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Belleville QB Christian Dhue-Reid throws seven TDs in 69-0 rout of Dearborn Fordson

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Belleville – There would be no sleepwalking this time around for Belleville.

Belleville coach Jermain Crowell said his team had been sleepwalking the past couple of weeks, including last week’s season-opening 29-26 win over Livonia Stevenson.

The Detroit News' No. 1 team in the state – played as well as any team in the country could play Friday night, taking a 56-0 halftime lead and going on to earn a 69-0 KLAA East Division victory over a Dearborn Fordson team it defeated 29-26 in 2018 and needed a late TD to beat a year ago, 20-19.

Belleville senior quarterback Christian Dhue-Reid continued his assault on the record books. He completed 15-of-21 passes in the first half for 260 yards and six TD passes to make him the fourth player in state history to throw for 100 or more TDs.

Belleville junior wide receiver Jeremiah Caldwell (2) celebrates a touchdown with junior defensive back Myles Rowser (8) during the high school football game between Dearborn Fordson and Belleville at Belleville High School in Belleville on Sept. 25, 2020.

For the game, Dhue-Reid hit on 17-of-24 for 308 yards and seven TDs, throwing scoring tosses to six different receivers. He now has 104 TD passes, just 20 away from the state record of 124 set by Mason Gee-Montgomery of Stockbridge.

Dhue-Reid’s performance came a week after Crowell said his play was “horrible” in the Stevenson win when he had one pass intercepted while also fumbling.

“I come into every game with the state record in mind,” said Dhue-Reid, who exited after the third quarter. “I just wanted to get all my receivers some love because they all didn’t play last week since the game was so close. I felt like their defensive backs couldn’t check our receivers, our receivers are more explosive.”

Said Crowell: “When he’s on, we’re on. I feel Christian’s the best quarterback in the state.”

How dominating was the first half? When Belleville pushed the lead to 56-0 with 2:10 left in the second quarter, Belleville and Fordson each had 24 plays with Belleville accounting for 331 total yards while Fordson (0-2, 0-2) had negative-16 yards with quarterback Alex Osman getting sacked six times.

Belleville junior wide receiver Trevor Jones (10) dives for a pass during the high school football game between Dearborn Fordson and Belleville at Belleville High School in Belleville on Sept. 25, 2020.

The most points Fordson had given up in program history was 51 in a 51-0 loss to Temperance Bedford 30 years ago.

Belleville got off to a great start when Purdue-bound receiver Deion Burks returned the opening kickoff 60 yards to the Fordson 36 to set up Dhue-Reid’s first TD toss, a 19-yard TD pass to Darrell Johnson. Then, Belleville junior defensive back Jeremiah Caldwell returned an interception 30 yards for a 15-0 cushion less than four minutes into the game.

Dhue-Reid engineered a 59-yard drive to open up a 21-0 lead when he found Christian Rapley for an 11-yard TD pass with 4:09 left in the opening quarter.

Belleville increased the lead to 28-0 on Dhue-Reid’s 38-yard TD pass to Burks, the first play after Belleville stopped Fordson on a fourth down play from its own territory. Then, Dhue-Reid again found Burks, this time for a 9-yard scoring toss for a 35-0 lead with 10:26 left in the second.

Dhue-Reid led Belleville on its longest drive of 63 yards, finding Rashad Wilson for a 33-yard TD to widen the gap to 42-0 with 6:40 left in the half.

Alabama-bound defensive tackle Damon Payne’s interception led to yet another TD, this time Kobe Langford scored on a 17-yard run to make it 49-0 with 5:12 left.

Belleville senior wide receiver Darrell Johnson (9) receives a pass in the end zone while being covered by Fordson senior wide receiver Omar Nahshal (4) during the high school football game between Dearborn Fordson and Belleville at Belleville High School in Belleville on Sept. 25, 2020.

Dhue-Reid found Crawford for a 38-yard TD pass for a 56-0 advantage with just over two minutes left in the half, putting the running clock into play for the second half, something foreign to Fordson.

“As bad as we looked last week I think it’s the best thing that could have happened to us,” Crowell said. “It caused us to be able to refocus and for me to challenge both coaches (coordinators) and the players to rise to the occasion because in our conference this is a big game, so we wanted to most definitely come out and rebound from a disappointing performance from last week.”

Dhue-Reid’s final TD toss was a 37-yarder to Trevor Jones with two minutes left in the third. Langford scored on an 18-yard run with three minutes remaining.

dgoricki@detroitnews.com