Cass Tech football bests Warren Mott in district final
DETROIT — Special teams was key for the Cass Tech High football team as it upended Warren Mott 28-19 in a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 district final, played Nov. 9 at Cass Tech.
The Technicians (11-0) could not move the ball in the first half but got a blocked punt from senior defensive back Antone Price to put the ball at the Mott 5-yard line with about six minutes left in the first half to set up a 5-yard touchdown run by junior running back Mike Weber with 5:29 to play in the first half to give the Technicians a 6-0 lead.
Aside from that possession, Cass Tech — which advances to take on Macomb Dakota (11-0) in a regional final set for 1 p.m. Nov. 16 at Cass Tech — in the first half had four three-and-outs and only two first downs.
Mott (10-1) took a 7-6 lead into the locker room after junior quarterback Conor Madigan hooked up with senior wide receiver Angelo Proulx for a six-yard score with 2:20 to play in the first half. Mott in the half recorded 11 first downs and had no three and outs.
Cass Tech, the two-time defending D-1 state champions, used its running game to take control in the second half, scoring touchdowns on its first two possessions — one on a 10-yard pass from junior quarterback Jayru Campbell to senior wide receiver Chris McDaniel with 8:26 to play in the third and another on a 1-yard plunge from senior running back Gary Hosey with 2:12 to play in the third. That score gave the Technicians a 20-7 lead.
“We had to make some adjustments and get the line to execute its blocking schemes,” Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said. “The key thing is the team bounced back. We had to control the line of scrimmage. Our team always shows up in the second half.”
Mott refused to lay down, though, and answered Hosey’s score with a 1-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Austin Ross to make it 20-13 with 10:28 to play in the contest.
On the ensuing kickoff, Weber returned the kick 88 yards for a score and the subsequent two-point conversion put the Technicians up 28-13 with 10:14 to play.
Mott added a late score when Ross hit senior tight end Ken Goins to a 2-yard score with 58.4 seconds left to make it 28-19, Cass Tech. The Marauders found new life after the recovered an onside kick, but Ross was picked off by Cass Tech junior lineback Keyshawn Gilmore with 51.4 seconds left to seal the victory for the defending champs. The interception was Gilmore’s second of the day.
“Too many mistakes. You can’t give up pretty much 14 points on special teams,” Mott coach Tom Milanov said. “If we don’t have the blocked punt and give up the kick return for a touchdown, then we’re right in it. We played a good football team, and we can’t do that.”
The 19 points scored by Mott is the most allowed by Cass Tech this season.
Mott is also the first team in 2013 to hold a lead on Cass Tech at halftime, according to Wilcher.
Campbell, a 2015 Michigan State recruit, was 7 for 19 for 95 yards and one touchdown.