De La salle football heads to D-2 title game after win over Detroit King

 Warren De La Salle running back Cordell Tannyhill looks for a lane to run through during the team's 14-13 Nov. 18 win over Detroit Martin Luther King.

Warren De La Salle running back Cordell Tannyhill looks for a lane to run through during the team's 14-13 Nov. 18 win over Detroit Martin Luther King.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published November 18, 2017

 Detroit Martin Luther King quarterback Dequan Finn takes off during a Nov. 18 playoff loss to Warren De La Salle.

Detroit Martin Luther King quarterback Dequan Finn takes off during a Nov. 18 playoff loss to Warren De La Salle.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

HAZEL PARK — The Warren De La Salle football team is one win away from state title No. 2 after a 14-13 win over Detroit Martin Luther King in a Division 2 state semifinal Nov. 18 at Hazel Park High.

De La Salle advances to take on Livonia Franklin (11-2) at 1 p.m. Nov. 24 at Ford Field in Detroit.

The Pilots (10-2) took the lead for good on a 44-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Luke Pfromm to wide receiver Jake Badalamenti that put the team up 14-7 with 8:29 left in the game.

"We'd been running power I over the right side the entire game, and we saw that (King) would bring the deep safety up," Pfromm said. "We saw that, so we ran play action and I was able to find Jake on a post."

"That was a great throw by a great quarterback," Badalamenti said. "I just did what I could to get under it, and I was able to haul it in."

The Crusaders (10-2) pulled to within 14-13 with 7:42 left on a 1-yard touchdown rush by quarterback Dequan Finn. A botched snap on an extra-point try kept King from tying the game.

"(King) wasn't trying to go for two there. It was a botched snap that they couldn't get back," said De La Salle coach Mike Giannone, who won two state titles while at Macomb Dakota. "This was just a tough game. We tried to use all the clock we could to keep their offense off of the field. Credit to both our offensive and defensive lines. We were able to control the line of scrimmage."

De La Salle went up 7-0 on a 1-yard Pfromm touchdown run with 7:59 left in the first quarter. The big play of the drive came on a 43-yard scamper by running back Evan Vaillancourt on second-and-8 that put the Pilots in the red zone. Vaillancourt finished the game with 63 rushing yards.

The Crusaders, who had won the last two state titles and one in 2007, tied the game at 7-7 with 5:38 to play in the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Finn to RaShawn Williams. Finn finished with 123 rushing yards and 64 passing yards.

King entered the state semi averaging 45.3 points per game in the playoffs. De La Salle with the win moved to 4-2 all time against the Detroit PSL school.

"That's a tough team," Giannone said. "We just did what we needed to do to slow them down."

The Pilots coach said he'll call on his previous state title game experience to help his team prepare for the Nov. 24 championship game.

"It's a privilege to be able to play in these types of games," Giannone said. "We'll get them ready." 

De La Salle running back Cordell Tannyhill finished with 83 rushing yards.