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Cass Tech escapes with a 21-16 win over East English Village Prep
DETROIT - It just wasn't meant to be for Detroit East English Village Prep. Down just five to Detroit Cass Tech, with a little under three minutes to go, senior quarterback Anton Curtis' pass was intercepted by Keshawn Gilmore, who made a spectacular one-handed snag.
Gilmore's play was so clutch, that if he hadn't stuck his right arm out, the Bulldogs would have scored, and taken over the lead. Instead, Cass Tech pulled out the win, 21-16, on a chilly Saturday afternoon.
"The play before that, he (East English wide receiver) was talking like he was going to get the ball," Gilmore said. "I figured I had to make a play, and he ran the same route as the last play, so I read it, and picked it off."
Cass Tech (6-0, 5-0) jumped off to an early 14-0 lead in the first half, putting the pressure on East English. Both touchdowns came in the first quarter, by way of senior running back Mike Weber. The Michigan commit rushed for 103 yards, on 30 carries and two scores. The Technicians had several opportunities to bury the Bulldogs early, but weren't able to capitalize.
"We're just trying to get all of our kids on the same page," said head coach Thomas Wilcher. "When we don't practice well, we don't play well. We just have to keep working hard, and as long as we keep working hard, we'll be fine."
There's not much wrong with Cass Tech defense, who forced four turnovers on the day. East English had several opportunities to score, inside Cass Tech's red zone, including just before the half, inside the 5-yard line, but couldn't get anything past the Technicians stout defense.
"I think we did a great job on defense doing that ," said Wilcher. "We had to step up, because it takes a whole team to win. Our offense wasn't doing so great, but our defense was there every time we needed them to be."
Cass Tech appeared as if it would run away with the game, when sophomore quarterback, Rodney Hall, threw a 30-yard touchdown to Demetric Vance off of his back foot. With the score now 21-0, with 6:46 left in the third, it didn't look too good for the Bulldogs.
"Our kids know to keep fighting," said head coach Rod Oden. "We teach playing from behind in our everyday practices, and they just kept plugging away. We knew that eventually we'd find our rhythm, and we did."
After Curtis hit junior wide receiver, Lindrell Mitchell, on a 55-yard touchdown pass with 5:09 left in the third, it made things interesting, with plenty of time left in the game. The Bulldogs made things even more interesting late, when Curtis tossed his second touchdown of the day to Brian Rivers from 11-yards out. The score was now 21-16, and East English had a chance to steal the game.
East English (4-2, 4-1) had possession of the ball twice in the last 4:23, with great field position, but failed to come away with any points. After Gilmore's interception ended their first drive, the Bulldogs failed on four attempts to score on their last drive, with an incomplete pass by Curtis, ending the game.
"We let one get away, definitely," said Oden. "We had our shots, and we didn't score. We don't believe in moral victories, just learning from losses, and we can definitely get better from this. We might see them again in two weeks."