The 2015 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook football team ranks among the best Cranbrook football teams of all time, finishing the season 9-2 overall. The 2015 Cranes have a .818 winning percentage, tying the 2003 Cranes, the only other Cranbrook playoff team to finish runner up in a MHSAA District.
The 2004 Cranes hold the highest winning percentage of all time (.900) having a record of 9-1, losing in the first playoff game. They were the last Cranbrook team to win a conference title.
The 2015 Cranes finished as runner up in the Catholic League Intersectional Division, defeating all but the division champion. Cranbrook outscored their opponents 300-191, averaging 27 points a game, yielding 17 points on average.
The Cranes offense amassed 3453 yards from the line of scrimmage, averaging 303 yards per game. With 191 yards passing and 123 yards rushing per game, the Cranes had one of the more potent offenses of 2015.
Junior QB Tyler Santangelo threw for 2085 yards, 24 passing TD’s, and a 62% completion rate. He would average nearly 12 yards per completion and 190 yards per game, giving him an outstanding quarterback rating of 142.4
Sophomore RB Aaron Wiggins led the team in rushing with 626 yards and averaging 8.7 yards per carry. He would add another 337 in receiving yards to lead the Cranes in all-purpose yards with 957 yards. He would cap his outstanding season with 14 touchdowns.
Senior Nate Lowmiller was the lead in the Cranes air formation with 39 receptions and 407 yards, with possession receiver Junior Dan Russell and deep-threat Kobi Russell having spectacular seasons in adding an average of 28 catches for 310 yards a piece.
Junior Tristan Knoer and Sophomore Marqis Stokes were the notable all-purpose players this season.
Picking up rushing duties from injured Junior RB Jalen Allen, Knoer and Stokes finished second and third in rushing yards, respectively. These two would flip positions with Stokes second and Knoer third in all-purpose yards. This dynamic duo would also defensively shine for the Cranes, with Knoer leading in tackles and Stokes leading in interceptions.
Junior DE Shannon Junior and Sophomore DE Chris Smith were defensive leaders, with Junior leading in with sacks (6.5) and Smith registering second in sacks (3.5), tackles (48.5), and third in tackles for a loss (10). Both Junior and Smith tied in fumble recoveries (2) and batted down passes (1). These two were pressure leaders for a feared defensive front.
Major contributions were made by a linebacker corps anchored by Junior Pat Foley, Junior Nick Davis, and in the secondary by strong safety Freshman Torrell Williams. Combined with Junior DT Ian Kovach, this group would post 125 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, and 5.5 sacks for the Cranes.
K/QB Trevor McConnell was a consistent scorer, converting 3 for 3 field goals, and 29 of 35 PATs. McConnell contributed 38 points alone through his kicking game. The Cranes won 3 games by a single point in 2015.
Looking forward to 2016, the Cranes will return all but 1 starter. With losses in 2015 only to top ranked teams (Country Day #1 in D4 and Waterford Lakes #1 in D8, per the Associated Press) the Cranes are still rising to higher heights.
The anticipated return of Jalen Allen, a standout junior RB, who led the Cranes rushing with an outstanding sophomore season, should add another potent weapon in the Cranbrook arsenal.
A circle of success surrounded the Cranes in 2015. Going in to the next season, the future of the Cranbrook Football program looks very bright.