Cranbrook wins second straight CHSL title (S.Fairman-Photo)
The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Cranes (8-1) defeated the Clarkston Everest Collegiate Mountaineers (7-2) 42-7 to claim the CHSL CD Division title. The win is Cranbrook’s second straight Prep Bowl Title as they move to 8-1 on the regular season.
The Cranes opened the game with a big play.
Junior S Torrell Williams picked off a pass from Mountaineer Senior QB Grant Burgess near midfield and returned it to the Mountaineers 11 yard line.
The Cranes would open the scoring on an 11-yard TD pass from senior QB Trevor McConnell to junior RB Murari Nelluri. After a successful PAT by senior K Pierson Cooke, the Cranes led 7-0 with 10:20 left in the 1st quarter.
After the Crane defense forced a punt, McConnell would connect with junior WR Kobi Russell for a 72-yard TD pass play. The Cranes led 14-0 at the 8:19 mark in the 1st.
Both defenses would settle in, forcing punts by both teams throughout most of the first quarter. Until sophomore Tariq Muhammad broke loose on a 31-yard TD run to the corner of the end zone with :30 left in the quarter.
Cranbrook led 21-0 at the end of the 1st quarter.
The Cranes running game would keep rolling, powered by a 7-yard TD run by senior RB Aaron Wiggins. Cranbrook led 28-0 at the 8:30 mark in the second quarter.
But Everest Collegiate would not give up the fight so easily.
After forcing the Cranes to punt, the Mountaineers put together a 16 play drive, culminating in a TD reception by senior WR Nino Mastromatteo from senior QB Josh Legg.
The score stood at 28-7 Cranbrook at the half.
“We were fortunate to get an early lead, Everest Collegiate usually doesn’t allow many points in the first half of their games, “said Cranes Head Coach Joe D’Angelo. “We capitalized on a turnover to get on the scoreboard.”
In the second half, the Cranes were able to put together a 60-yard, 9-play drive that ended in a 4-yard TD pass from McConnell to sophomore RB Jack Fairman. With 8:10 left in the 3rd period, Cranbrook led 35-7.
The scoring ended on a 9-yard TD run from scrimmage by ATH senior Marqis Stokes at the 11:55 mark in the 4th quarter to seal the game at 42-7.
Senior QB Trevor McConnell had another stellar night going 10 for 13 for 179 yards and 3 TD’s.
Senior Aaron Wiggins ran for 44 yards on 2 carries and 1 TD. Senior Marqis Stokes had a 9 yard TD run.
Junior Murari Nelluri had 9 runs for 56 yards with a 11 yard TD reception. Sophomore Tariq Muhammad had 6 carries for 72 yards and 1 TD. Junior Kobi Russell has 2 receptions for 82 yards and 1 TD.
Defensively, senior DE Chris Smith and sophomore LB Jack Fairman both had 7 tackles, with Fairman adding a 1 TFL and 1 sack. S Torrell Williams had 1 INT and a 22 yard return.
The Cranes end their regular season 8-1, and now await their pairing for the state playoffs.
“We look forward to making a good run in the playoffs. Our team has good experience and a bit more depth than we had in the past, “said Coach D’ Angelo. “We have been preparing for football in November, now we are a step closer.”