Detroit Cass Tech quarterback Rodney Hall hasn’t even signed his letter of intent yet, but he already knows that when he grows older, he will be able to tell his kids that he “played on Sunday.”
That day is generally reserved for the National Football League, but unusual circumstances caused the Technicians to open their season against Oak Park one to three days after everyone else statewide. The contest was originally scheduled to be the third of three Saturday games in the Detroit Sports Commission’s Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University, but severe weather Saturday afternoon cut the first game (River Rouge vs. Chelsea) short and delayed the second game (Detroit King vs. Southfield) for 2 1/2 hours. That’s when team and event officials decided to postpone the nightcap until the next afternoon.
“It definitely messed up the routine,” Hall said. “We were all fired up and ready to play, but when we found out we had to play (Sunday), it just threw everything off. The mood changed a little bit, everybody’s fired up for game day, and then it was delayed, so we just had to pick it back up.”
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Some of Hall’s teammates expressed a similar sentiment.
“It was a little bit frustrating,” said Donovan Peoples-Jones, who caught two touchdown passes. “We wanted to play Saturday night under the lights, but coming out here Sunday doesn’t change a thing. We still needed to get the job done. We came out here and I’m so proud of them.”
Donovan Johnson, who had a kickoff return for a touchdown, said Saturday turned out to be more like a run-through.
“It was kind of a bummer. We really wanted to play last night, but today was all right – I guess God did it for a reason.”
Not that Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher minded one bit.
“It just gives you one more day to rest,” he said, laughing. “The most important thing is it makes you get everybody acclimated, everybody’s on point, everybody will do a good job, that’s what it was. Layovers, whatever, it just gave us an opportunity to do more.”
And Oak Park coach Greg Carter said the rescheduling didn’t dictate who won.
“If we made mistakes at 1:00, we would have made them last night at 6:00, so that didn’t have any effect on the game at all,” he said. “We both agreed to play at 1:00 today, so there was never any problem with that.”