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  • George Davis

Game Preview- The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Cranes (4-1) (1-0) to defend home field against the Riv

The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Cranes (4-1) (1-0) will defend their home field against the Riverview Gabriel Richard Pioneers (3-2) (1-0) as they host their annual Friday Night Lights game. This contest is the 3rd Friday Night lights contest for Cranbrook and serves as their homecoming game this year.

This Catholic League Intersectional I battle is filled with many intriguing story lines.

With both teams undefeated in the division, this contest will establish the supremacy of the CHSL Intersectional I. With the Pioneers having beaten Allen Park Cabrini (2-3) (0-1) 29-7 last week, and the Cranes dispatching Macomb Lutheran North (2-3) (0-2) 41-7, this game will affix the winner atop the leader board.

“Both teams have gotten off to a good start so far. Richard is consistently a tough opponent and is always well-prepared,” said Cranes Head Coach Joe D’Angelo. “We will have to match their confidence with our own preparation.”

Gabriel Richard had one of their best years ever in 2015. The Pioneers finished 7-4, made the Prep Bowl, and registered their first MHSAA playoff victory ever. The team had a lot of things to celebrate last year.

Pioneers Head Coach Tom Michalsen told MiPrepZone earlier this year that qualifying for the playoffs is on his shortlist for the 2016 season. He will look to do it with several new faces in key spots, as the squad lost quite a few talented players to graduation.

Cranbrook also had a banner year in 2015, finishing second in the division with a 9-2 record. The Cranes also won their first playoff game ever, and return the majority of their varsity squad back for 2016.

With new changes to the rules, the non-Catholic schools in the CHSL are eligible to play in the Prep Bowl. A victory over the Pioneers would give the Cranes a good shot at the Prep Bowl for this year.

Additionally, a win would make the Cranes overall record 5-1, making them eligible for the MHSAA playoffs.

“While we are not looking ahead, we know this to be an important game. We understand the overall implication for post-season play, “said D’Angelo.

Last year, these two teams played a hard fought game, with Cranbrook winning 14-13 in a very close match. The Pioneers lead the series 3-1 all time.

The game will be played Friday September 30th, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Del Walden Field, Thompson Oval, on the Cranbrook Campus. The field is located at 550 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304.

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