Donnie Corley transferred from Wyandotte Roosevelt to Detroit King to help his family take care of his grandmother.
Friday afternoon at Ford Field, he helped the Crusaders to a Division 2 state championship.
Corley’s 40-yard TD catch with no time on the clock completed an incredible comeback for a 40-38 victory over Lowell (12-2) by the Detroit Public School League (14-0) champs.
“When I saw the safety wasn’t coming over I said ‘throw the ball to Donnie,’” said King coach Dale Harvel. “No one could hear me, but I was saying it to myself. Armani (Posey) made a great throw.”
And Corley sealed the deal, stretching his body over Gabe Steed for King’s only lead of the game.
“He’s a great receiver,” said Steed. “It was a good play by him.”
UNBELIEVABLE. Detroit King wins the Division 2 state title on a Hail Mary. Went 97 yards in 38 seconds. pic.twitter.com/hykmmtnTQt— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) November 27, 2015
The winning drive went 95 yards in just 37 seconds.
“I just thought two-minute drill,” said Posey, who started the season in the defensive backfield. “Get the ball to the playmakers.”
Corley credited Dontre Boyd for setting up the winning score with a 25-yard catch to the Lowell 40. He got blasted on the play and left the game with a shoulder injury. Boyd had five catches for 126 yards.
“I saw the corner and the safety wasn’t coming over so I was one-on-one,” Corley said of the winning play. “I knew Posey was going to make the right read when he saw me one-on-one. I wasn’t surprised. They probably thought their corner was good. The safety was telling the corner to get up top. It was a beautiful ball. It couldn’t have been better. I knew where I was on the field. It was amazing.”
Said Posey, who threw for 383 yards and five touchdowns and ran for a three-yard TD run: “I saw one-on-one coverage on the best receiver in the state. I threw it up and gave my guy a chance to make a play.”
Corley finished with six catches for 108 yards and two scores.
Harvel wasn’t happy his defense gave up a season high 38 points and 400 yards.
“I thought they kept us off balance a lot as far as what they were doing,” said Harvel. “Give Lowell a lot of credit. My kids kept fighting. We had a couple of stops when we needed them, but we didn’t stop them consistently. They ran their game-plan to a T. They took away our running game and made us one-dimensional. We had to pass.”
When Max Dean (22 carries, 99 yards, three TDs) powered in from four yards out, the Red Arrows were up 31-13 early in the third quarter.
King responded with a 25-yard TD pass from Posey to Corley to make it 31-20. Posey threw another dump-off pass to Ambry Thomas, who weaved his way through the Lowell defense for a 41-yard TD, completing another 95-yard drive with 11:44 left in the game to make it 31-26.
Lowell got a two-yard TD run from quarterback Ryan Stevens (six of nine, 186 yards) to make it 38-26 with 4:25 left.
King scored again on a two-yard pass from Posey to Lavert Hill, and the two-point conversion by Martell Pettaway made it a four-point game.
“Anytime you’re competing against 15 kids that have been offered scholarships to other colleges and you have 1.5 kids (offered) you’re kind of nervous coming into the game,” said Lowell coach Noel Dean. “I thought our kids competed well and intelligently on offense. At times athleticism took over and it was hard on the kids, but they still battled. I thought when we punted down to the five with 45 seconds left that would be a good spot for us to be in.”
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.