Detroit Western's football team made the state playoffs for the first time in program history last season.
This season? They're heading back.
Western popped Detroit Collegiate Prep, 30-8, Thursday in a Detroit Public School League crossover game to stamp its postseason ticket for just the second time in 100 years.
"It has been an uphill battle because the school is not known for its football program," said Western coach Andre Harlan, who is in his sixth season. "It's a great feeling. Hopefully the alumni are happy."
After Collegiate Prep struck first in the second half to cut the deficit to 12-8, Harlan told his team if they wanted to get to the state playoffs again, it was time to show it. Western responded by scoring 18 unanswered points to pull away.
"We came out in the second half and our kids played better," Harlan said. "They played like they wanted to win."
Donovan Cole helped lead the way for Western (6-3), throwing touchdown passes of 64 yards to Lamonte Parks and 42 yards to Stephon McLaurin. Cole also had a 2-yard touchdown run and Dayone Smith scored on a 3-yard run.
Western now set its sights on recording the program's first state playoff win. It lost to Dearborn Fordson in a Division 1 pre-district last season.
Collegiate Prep ends the season 0-9.
Birmingham Brother Rice 48, Detroit Mumford 20: James Donaldson rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns (49 and 3 yards) on 22 carries, and Greg Piscopink was 7-of-14 for 119 yards and two touchdowns (54 and 3 yards) for Rice (6-3). DaRon Gilbert also set a program record with a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown for Rice. Mumford is 5-4.
Detroit Central 43, Detroit Douglass 6: Jaemond Wilson rushed for 138 yards and two scores, Aric Bell had a 46-yard touchdown reception, and Kadeem Tex had two sacks for Central (5-4). Douglass finishes 1-8.
Detroit Renaissance 42, Detroit CMA 0: RaeQuan Beal was 12-for-17 passing for 230 yards and five TDs, Jeffery Bowens had a 35-yard TD run and 47-yard TD reception, Justin Whitehorn rushed for 89 yards and two scores on 10 carries, and Anthony Gary had three catches for 85 yards and a touchdown for Renaissance (5-4). CMA finishes 1-8.
Detroit Southeastern 38, Detroit Pershing 6: Joe Thomas rushed for 118 yards and two TDs for Southeastern (6-3). On defense, Pete Jeter had 12 tackles, Deonte Barley had 10 and Demarre Woods added nine. Pershing finishes 1-8.