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Revisiting the seasons of 2 of Michigan's best, 2016 Cass Tech and 2015 Detroit King, who wins?
Cass Tech and Martin Luther King High Schools in Detroit always have high expectations. For years they have been the flagship high schools in the city. Neither school needs an introduction and neither school will ever admit the other one is better, so we'll take the unbiased initiative to dive straight into two of the best football teams that the state of Michigan has come across in its history. We'll examine what made the 2015 King Crusaders and 2016 Cass Tech Technicians so special.
Both Cass Tech and King entered the pre-season in 2015 and 2016 as the #1 overall team in the state of Michigan and neither team had a serious contender in the regular season to take the #1 spot from them
In 2015 King won an overtime nail-biter at their
In 2016 Cass Tech returned the favor by winning comfortably over King 31-18 in the regular season and 41-20 in the city championship game at Ford Field. In their 2 wins over King, Cass Tech won by a combined 32 points. King would wind up winning the Division 2 title game vs. Walled Lake Western in 2016.
King's offense put up 458 points in 2015 and allowed 172 points in 2015. In the state finals game, King allowed 38 points which
Cass Tech's offense put up 527 points in 2016 and allowed 231 points in 2016. Cass Tech's first decisive moment came in the 2nd half of a shootout on the road at Saline. Cass Tech would beat Saline 43-42 and then the following week in the semi's won in the dying seconds 32-28 over Eisenhower.
Cass Tech 2016 vs. ranked teams entering the playoffs: (Rankings are after week 9!)
Rd 1 - #23 Fordson - 35-7
Rd 2 - #22 Dearborn - 24-7
Rd 3 - #11 Saline 43-42
Rd 4 - #2 Eisenhower 42-38
Final- #5 Detroit Catholic Central 49-20
King was ranked #7 in the state following the regular season in 2016 and Cass Tech's week 1 opponent Oak Park was #17.
Detroit King 2015 vs. ranked teams entering the playoffs: (Rankings are after week 9!)
Rd 1 - #25 Detroit Jesuit - 35-24
Rd 2 - N/R Wyandotte Roosevelt - 42-6
Rd 3 - #22 East English Village - 26-12
Rd 4 - #31 Livonia Franklin - 40-6
Final- #20 Lowell - 40-38
Cass Tech was ranked #3 in the state following the regular season in 2015 and King's week 1 opponent De La Salle was #8.
Let's take a trip down memory lane to recap their playoff runs and ending with the state title:
2015 King (14-0) - King hosted an upstart U of D program led by a junior sensation in Scott Nelson (Wisconsin signee) who did all he could, but it wasn't enough. Nelson's film was crazy that game and put him on the recruiting map. In week 11, King laid waste to their star WR/DB Donnie Corley former team, Wyandotte Roosevelt. King and East English met for the 2nd time after a near fall in the regular season, but King won comfortably by 2 touchdowns. In the semi-finals, King met a
2016 Cass Tech (14-0) - Cass Tech hosted an explosive Fordson offense that was kept in check. Fordson's only loss at the time was to cross-town rival Dearborn, 28-23. Earlier in week 1, Fordson put on a show vs. Canton 40-35. Cass Tech despite being undefeated had
Biggest accomplishment during the year:
Cass Tech and King both won their state title (D1 and D2) and went 14-0
Cass Tech - Rodney Hall touchdown to Donovan Peoples-Jones vs. Eisenhower in final seconds: DPJ is the only person on any team who would make that catch given the circumstances as he was hit while in the air, but still his body fell instead of being moved to the
King - Armani Posey's touchdown to Donnie Corley vs. Lowell to win the Division 2 state championship. As we rewatch this time and time again it appears to be a routine play on the film if you don't consider the time on the clock. Lowell left Corley on the side by himself with the Safety staying on the hash. Corley then to his credit makes a great play on the ball as he times his jump to perfection, essentially reaching over
Cass Tech - It's gotta be the first King meeting in week 6. CT up to then was
King - This is a tough one, as their 12-10 win over De La Salle was ugly besides for a few plays, but De La Salle entered the season as the defending D2 champs. The moment everyone on King knew it was their year was the city title win over Cass Tech. King won on a field goal in overtime in week 5, so if you know PSL football you know besides these 2 programs, the league has struggled with the kicking game. It
Best pure football player:
Cass Tech - Donovan Peoples-Jones: Peoples-Jones had a good few years of high school football, but his senior season in 2016 was a sight to see and one that we will not see anytime soon. Peoples-Jones was gifted with an incredible amount of athleticism and size that would compare to the many of the tight ends in Michigan, but he also moves extremely well. Peoples-Jones had no issues getting open vs. any defense in 2016 as he'll cement his legacy as one of the best players to come through Michigan ever. While many Class of 2017 graduates
King - Ambry Thomas: When you think of the big plays in-depth during the 2015 season and the ones that put King in position to win games. Each of King's two closest games involved Ambry Thomas turning something little into touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball. Versus De La Salle in week 1, Thomas caught a quick comeback route which was 1 yard shy of the first down marker, Thomas ducked underneath the arm of a De La Salle DB and outran everyone into the
Most consistent during
Cass Tech - Rodney Hall: Hall missed the state finals and semi-final in 2015 as a Junior. As a Senior he was in charge of the team right away and especially late in the year, he made all of the right throws and reads. Besides for throwing the
King - Armani Posey: Posey didn't play quarterback until the third game of the season in 2015. Posey came over as a WR/DB from East English Village and played just his senior year at King high school. When King's QB situation needed to be resolved, Posey took the chance and ran with it as he more than exceeded the coaches expectations. Posey fed his receivers and
Most undervalued player:
Cass Tech - Jaren Mangham: Mangham entered Cass Tech last winter coming from Ohio. Mangham made a name for himself through the off-season and into the
King - Dontre Boyd: Boyd provided King with phenomenal defensive coverage and a reliable 3rd or 4th option throughout the year on offense. Boyd ran a route in the middle of a prevent
Both teams had reliable senior kickers who came up clutch during their title runs. Luis Borjas for Cass Tech who kicked 2 field goals vs. Eisenhower and had more through the year plus PAT's and Anwar Miah who kicked the game winner vs. Cass Tech in the 2015 overtime game for King.
