The Detroit Martin Luther King Crusaders seemed poised to dominate the defending Division 3 champions, Dewitt Panthers, in the 2021 high school football swan song and both teams have fans one last ride to remember.
Despite being heavily in control of the momentum and direction of the game, Detroit MLK was on the receiving end of a comeback that could only come from a team playing with the kind of championship confidence that the Panthers brought with them on Saturday night.
The Panthers forced several turnovers and managed to get going offensively behind Mr. Football candidate and Brown University commit Ty Holtz. The effort flipped the script and had them up over the #1 ranked Crusaders, 21-19, at half.
Both teams came out in the second half and an absolute slugfest of Michigan high school football juggernauts ensued the final 24 minutes. The back and forth was finally broken when Crusader quarterback Dante Wright, a favorite for Mr. Football and five-star recruit, led his squad down the field to take the lead, 25-21, late in the fourth quarter.
Dewitt wasn’t done, however, and marched down the field where they were stymied on a fourth and goal from the one yard line that left them just inches short of the end zone and regaining the advantage. Detroit MLK managed to push ahead and gain two first downs that sealed the game and ran out the remaining clock to earn the final state football title of 2021.