2019 Football Preview: Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood

2018 Record: 6-4

By: C & G Sports Staff | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 19, 2019

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Last season’s record: 6-4
League: Catholic High School League AA Division
Returning starters: N/A
First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at Pontiac High

Offensive keys:
In his first season as coach of the Cranes, Ben Jones is looking to stick to fundamentals when it comes to having a successful offensive season.

“We want to not turn the ball over,” he said. “We want to possess the ball and keep it away from the other team. If we have the ball, they don’t. They can’t score if they don’t have the ball. We’ll try to limit turnovers and take what the defense gives us.”

Jones also wants to see his team run the ball more effectively.     In their efforts to keep the ball on the ground, the Cranes return five offensive linemen, including William Kerr, who Jones listed as a key player for the season. Kerr will be part of a group that helps make way for running backs Jack Fairman and Tariq Mouhammad.

Defensive keys:
Jones said physicality will be paramount to this year’s defense.

“Get off blocks, tackle people and be physical,” he said. “As many clichés as you can think of, I’ll say them. You want to make your system as easy as possible so kids can have fun flying around and tackling the ball carrier hard. If you do that enough against some very physical teams, it gives you a shot to win.”

Just like on offense, Kerr (defensive lineman), Fairman (linebacker) and Mouhammad (linebacker) are key players on defense.

Coach’s outlook:
Of the Cranes’ four losses last season, three of them were by a touchdown or less.  

The goal for Jones this year is to finish games. If the team can do that, he believes it will find success and put itself in a position to make the postseason once again.

“You just hope to win those close games and hopefully win a couple more than last year,” Jones said. “I think we can get around six wins, maybe seven. But I’m not really focused on wins — I’m focused on getting better and win enough to get a Week 10 practice and then a game.”

at Pontiac High (1-8) — 7 p.m. Aug. 29
Over the past three seasons, Pontiac is 3-24 overall. This season will mark the first time the Cranes and Phoenix have played one another.

at Detroit U-D Jesuit (4-5) — 7 p.m. Sept. 6
The Cubs and Cranes have played twice before. The first meeting came in 1983, which was a 22-0 Cranbrook win. Last season, Jesuit came out on top 36-29.

vs. Riverview Gabriel Richard (7-5) — 3 p.m. Sept. 14
If Cranbrook can beat the Pioneers this season, the series will be tied at four games apiece. Last season, Gabriel Richard topped the Cranes by a touchdown.

vs. Dearborn Divine Child (4-5) — 1 p.m. Sept. 21
After back-to-back 10-win seasons, the Falcons saw their win total drop last season and missed the playoffs. The Cranes narrowly escaped with a 19-14 win when these teams met last year.

at Walled Lake Central (2-7) — 7 p.m. Sept. 27
Last season was the first time in program history that the Vikings and Cranes had played. Cranbrook won by a field goal, 28-25.

at Detroit Loyola (7-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 4
The Cranes have historically struggled against the Bulldogs, trailing in the series 1-7. That win came in a 12-0 shutout back in 1997.

at Macomb Lutheran North (7-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 11
Including a 49-27 win two seasons ago, the Cranes have beaten the Mustangs in each of the last three meetings. Despite the recent success, the Cranes only lead the all-time series by two wins.

vs. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard (2-7) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
The Fighting Irish have clinched the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons and reached a Division 5 state semifinal in 2012. When the Cranes and Fighting Irish played last season, Cranbrook scored its highest point total of the season in a 42-7 win.

at TBA Prep Bowl or Crossover — 7 p.m. Oct. 25
Cranbrook’s opponent for Week 9 had yet to be determined at press time.

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