Defending state champion Cass Tech one victory from repeat appearance in the MHSAA football finals at Ford Field

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Cass Tech is again making believers of anyone who underestimates the strength of Detroit Public School League football.

With last Friday’s 21-14 victory against Saline, Coach Thomas Wilcher’s defending Division 1 state champions captured their third consecutive Michigan High School Athletic Association regional crown and moved just one victory from a repeat appearance in the finals Nov. 24 at Ford Field.

For the second year in a row, Cass Tech has found its stride in state competition after coming up short in pursuit of the PSL championship.

Cass Tech is closing in on a repeat Division 1 stae championship

“We’re very happy to win three straight regionals, but I’m more impressed with how the PSL gets us prepared for the state playoffs,’’ said Wilcher, whose Technicians (10-2) face Lake Orion (11-1) Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Division 1 semifinal game at Troy Athens High School. “The teams in our league give us a hard challenge each and every year. It lets us know where we’re at and it makes us keep improving.”

The PSL began this year’s playoffs with six qualifiers,, including league champion King, which lost its first game in Division 2. East English Village (9-3), the PSL runners-up, saw its outstanding inaugural season come to an end last Saturday with a 42-26 regional finals loss to defending Division 3 state champion Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

As the PSL’s last team standing, Cass Tech faces a familiar foe in Lake Orion, which two years ago defeated the Technicians in the semifinals en route to the state Division 1 championship.

“We understand they’re a great team and what their capabilities are,’’ Wilcher said. “We’ll have to be on top of our game to beat them.”

The Cass Tech-Lake Orion winner will square off for the championship against the winner of Saturday’s 1 p.m. semifinal game between Rockford (10-2) and Detroit Catholic Central (8-4) at Battle Creek Central High School. Wilcher says his players are committed to leaving everything on the field to keep their repeat bid alive.

“It’s the kids’ effort and determination that’s sustaining us right now,’’ he said. “We still haven’t played our best game yet. But we’re bringing this group together as a team and we’re finding unity. That’s really what it’s all about and that’s why we’re still playing.”

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