King headed to semifinal for third straight season
Allen Park — For the sixth time since 2011, Detroit King’s football team is headed to the state semifinals.
King (10-2) stomped Allen Park (9-3), 54-15, in the Division 3, Region 4 final on a chilly Friday night.
“I was really pleased with all three phases of the game,” King coach Tyrone Spencer said. “I don’t think we played perfect, but at the end of the day I’m proud of what we were able to do.”
King senior quarterback DeQuan Finn, confident at the controls of King’s spread attack, played a dynamic game, going 9for-10 throwing for 204 yards with 127 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.
“It feels good knowing we’re going to the semifinals for the third consecutive year,” Finn said. “We’re just taking it one game at a time.”
Among the beneficiaries of Finn’s arm were senior wide receivers Dominick Polidore-Hannah, who had three catches for 47 yards, and Ahmad Gardner, who collected four passes for 126 yards, including scores of 37 and 75 yards.
“I was watching the coverage,” Gardner said. “I knew exactly how deep to run my routes, and my quarterback DeQuan (Finn) found me.”
King’s defense flew around the field, with senior safety Marvin Grant inflicting serious damage on Allen Park’s offense. Grant is committed to Purdue and considered King’s top player in the 2019 recruiting class.
King, enjoying its 10thstraight playoff appearance, was the faster, more physical team, and it showed. When King’s skill players had the ball, they simply ran away from Allen Park tacklers, and when that didn’t work, they ran through them. A running clock was quarter.
Allen Park junior running back Nico Tiberia didn’t play after suffering a leg injury on Tuesday in practice. Tiberia ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns in Allen Park’s district win.
Allen Park started on a high note, jumping on a King fumble after a sloppy handoff exchange, but on the first snap of King’s second possession, Finn took a snap from shotgun and sailed through the Allen Park defense untouched for 76 yards to open the scoring. After an Allen Park threeand-out, Finn hit Polidore-Hannah on a screen pass. PolidoreHannah shed several tacklers on his way to a 35-yard gain, finally wrestled down at Allen Park’s 7yard line. Junior running back Peny Boone scored on a run to the right on the next play to make it 14-0 for King.
Finn scored on a 1-yard run on the second play of the second quarter, putting King up, 21-0. Moments later, Finn found a covered Gardner, who fought off defensive holding and went up to haul down a 37-yard touchdown pass to put King up, 28-0. Allen Park mounted a drive on its next possession, capped by a 1-yard Mateo Balderas quarterback sneak to make it 28-7 for King. King answered on a 44-yard Finn run up the middle. The extra point attempt was blocked, leaving King firmly in charge, 34-7. A Polidare-Hannah punt return gave King another chance to score in the first half, and Finn converted with another 1-yard plunge. King couldn’t convert the two-point attempt, and the first half ended 40-7 for King.
Finn hit Gardner 10 yards downfield, and Gardner did the rest, running away from Allen Park’s secondary for a 75-yard touchdown, making it 47-7.