Cass Tech, Central in PSL football showdown Friday at Renaissance High

Cass Tech and Central took different routes to victory in season-opening high school football last weekend.
Now comes the showdown. Barring the unlikely event of a tie, somebody’s “O” will go Friday at 7 p.m. when the two Detroit Public School League teams collide on neutral turf in the PSL Game of the Week at Renaissance High School.
“Last week was very uplifting because you never want to go in the ‘L’ column,” said Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher, whose team ran past Ann Arbor Pioneer 44-42 Saturday in an offense-dominated thriller at Eastern Michigan University.
“(Central) is going to be way more physical than the team we played. They’ve got their whole team back and they ended last season with a streak of PSL wins. But as long as we’re sound physically, we should be alright.”
Central’s 38-0 shutout of PSL foe Mumford last Friday sounded the alarm that the Trailblazers are again one of the league’s premier teams after winning the Division 2 championship last year.
“What last week showed is that we’re a pretty well-conditioned team,” said Central coach Eric Smith. “Those guys (from Mumford) were talented. But after the second quarter you could see they were much more winded than we were and they kind of lost it, while we were able to withstand the heat.”
Although Friday’s crossover games won’t have any impact on the PSL division races, Smith, a former high school teammate of Wilcher’s, says Central’s matchup against Cass Tech is always significant because of the rivalry and familiarity they share.
Along with Wilcher, two other members of Cass Tech’s coaching staff are Central graduates. Six Central coaches formerly played for Central. Cass Tech defensive coordinator Jermaine Crowell played for Smith at Central. “It’s our biggest game of the season,” Smith told The Detroit News. “We lost the last two to them, and that doesn’t sit well with us.”
Central’s strength revolves around an experienced corps of linemen, led by senior right tackle Eric Crume, a 6-2, 320-pound All-State candidate. The others are left tackle Michael Jones, a 6-3

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