to Taiwan Williams. Those quick-hitters trimmed Crestwood's lead to 18-14 at the break.
The second half was more of a defensive battle as neither side could gain any footing until the fourth quarter. Crestwood's JaQuan Smith got the offense jump-started with a 9-yard touchdown run with under eight minutes left.
Adam Cassab added another touchdown, putting the game out of reach with under two minutes left in the fourth.
"(Cassab) is a psycho," Berry said. "He gets the ball and wants it on every play. He works hard, he runs hard, he runs people over. He's been averaging over 100 yards per game."
That trend continued as Cassab scored twice and added 181 rushing yards. Smith added 78 rushing yards and two more scores for Crestwood (7-0, 6-0 WWAC).
Cassab couldn't have been more excited about the conference championship.
"On a scale of 1-10, (my excitement level) is 1,000," Cassab said. "It's crazy."
Playoffs aren't the norm for Crestwood, who last reached the postseason in 2005. There's just a different feel about this year's team with a playoff berth already locked up.
"This is a good football team," Berry said. "We want to play against good teams because this is a good team and Robichaud was our test."
David Williams finished the game with 200 passing yards and three touchdowns for Robichaud (6-1, 5-1).
"(Williams) is one to watch," Robichaud first-year coach Donny Scott said. "He's going to be nice."
Taiwan Williams caught two of those touchdown passes and had 72 receiving yards.
Still, Robichaud has turned things around in a hurry, just one year after the program went 6-3 without a playoff appearance.
"(Winning the conference title) wasn't our main goal," Scott said. "Our main goal was to get into the playoffs, but this would have been nice. I still feel like we accomplished something."
Crestwood will travel to Livonia Clarenceville for its WWAC finale while Robichaud will host Garden City.
"This means a lot," Cassab said. "I've never had a winning season my entire life, I've never made the playoffs in my entire life. I'm so proud of me and my teammates."
Allen Park 70, Lincoln Park 6: Matteo Balderas was 4-for-5 passing for 113 yards and a touchdown, Jacob Marsee had an interception and rushed for 6 yards and three touchdowns on four carries, and Cole Premtaj had three rushes for 14 yards and two touchdowns for Allen Park (5-2, 5-2 Downriver). Lincoln Park is 0-7, 0-7.
Auburn Hills Avondale 34, Royal Oak 12: Derrick Hinton had a 49-yard touchdown run and a 53-yard touchdown reception, Zeke Ringstaff had a 13-yard touchdown run, and Kobe Anthony had a 23-yard touchdown run for Avondale (5-2, 3-2 OAA Blue). Royal Oak is 3-4, 2-3.
Belleville 46, Livonia Stevenson 0: Christian Dhue-Reid had a rushing touchdown and was 12-for-22 passing for 271 yards and four touchdowns, Deland McMullen caught four passes for 80 yards and three touchdowns and Jalen Bell had seven tackles, two tackles-for-loss and two sacks for Belleville (7-0, 6-0 KLAA East). Stevenson is 1-6, 1-5.
Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 37, Sterling Heights Stevenson 23: Ja’Von Kimpson rushed for 76 yards and two touchdowns, Jalerean Jackson made seven tackles and David Ellis had a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for Chippewa (7-0, 4-0 MAC Red). Stevenson is 3-4, 0-3.
Dearborn 21, Westland John Glenn 14: Bilal Elhasan had 120 yards rushing and one touchdown, Ben Clark had 100 yards rushing and a score, Zein Bazzoun had 60 yards receiving and one touchdown, and Rami Mullan had a clinching interception for Dearborn (4-3, 3-3 KLAA East). Glenn is 2-5, 1-5.
Dearborn Edsel Ford 35, Melvindale 34: Max Marion had seven carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns and 126 yards passing, Joey Marano had a 38-yard touchdown, and Steve Gilbert and Anthony Marano each had a rushing score for Ford (2-5, 2-5 Downriver). Devin Spears had 375 yards rushing for Melvindale (2-5, 2-5).
Detroit Cody 42, Detroit Henry Ford 0: William Gibson had 13 tackles, two sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, Joseph Thomas had 12 tackles, a sack and a 30-yard touchdown run, Alexander White rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and Tyler Thomas scored on a 35-yard touchdown run for Cody (5-2, 2-2 PSL). Henry Ford is 3-4, 1-3.
Detroit Community 34, Hamtramck 22: Kejuan Sanders had 10 carries for 155 rushing yards and two touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass from Rayvon Williamson, who also rushed for 180 yards and a touchdown and scored on a 96-yard interception return for Community (7-0, 3-0 Metro Black). On defense for Community, Jamario Jones had 12 tackles and Moe Davenport added 10. Hamtramck is 2-5, 2-2 Metro Blue.
Detroit King 27, Detroit Denby 18: T’Shawn Wilkes rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown and threw a passing touchdown and Tavion Buck added one passing and one rushing touchdown for King (6-1, 5-0 PSL). Denby is 5-2, 3-2.
