DETROIT — Emil Ekiyor couldn’t play Saturday night for his Indianapolis Cathedral team against Detroit Martin Luther King. Ekiyor has committed to Michigan for the Class of 2018, and he was excited for the chance to play in the state against the two-time defending Michigan Division 2 state champions.
A sprained left ankle sustained last week in Cathedral’s season opener at Louisville’s St. Xavier High School, a 35-28 loss, ended those hopes. However, Ekiyor did everything he could to support his teammates in what turned out to be a 38-35 loss to King at Wayne State University in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic.
The center, a 4-star recruit by 247Sports composite rankings, applied sun glare block under their eyes during pregame, gave them pep talks in between series, celebrated with them and, ultimately, wore the face of disappointment after a comeback attempt fell short.
2018 Michigan commit Emil Ekiyor (72) of Indy Cathedral won't play vs. Detroit MLK tonight because of ankle injury. pic.twitter.com/GeMQ59TbaG
— Kevin Goheen (@CincyGoGo) August 26, 2017
King jumped out to a 12-0 lead with a pair of long touchdowns on its first 2 possessions of the game, but Cathedral answered with 2 touchdowns of its own to take a 14-12 lead early in the second quarter. The go-ahead score, a 1-yard run by sophomore quarterback Roman Purcell, brought smiles and fist pumps to everyone on the Cathedral sideline.
Cathedral led 21-18 in the fourth quarter before King took the lead for good with 6 minutes, 54 seconds to play. King twice increased its lead to 10 points late, but both times, Cathedral scored touchdowns to make it a 3-point game. It just wasn’t enough.
“He’s a four-year starter for us. He’s our leader, plays center for us and puts us in the right place blocking scheme-wise,” Cathedral coach Rick Streiff said. “When you don’t have a guy you’ve hung your hat on for a long time, it’s hard to replace him.”
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