• George Davis

Cranbrook gets past Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 35-12; qualifies for MHSAA playoffs.

Senior Jack Fairman had 17 solo tackles in the Cranes 35-12 win over Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard.

(S. Fairman -Photo Credit)

The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Cranes pushed past the Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard Fighting Irish in a CHSL AA Division matchup. The 35-12 victory qualifies the Cranes for a spot in the post season for Cranbrook for the sixth straight year.

The Cranes struck first.

Capitalizing on a turnover on downs, Cranbrook scored on a 5-play 50-yard drive. Senior RB Tariq Muhammad turned a handoff into a 27-yard scamper. A successful PAT by junior kicker Chase Paulus gave the Cranes a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

After the Irish offense stalled on the next series, Muhammad would strike again on a 62-yard run for a TD. Paulus converted the PAT to make the game at 14-0 in the first quarter.

The Cranes put together another drive early in the second quarter, finding pay dirt behind a 27-yard end run by senior running back Jack Fairman. Another Paulus PAT placed the game at 21-0 at the 8:42 mark.

The Irish defense forced an interception, which resulted in a 5-yard TD pass from QB Alejendro Rollan to WR Brandon Victor. A missed 2-point conversion left the Irish with only 6 points.

The Cranes led 21-6 at the half.

In second half of the game, Muhammad led the offensive charge, scoring on runs of 60 yards and 37 yards. Two more Paulus PAT’s left the score 35-6 in the last period.

Gabriel Richard would score once more before the final buzzer, a 41-yard run by senior QB Gregory Kendzicky with 6:29 left to play.

A failed 2-PAT conversion left the score 35-12 to end the game.

“We were able to settle in to our game plan,” said Cranes Head Coach Ben Jones. “I was proud of the maturity that our team displayed.”

Muhammad finished 14 for 275 yards and 4 TD’s. Fairman had 17 tackles of defense and added 1 rushing TD. Paulus converted 5 PATs for a perfect game.

With this win, Cranbrook now qualifies for the MHSAA State playoffs with 5 wins on the season. A win next week will secure a spot.

“We are excited to look at the playoffs”, said Jones. “We can now perfect things that we have worked on all season.”

The Cranes move on to face Chandler Park at home next week.


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