Cass Tech scores pair of fourth-quarter TDs to pull out 34-26 win over Detroit King
Detroit – State powerhouses Detroit King and Detroit Cass Tech are accustomed to playing each other with a PSL championship on the line, not in a season opener that was pushed back three weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
King, ranked No. 5 by The News and the defending PSL champions, made the short trip to No. 3 Cass Tech Saturday afternoon and the game was more suited for a league championship game with hard-hitting tackles and tremendous drama with Cass Tech scoring a pair of fourth-quarter TDs and having as many red zone stops to pull out a 34-26 victory.
No doubt, the fans – two fans allowed in the gates per player – knew all about King sophomore quarterback Dante Moore who already has an offer from Michigan and helped King to the Division 2 state title game last year.
But, Leeshaun Mumpfield?
Well, Mumpfield definitely made a name for himself Saturday in his debut as Cass Tech’s starting quarterback.
Mumpfield, the 5-foot-7, 160-pound sophomore southpaw, completed 15-of-26 passes for 317 yards and 3 TDs, all three scoring tosses coming to Penn State-bound receiver/cornerback Kalen King.
“We have to finish what we started and play as a team, so at the end of the day we all have to finish, and we did today,” Mumpfield said. “It was very fun. I was very nervous at the start, but in the end we all go home happy.
“He’s (Kalen King) outrageous, him and Kobe, they are the best ones in the state, really best in the nation. My first (TD) one, the screen, it was all him, I just got him the ball on the screen and he made the play. The second one (and third), we had it all day I just didn’t throw it (well), but I was able to complete it (over the top).”
And, Mumpfield was at his best during the fourth quarter to turn a 26-20 deficit into a 34-26 win.
First, Mumpfield found King on a deep ball down the left sideline on a third and 16 play for a 45-yard TD to give Cass Tech a 27-26 lead with 10:21 remaining.
Then, Cass Tech’s defense came up big with multiple players gang-tackling De’Monnie Hendrix on a fourth down run at the 7, short of the needed yardage with 7:30 left.
Mumpfield went on to engineer a 10-play, 93-yard drive to open up the 34-26 lead with physical runner Kobe King – Kalen’s twin brother who will also be playing at Penn State next year – picking up a first down on an 11-yard third down run, leading to Mumpfield going up top again to Kalen King, who beat Akron-bound cornerback Rishad Hence, for a 57-yard TD on third and long with 2:34 remaining.
“My boy Lee, he’s a sophomore, took a year to learn (the offense) last year and now that it’s his time he stepped up,” said Kalen King of Mumpfield.
And, on his game-winning TD reception?
“I knew I could beat him the whole game, I knew he couldn’t guard me, so we just took a shot (57-yarder) and it paid off,” Kalen King said. “We wanted this real bad. They embarrassed us (King won 47-7 last year), so we had to get revenge and we did. We’re going to keep going and try to get a state ring.”
Still, King had once more shot, advancing inside the Cass Tech 10 when Moore found Rahiim Mersier for 45 yards with 1:37 left, but again Cass Tech’s defense came up with the big stop when Moore failed to hook up with Lynn Wyche-EL on a fourth down slant pattern.
Moore completed 18-of-30 for 276 yards and hooked up with Wyche-EL all day, starting with a 17-yard TD pass on the opening series when, on fourth and 10, he eluded the sack of Clarence Wilson, rolled right and found Wyche-EL for the TD, taking advantage of Sterling Anderson’s 60-yard kickoff return to start the game.
Moore found Wyche-EL for an 86-yard TD and 20-14 lead early in the third when the short pass went just over the outstretched hand of linebacker Kobe King and Wyche-EL turned the toss into a score with his great speed.
Moore again found Wyche-EL in open space with 55 seconds left in the third and again Wyche-EL turned the short pass into a 50-yard TD for the 26-20 lead.
Kalen King, who tried to slow Wyche-EL (eight receptions, 203 yards) down, showed the type of weapon he is in open space when he grabbed Mumpfield’s screen pass in the right flat with 1:29 left in the half and turned it into a 72-yard TD for a 14-12 halftime lead.
Yes, Penn State coaches have to be thrilled with what they are bringing in next year with the King twins and King safety/running back Jaylen Reed who showed his big-play ability late in the second quarter when he broke loose for a 40-yard TD run. Reed rushed for 70 yards on seven carries.
Kobe King made a heads up play when he scooped up a fumbled snap and turned it into a 3-yard TD run early in the second quarter for a 7-6 Cass Tech lead. Kobe King rushed for 56 yards on 12 carries. Kalen King had four receptions for 191 yards.
Cass Tech – which won the PSL championship in 2018, but failed to make the PSL playoffs last year – looks to be the frontrunner this season with the Mumpfield at the controls.