It was an offensive lineman’s dream: to score a go-ahead touchdown to help his team win the City Championship and keep their playoff hopes alive.
And that happened when Jalen Washington pounced on a loose ball in the end zone with 14 seconds remaining in the third quarter to give the Detroit Cass Tech a 20-14 win over the favored Detroit Kings.
“Basically, I blocked him and I thought I scored. I turned around and there was the ball, so I just jumped on it, right?” Washington said. “I’m still shocked that it happened. I never thought in my life, in high school, I could score a touchdown.”
“I thought[Mumpfield]was in it all along, but I don’t care how you raise your hand,” said Cass Tech’s coach, who won the biggest win since taking over the program two years ago. said Marvin Rushing. “All we needed was to get one more point[than King]but we got another 14 points and even got our feet off the gas.”
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The play, which initially appeared to be a 2-yard run from quarterback Leeshawn Mampfield following a wall of blockers before the ball burst, capped off a nine-minute drive. Contributed to a 28-14 victory.
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Cass Tech (5-3 overall) built a 14-0 lead by the halfway point of the second quarter. Mampfield gave Corey Sadler Jr. a 40-yard TD out pattern with 1:09 remaining in the first. Stepping into his cover, Sadler caught the ball over his shoulder at the goal line.
King looked to be tied at kickoff, but Jacob Oglesby’s 70-yard return was negated by a holding call, leaving the Crusaders three-and-out. Cass his tech improved his two runs in the following series. A 75-yard, 11-play drive ended with his two-yard plunge of Shaun Hodges.
Cass has learned that the best way to defeat King is to keep the ball out of Crusader’s hands, as quarterback Dante Moore and crew are capable of quick strikes.
The Crusaders scored in just three plays. It was first and 26 following the holding call, but Moore looked deep and strode Jameel Croft Jr. on a 72-yard pass. Croft covered half the distance following the catch.
After King’s first score, the Technicians also had a kick return touchdown (an 88-yard excursion by Sadler). Instead, the series didn’t get any worse for the technician, the ball going back to their own 22 and when Stephen McCrary pounced loose on his ball on the first play, he spat it out. Cass also received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, so King went to work from the 13-yard line.
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Two flags put the Kings in situations of 4 and 11, but the Crusaders tied the game after Moore faked a handoff to Sterling Anderson Jr.
“They’re a good team, a well-rounded team, and we knew they’d come back like that,” Mampfield said. He knew he had to control the game.”
Cass had a 2–1 advantage in possession time throughout the first half, but broke it off in the third quarter when the Technicians led 21–14. Cass forced a King punt after five plays and then held the ball for nine minutes before scoring a go-ahead touchdown.
Cass lost to King 28-23. Early in the season they were in danger of missing out on the state playoffs with another loss.
“I wasn’t worried about the playoffs. I was worried about today,” Rushing said. “It was not about the King, it was about the City Championship. I decided not to give anything to anyone.”