Cass Tech 2016 Recruits on Roster:
Willie Reid - S - Central Michigan
Desean Boyd - LB/DE - Eastern Michigan
Marc Oliver - WR - Eastern Michigan
Donovan Peoples-Jones - WR - Michigan
Jaylen Kelly-Powell - DB - Michigan
Jordan Reid - OL - Michigan State
Rodney Hall - QB - Northern Illinois
Donovan Johnson - CB - Penn State
Zach Morton - LB/DE - Syracuse
Kelvin Ateman - OL - Toledo
Taron Young - LB - Delaware State
Savion Hopes - OL - Delaware State
Darico Ellis - OL - Central State
Tim Cheatham - RB - Davenport
Donovan Parker - WR - Tiffin
Anthony Clark - DE/OLB - Wayne State
Otis Doss - OLB - Siena Heights
Maurice Brandy - OT - Siena Heights
Jordan Lewis - LB - Georgia Prep
Kalon Gervin - CB/WR - 41 offers
DeAndre Square - LB - 18 offers
Aaron Jackson - QB - 5 offers
Jaren Mangham - RB "ATH" - 18 offers
Xavier Goldsmith - CB - 15 offers
Kyron Mckinnie-Harper - WR - 4 offers
Detroit King 2015 Recruits on Roster:
Armani Posey - ATH - Bowling Green State
Leon Page - LB/DE - Central Michigan
LaVert Hill - CB - Michigan
Donnie Corley - WR - Michigan State
Dontre Boyd - DB/WR - Western Michigan
Martell Pettaway - RB - West Virginia
Dylan Swanson - OT - Urbana
Jeremiah Fuller - DB - Urbana
Lawrence Bryant - LB - Walsh
Jordan Ighofose - OL/DL - Davenport
JaQuan Boyd - DT - Kalamazoo
Cepeda Phillips - LB - Kent State
Ambry Thomas - CB - Michigan
Damani Green - DT - Wayne State
Kevin Willis - RB - Ridgewater
Jaeveyon Morton - WR/CB - 17 offers
El-Julian Jordan - QB - Western Michigan
Joshua Mayberry- OL/DT - 1 offer
Tyrece Woods - LB/DE - 3 offers
Other key members either not offered yet or will be a recruit.
2018 - WR/Slot - Teone Allen
2018 - NG/DT - Eric Smith
2018 - LB/RB - Ramani Williams
2017 - ATH - Martinez Calloway-Adams
Final thoughts and our take if 2016 Cass Tech met 2015 King:
- Both teams were extremely loaded
- Both teams beat the other twice
- Both teams had a phenomenal senior QB
- Donnie Corley was our 2015 Player of the Year
- Donovan Peoples-Jones was our 2016 Player of the Year
- King went through numerous quarterback's, but a backup QB at the time would have been a tough decision for Dale Harvel. Cass Tech
on the other handhad Aaron Jackson as backupwho had major roles in 2015.
- As you
seenfrom their playoff opponents, Division 1 each year is much deeper and has better opponents.
- King would need to worry about Donovan Peoples-Jones as a senior from catching the ball and making plays throughout an entire game. The same with Cass Tech needing an answer for Donnie Corley.
If King was to win, they would need to force Rodney Hall to scramble out of the pocket while containing his running ability, all while trying to make the receivers stay in front of their DB's. That's not an easy task and Donovan Peoples-Jones would need to be double-teamed mostly every 1st down and 3rd down if not short yard situations. Offensively King would need all 4 of their receivers; Donnie Corley, LaVert Hill, Ambry Thomas, and Dontre Boyd to remain healthy and all 4 would be playing both ways. All 4 would need to provide
If Cass Tech was to win, they would need to prevent the big play from one of King's four receivers. If they did give up the big play, would need to allow it once as this would figure to be a close game and catches over 20+ yards would be killer. Cass Tech would understand that King wants to establish the running game with Martell Pettaway looking to take what's given to him so tackling him and not giving him extra yards. If Cass eliminates Pettaway from the equation, would worry about a mobile and
- In a poll that 1,074 people voted on of who would win, 67% voted for Cass Tech.