Detroit Cass Tech started and finished the season playing two of Michigan’s most notable football programs.
The results couldn’t have been any more different.
Three months after losing 43-8 to Farmington Hills Harrison, the Technicians routed Detroit Catholic Central 49-13 to win the Division 1 state title Saturday at Ford Field.
“We started this year talking about winning the state title, but that first game didn’t go too well,” said Royce Jenkins-Stone, who scored three touchdowns Saturday. “Coach yelled at us and told us that we should never play like that again.”
Cass Tech lost twice to Detroit Crockett in the regular season, but only gave up four touchdowns in five playoff games.
“I told these guys that with 11 Division One players on defense, we shouldn’t be giving up points to anyone,” coach Thomas Wilcher said. “I said if the offense got us six points, we should win the game.”
Instead, freshman quarterback Jayru Campbell threw for five touchdowns as Cass Tech handed the Shamrocks their worst defeat since a 40-0 regular-season loss to Redford St. Mary in 1971.
Much of Saturday’s fourth quarter was played under the state’s running-clock mercy rule — the first time that had ever happened to Catholic Central coach Thomas Mach in his 36 years.
“We just met our match today,” said Mach, who has won 10 state titles. “We knew how good (Campbell) is, but we couldn’t get any pressure on him. He was able to pick us apart. It just unraveled on us.”
Jenkins-Stone gave the Technicians (11-3) a 6-0 lead with a 32-yard run in the first quarter, and Campbell made it 14-0 with a 46-yard touchdown pass to Lile Ruben.
The Shamrocks (12-2) got on the board after a 47-yard pass from Kyle Cooper to Anthony Darkangelo, but Campbell restored the 14 point lead with a 36-yard pass to Terry Richardson. The four touchdowns in the first half averaged over 40 yards per play.
The next big play came when William White blocked a Catholic Central punt and returned it to the 18. Two plays later, Campbell hit Shuron Jackson for a 16-yard touchdown and a 28-7 lead.
After a long punt return by Richardson, Campbell threw his fourth touchdown pass, a 3-yarder to Jenkins-Stone. He added a fifth to Lewis Jordan early in the fourth. Moments later, Jenkins-Stone intercepted a pass and returned it for his third touchdown.