Detroit King wanted another crack at Muskegon after losing to the Big Reds by three points on the road in the second game of the season.
They got that second chance Saturday night at Ford Field in the Division 3 championship game, and also the chance to end Muskegon’s 27 game-winning streak.
Led by the arm and feet of senior quarterback Dequan Finn, the Crusaders claimed the title with an impressive 41-25 victory.
King avenged the earlier loss and ended the season at 12-2 while claiming its third title in four years and fourth overall. The three other titles came in Division 2.
King’s ability to throw the football in the second quarter kept Muskegon quarterback Cameron Martinez off the field.
Finn hit Dominick Polidore-Hannah with a 22-yard touchdown pass to give the Crusaders a 14-7 lead. He connected with Ahmad Gardner on a 33-yard pass to set up the score. Polidore-Hannah had two TD catches in the first half, tying the game and giving King a 14-10 halftime lead.
Poor Hyrosha Wilson. The Muskegon senior slot receiver dropped two passes from Martinez that were on the money. The first happened in the second quarter and would’ve given the Big Reds a first down. The second was on the opening drive of the third quarter. He was wide open with no defenders near him, and could have easily turned and rushed in for the touchdown.
On the next play the snap went over punter Carlos Hernandez’ head. He managed to get off a poor punt, giving the Crusaders great field position at the Muskegon 30.
Finn turned the miscue into a 7-yard TD run with 9:16 left in the third quarter to give the Crusaders a 21-10 lead.
It started with Martinez and Finn, two of the best quarterbacks in the state regardless of class. Martinez ran the ball seven times for 57 yards on the team’s first drive and scored on a 10-yard run with 2:45 left in the first quarter. The drive took 13 plays and were all runs. Martinez entered the game with 2,315 yards rushing and just over 600 yards passing.
Meanwhile, Finn was able to use his feet and arm to move the King offense while Martinez was one-dimensional.
Finn's best throw of the game came with 9:26 to play when he threw the ball over a Muskegon defensive back’s head and hit Gardner with a 22-yard TD as King surged ahead 28-17.
King had a more balanced attack with Finn throwing to Polidore-Hannah and handing off to Peny Boone when he wasn’t running the ball himself. Boone sealed the game with a 52-yard TD run with 6:29 left, giving him 111 yards on 14 carries.
At halftime the Crusaders had 193 yards of offense — 127 in the air and 66 on the ground while all 157 Muskegon yards were on the ground with Martinez gaining 104 on 21 carries.
He had 11 carries in the third quarter and used a 2-yard TD run to trim King’s lead to 21-17 after using 7:09 of the clock. Martinez finished the game with 211 yards rushing.
King as a team finished with 400 total yards of offense, 227 in the air and 173 on the ground.
What it means
King finally can say it beat Muskegon (13-1) after five unsuccessful tries and Finn cemented his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks to play in the Detroit Public School League with his second state title.
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