The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Cranes (1-0) will travel this week to play the Detroit University Prep Panthers in a non-conference game. This game is the home and season opener for Detroit University Prep, while Cranbrook is 1-0 on the season.
The Cranes enter the game having won their season opener at home over Hamtramck (0-1) 23-19. Powered by a solid running game from senior captain Jalen Allen and junior Aaron Wiggins, the Cranes were able to overcome the Hamtramck defense.
“The team answered the bell and showed up when it counted”, said Cranbrook head coach Joe D’Angelo “I was proud of their effort and, most of all, their team unity.”
The win gave Cranbrook their 6th straight season opening victory, a fact that demonstrates the Cranes positive trend.
“The program is moving in the right direction. While we take one game at a time, each victory add to our overall growth”, said D’Angelo.
The Cranes finished last season 9-2 and were runners up in the Catholic League Intersectional I division. Cranbrook made it to the district final while in the state playoffs, where their season ended to state semi-finalist Detroit Country Day (1-0).
The Detroit University Prep Panthers also made it district final last year, losing to state finalist River Rouge (1-0). The team has made the state playoffs every year since 2012, and the district final in 2013 and 2015.
While finishing 4th in the conference last year, the Panthers represent a strong and rising Charter School Conference
“This means a lot,” Panthers coach Antonio Ragland told MiPrepZone after their playoff victory over Mount Clemens Clintondale in 2013. “For the respect that the Charter School League doesn’t get, we battle each other week in and week out, so to have four teams qualify for the states, and hopefully four teams that make it to the second round, we need to start getting respect.”
The Panthers were 7-4 last year, with conference wins over Southfield Bradford Academy, Romulus Summit Academy, and Detroit Old Redford Academy. The Panthers also had non-conference victories over Detroit Delta Prep and Detroit University Prep Science and Math, before beating Detroit Central in the pre-district state playoffs.
The Panthers only losses came to perennial powerhouse teams: Southfield-Lathrup, Warren Michigan Collegiate, River Rouge, and Harper Woods Chandler Park.
University Prep will bring its own strong running game to the contest. Fueled by senior running back DeMarco Henry, who has more than 1800 yards in his two seasons on varsity, the Panthers will be a worthy opponent.
“They are a strong, physical team and very well-coached. It will be a good game’, said Coach D’Angelo.
The game will be played at the Hazel Park High School Stadium located at 23400 Hughes Ave, Hazel Park, MI 48030. The game will start at 3:00 p.m.