King's 2018 Revenge Tour finishes with a Division 3 State Championship (Story by: Terry Foster)

Written by
Terry Foster
Photo Credit
Jeff Corrion

Detroit Martin Luther King players threw off their jerseys, ran down the halls of Ford Field and let out primal yells that shook the walls after slaying a dragon that has become larger than life and was part of the Crusaders revenge tour.

The east siders deserved to let off a little steam after finishing off this revenge tour in smashing fashion that ended in a 41-25 victory over Muskegon in the Division 3 prep football Finals Saturday night.

There was only one name on King’s revenge tour. And it was a big one.

The Muskegon Big Reds (13-1) beat King (12-2) by three points the second game of the season, were defending Division 3 state champions and had not lost in 27 games. That was a big elephant to slay. But that’s exactly what the Crusaders did.

“We weren’t worried about the record or anything,” said King receiver Ahmad Gardner. “We almost beat them before. We dropped a pass in the end zone. We made some mistakes. But we thought about this for a long time.”

Earlier in the day the University of Michigan failed miserably in trying to snag its big Buckeye during its revenge tour, getting tossed around like rag dolls during a 62-39 loss to Ohio State.

King did not fashion revenge tour shirts but did its talking on the field. The Crusaders always knew they’d be in this game if they ironed out a wrinkle here and ironed out a wrinkle there. They also needed to eliminate untimely mistakes.

Let’s go back to the first game of the summer. King had the ball at the Muskegon 20 with 30 seconds remaining to pull the game out.

A bad center quarterback exchange gave the ball to the Big Reds, who iced the game in August.

King was nearly flawless on Saturday. The Crusaders were called for just two penalties, did not turn the ball over and dropped one ball. That’s as good as it gets in high school. That allowed King to turn a close game into a rout as it scored 20 fourth quarter points vs. the fading Big Reds.

“The kids talked about it,” said MLK Coach Tyrone Spencer. “I personally didn’t care who was here when we got here. I just wanted to win, no matter who it was.”

The Crusaders also got a bit of luck. Muskegon’s Hyrosha Wilson dropped a pass in the flats that was destined for at least 30 yards. Later he snuck behind the King secondary and dropped a sure touchdown pass.

Meanwhile King quarterback Dequan Finn tossed four touchdown passes and ran for another. Runningback Peny Boone made big plays also. He rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Once King figured out the Big Red’s read option the game became easier. Muskegon quarterback Cameron Martinez rushed for 211 yards on 37 carries, but the yards became more difficult as the game wore on.

And guys like Joe Frazier and Jaylen Reed used their speed and power to thwart potential big plays.

“These kids worked really hard for this,” said Spencer. “This was a great team win. These kids overcame adversity.”