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Detroit News high school picks: King, QB Dante Moore rolling into rematch with Cass Tech


The rematch is on with No. 1 Detroit King facing No. 17 Detroit Cass Tech for the PSL championship 7 p.m. Friday at Detroit Northwestern.

King (6-1) defeated Cass Tech, 41-34, in Week 3 with King five-star junior quarterback Dante Moore throwing for 365 yards and five touchdowns in an intense game that had more than 30 penalties, including multiple personal fouls.

Moore hasn’t slowed down since, hitting on all 11 of his passes for 199 yards and five TDs in last week's 57-7 rout of Detroit Renaissance, which opened the door for Cass Tech to play in the PSL title game.

Renaissance defeated Cass Tech (5-2) earlier this season when the majority of Cass Tech’s team was sidelined due to COVID-related issues.

Moore has completed nearly 74% of his passes (78-for-106) for 1,479 yards and 22 TDs without an interception.

More: Detroit News high school football picks: Week 8

“It’s just a testament to the kid’s accuracy and ball placement, especially going through the first three games,” said King coach Tyrone Spencer, noting his team's first three contests were a 42-40 loss at Carmel (Indiana), a 40-19 win over defending Division 2 state champion Muskegon Mona Shores and the win over Cass Tech.

“He just works really hard and is making good decisions with the ball.”

King has a chance to sweep the season series with Cass Tech, something that hasn’t happened since 2015 when King went on to win the Division 2 state championship and Cass Tech reached the Division 1 state title game.

“We have to be better in the run game defensively,” Spencer said. “We didn’t do a good job of stifling the run the first time we played them, so we have to do that. We can’t miss any tackles and let them get extra yardage.”

Cass Tech piled up 264 yards on the ground in the loss to King, with junior Shamar Snow rushing for 158 yards and two scores on 15 carries.

Cass Tech swept the two-game season series last year, including a 41-19 win in the PSL title game, and in 2016 when it won the Division 1 state title.

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Both teams have played just once over the last three weeks. King collected forfeit wins over Detroit Western and Detroit Henry Ford before beating Renaissance. Cass Tech had forfeit wins against Detroit East English and Western sandwiched around a 48-0 win over Detroit Mumford on Oct. 1.

“I would like us to play more games, but our team has taken it well,” Spencer said. “They took the time off to do team building activity on their own.”

Pick: King by 6

Canton (5-2) at Hartland (6-1), 7 p.m. Friday

The only thing standing in Hartland's way of a KLAA West Division title and a spot in the conference championship game is Canton.

And that’s no small challenge considering Canton has won the last six games in the series, including a 49-28 thrashing last season.

Hartland, Howell and Canton are in a three-way tie for the division lead with Hartland defeating Howell, 29-7, in Week 6 and Howell defeating Canton, 41-21, in Week 2.

There is also a three-way tie in the KLAA East with No. 4 Belleville, No. 11 Dearborn Fordson and No. 16 Livonia Churchill still alive.

Canton has regrouped since the loss to Howell, averaging 42 points during its five-game winning streak.

Hartland coach Brian Savage is thrilled to be in this position, knowing his team needs to slow down Canton’s running game, something it hasn’t been able to do in past years.

“They run that T-offense and you just have to be disciplined," Savage said. "We have to do everything we can to try and read our keys and what keys they do give you and stay home and just do our best to try and tackle everybody."

Joey Mattord has rushed for 800 yards for a Hartland offense run by quarterback Brad Sollom, with defensive back Sam Clay leading the defense with six interceptions.

Savage feels fortunate to have a weapon in LSU-bound kicker Nathan Dibert, who kicked a 52-yarder against Howell and 53-yarder last week against Northville.

Pick: Hartland by 2

Harper Woods (6-1) vs. No. 2 Warren De La Salle (6-0) at Wayne State, 7 p.m. Friday

Rod Oden has his Harper Woods team playing at a high level with West Virginia-bound running back Christion Stokes (1,330 rushing yards, 17 TDs) and Michigan-bound receiver Tay’shawn Trent (640 receiving yards, 12 TDs) leading the way.

More: Harper Woods off to strong start behind play of Stokes, Trent; De La Salle looms

De La Salle junior quarterback Brady Drogosh has developed into one of the premier quarterbacks in the area, a reason why De La Salle earned the Catholic League Central Division title.

Look for De La Salle’s defense, which played well in a 17-7 win over Detroit Catholic Central in Week 6, to slow down Stokes and Trent to stay unbeaten.

Pick: De La Salle by 10

North Farmington (3-4) at No. 8 West Bloomfield (6-1), 7 p.m. Friday

West Bloomfield has won six straight games, including an overtime win over Clarkston, since a season-opening loss to Rochester Adams to clinch the OAA Red Division title.

North Farmington has been extremely competitive but has lost four straight after a 3-0 start, with all of its losses coming by seven or fewer points.

Look for West Bloomfield to continue its winning streak behind the play of Michigan State-bound cornerback/running back Dillon Tatum.

Pick: West Bloomfield by 10

david.goricki@detroitnews.com