MHSAA Division 1 State Championship: Romeo Wins First State Title In School History With Upset Win Over Cass Tech
Romeo's Lucas Schimon (3) tries to escape Detroit Cass Tech's Demetric Vance (8) before running in for a touchdown in the first quarter of their 2015 MHSAA Division 1 state final game at Ford Field.(Mike Mulholland |

MHSAA Division 1 State Championship: Romeo Wins First State Title In School History With Upset Win Over Cass Tech

The Romeo Bulldogs used three touchdowns from senior Brad Tanner to help win the MHSAA Division 1 State Championship over Cass Tech Technicians for the first state championship win in school history.

Evan Petzold

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.