What was billed as a showdown between the state's top two tailbacks ended up being just that. Cass Tech's Mike Weber and Oak Park's John Kelly accounted for three touchdowns apiece as Cass rallied late to pull off a last second 27-26 victory.
Weber found it tough sledding for the most part. Oak Park met him in the backfield several times and there was not much room for him to get going. He finally got loose on a quick hitting play up the gut where he showed great burst and speed in outrunning the Knights to the end zone. He did a good job of taking what was given to him and showed he could grind out yardage when there weren't a ton of holes there. And the touchdown run showed a gear that I don't know if many knew he had.
Kelly really showed a ton of toughness. His intangibles are top notch, but he also has excellent balance. He stays on his feet and breaks a ton of arm tackles for a kid who is not real big He also has good burst and speed, which he showed on a long touchdown run. He's always been a hard worker and a competitive kid. He is slated to decide soon between Michigan State and Minnesota.
Cass Tech's receivers played well. Junior Demetric Vance is big and has excellent ball skills. He made a couple of tough grabs in traffic and showed toughness on defense as well. He may not be a burner, but he's a physical outside receiver who can definitely play at high level in college.
Sophomore Donovan Peoples-Jones is not as big and physical, but he's very fast and athletic. He got deep and is a natural when it comes to creating separation and tracking the football. He already has quite a handful of offers and he's a kid where, it wouldn't be surprising to see much or all of the country get involved.
On the lines, Cass Tech did not have a great game on the offensive line. But junior Michael Onwenu played well on both sides. He had a key tackle that sealed the game and got good push on offense. Joshua Alabi, an Ohio State commit, had a somewhat quiet game before leaving with cramps. He played mostly on offense and with his added size, that looks it could easily be where he plays in college. I continue to like senior Daimen Oliver as a sleeper, and junior Ostell Martin did not start the game, but entered it in the second half and played well.
Central Michigan commit Michael Oliver was part of an active linebacker corps for Cass. He showed impressive burst in chasing down Kelly on one play in space. Junior Andre Gregory is a great looking kid on the hoof. He could even grow into a hand-down guy.
In the secondary, LaVert Hill was solid. He was the victim of a questionable pass interference call or two, but otherwise played well. Sophomore Donovan Johnson had a great game. He was tested by bigger receivers and was up to the task. He has really good ball skills and was always in good position.
Sophomore quarterback Rodney Hall was making his first start and Cass gradually allowed him more freedom. He stuck to the game plan and showed potential for the future. He was cool under pressure with the game on the line. We'll watch how he develops this year.
For Oak Park, their line played well. Central Michigan commit Shahid Bellamy had a strong game on the offensive side of the ball, even though he is being recruited as a defensive lineman. Sophomore Jaraymond Hall (6-5, 255) started at right tackle and is a prospect to remember for the future.
Quarterback Chauncey Lowman had a good game. The junior was efficient and accurate, and played with good touch. At 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, he's not a big kid, but he's a kid who could develop into a college prospect, even if it's not at the FBS level.
Wide receiver Varandre White is big (6-2, 200) and showed he could go up and get the ball and also took a quick slant to the house. He's certainly a senior schools should be aware of.
Freshman cornerback Robert Daniel was very impressive for a youngster. He started and got tested, but was up for the task other than Peoples-Jones beating him for a score. He's quick and showed he was willing to come up and tackle.
Western Michigan commit Junior McMullen did not play due to a hamstring injury.