DETROIT, Michigan -- For the first time in school history, the Romeo Bulldogs have been crowned victors over the Cass Tech Technicians with a 41-27 offense slaughter behind three touchdowns from Bradley Tanner.
After making a sensational catch in Romeo's 48-21 semifinal victory over Grand Ledge, Tanner was back at it on a bigger stage with a 20-yard touchdown carry to open the scoring.
Donovan Johnson and the Cass Tech offense bounced back with 4:43 left in the first quarter on a touchdown from six yards out to tie the game.
The Bulldogs (13-1) scored on back-to-back possessions, starting with a pass from Paul Hurley to Lucas Schimon for a 40-yard score to end the first quarter. Two minutes into the second, Tanner tallied his second touchdown of the game on a 31-yard scamper to the house. After both touchdowns, Romeo took a 19-7 lead over Cass Tech in the Division 7 championship.
Before going into the locker room, the Technicians (11-3) gained momentum on a six-play, 24-yard drive that was capped off on a one-yard touchdown by Johnson to cut the Romeo lead to five.
Romeo came out of the locker room with a trick up their sleeve. The team lined up for an onside kick and Zachary Nies recovered to give the Bulldogs offense outstanding field position.
The recovery set up a 12-yard score from the legs of Domenico Bongiorno to push the Bulldogs lead to 26-14 with 9:49 left in the third quarter.
With 7:10 left in the game, Romeo forced a three-and-out. On Cass Tech's punt, the effort was blocked and recovered by Anthony Quas. The play allowed for the Bulldogs to find the scoreboard once again to make it a 33-14 lead. Hurley ran the ball on a keeper for 20 yards to the end zone.
The Technicians got some momentum with an interception of Hurley. Khalid Jordan brought down the pass on the 21-yard line, which put Cass Tech in scoring position. Moments later, Aaron Jackson connected with Demetric Vance streaking down the right side of the field for a touchdown to cut Romeo's lead to 13 points in with 2:14 left in the third quarter of the game.
Jackson took over for the normal starting quarterback, Rodney Hall, after he missed the Division 1 State Semifinals with an ankle injury. Jackson finished 19-of-27 with 194 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Donovan Peoples-Jones ran a great route to get open for Jackson to deliver a 36-yard touchdown strike with 7:15 left in the fourth quarter. After the Cass Tech score, Romeo only led 33-27.
Just when everyone thought Cass Tech would complete a remarkable comeback, Tanner and the Bulldogs pulled away with 1:30 left in the game. The senior scored from 19 yards and then the two-point conversion from Hurley to Mitchell Heimbuch was successful to put Romeo ahead of Cass Tech, 41-27.
Heimbuch caught a team-high five passes for 65 yards, while Nathan Goralski and Schimon combined for 144 total yards. Hurley completed 12-of-18 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown. The only noticeable blemish was the interception tossed in the third quarter.