Detroit Loyola 26, U-D Jesuit 21: D’Vaun Bentley had 332 yards rushing and four touchdowns for Loyola (5-2, 4-0 Catholic AA). Jesuit is 3-4, 2-1.
Detroit Public Safety 44, Macomb Lutheran Westland 8: Shunndean Bridges went 15-for-17 passing for 265 yards and two touchdowns and had 75 rushing yards and one score on five carries, Christian Smith had 20 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns, and Maurice Williams had five catches for 165 yards and two scores for Public Safety (6-1).
Detroit Renaissance 33, Detroit Central 25: Raequan Beal went 13-for-20 passing for 260 yards and four touchdowns, and Robert Army had three interceptions and two scoring receptions for Renaissance (4-3, 4-1 PSL Black). Jaemond Wilson had 147 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, Alexander Jones had a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown, Aric Bell had a 65-yard touchdown catch, and Terrence Ealy was 8-for-17 throwing for 227 yards and two scores for Central (3-4, 2-3).
Detroit Western 27, Detroit Collegiate 12: Donovan Cole went 4-for-6 passing for 132 yards and two touchdowns, Lamonte Parks had a 42-yard scoring reception, Brent Swan had a 12-yard touchdown catch, Marcell Cutright had 13 carries for 132 yards and a score, and Dayone Smith had a 13-yard rushing touchdown for Western (5-2, 3-1 PSL Gold). Collegiate is 0-7, 0-4 PSL Green.
Ecorse 33, Holly 20: Dajhon Smith threw for 405 yards and five touchdowns, Montez Archer had 105 yards receiving and a touchdown, Keyshawn Smith had 260 all-purpose yards and one touchdown, and Travon Jones had 90 all-purpose yards and an interception for Ecorse (6-1). Holly is 2-5.
Grosse Pointe South 40, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 13: Ryan Downey went 14-for-18 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns, Conor McKenna had 16 carries for 133 yards and two scores, and A.J. Benson had eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns for South (7-0, 4-0 MAC White). North is 4-3, 2-2.
Macomb Dakota 37, Romeo 30 (2 OT): Quarterback Mark Tocco had two rushing touchdowns and threw touchdown passes to Brandon Michalak and Pat Merrolla, DJ Stepney had a rushing touchdown and Jeremiah Major made 12 tackles for Dakota (6-1, 3-1 MAC Red). Romeo is 5-2, 3-1.
Plymouth 17, Northville 10: Mike Matthias rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, Carson Miller rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown, and Logan Walkley had 10 tackles for Plymouth (5-2, 4-2 KLAA West). Trevor Schomack was 7-for-15 passing and threw for 124 yards for Northville (2-5, 1-5).
Riverview 50, New Boston Huron 28: Blake Carney had seven carries for 81 yards and a 59-yard touchdown, and Steven Rice had eight carries for 126 yards for Riverview (6-1, 5-1 Huron). Issac Smith had 60 yards receiving and two TDs for Huron (1-6, 1-5).
Riverview Gabriel Richard 21, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 14: Connor Toomey had 10 tackles for Cranbrook-Kingswood (3-3, 1-2 Catholic AA). Richard is 4-3, 2-0 Intersectional 1.
Southfield A&T 37, West Bloomfield 35: Anthony Romphf had 101 yards rushing on five carries and was 21-for-26 passing for 260 yards and four scores, D’Anthony Robinson had one rushing and one receiving touchdown, and Tarie Saunders recorded a tackle for a safety for A&T (3-4, 2-3 OAA Red). West Bloomfield is 5-2, 3-2.
Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 61, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian 18: Julian Davis rushed for 195 yards and had a kickoff return and receiving touchdown, Maurice Hutchinson had 161 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns and Rob Thompson threw for two touchdowns and rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown for Parkway (7-0, 5-0 MIAC). On defense for Parkway, Denarie Sharp made five tackles-for-loss and had a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown, and Joe Gillette had two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Oakland is 2-4, 2-2.
Utica Ford 47, Grosse Pointe North 14: Offensive linemen Ryan Suida, Brendan Anderson, Luke Chapp, Shayne Cullen and Nick Judd led Ford’s rushing attack (3-4, 2-2 MAC White). North is 1-6, 1-3.
Walled Lake Western 12, South Lyon East 7: C.J. Brown rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, Sam Johnson threw for 158 yards and Aiden Jennings kicked two field goals for Western (5-2, 5-1 Lakes Valley). East is 4-3, 4-2.
Warren Mott 43, Utica 6: Darius Willis had six catches for 204 yards, including three TDs. QB Jake Dube passed for 104 yards, two TDs and ran 25 yards for a score while James Chaney threw for 115 yards and two TDs for Mott (5-2, 3-1 MAC White). Utica falls to 0-7, 0-4.
Connor Muldowney is a freelance writer; News staff contributed