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Optimistic Fraser seeks first 2-0 start under Threet GAME OF THE WEEK

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Pat Threet encourages his Fraser football team to approach the season in three-week stretches.

A victory in their next game would give the Ramblers a 2-0 record in the first third of their season, and put Fraser in a place it’s never been in Threet’s tenure as coach.

Fraser kicked off the season with a 28-21 victory over visiting Utica in the Macomb County Game of the Week on Thursday night.

The Ramblers trailed 14-0 in the first quarter and 21-14 at halftime, but rallied in the second half.

“It’s definitely a quality win,” Threet said after the Ramblers, who are in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division, beat the MAC White Chieftains.

Luke Warchol, a 160-pound junior back, rushed 19 times for 158 yards. He also scored a touchdown that broke a 21-21 tie in the second half.

Sophomore Tshaun Kimbrough, sophomore Dominic Mielke, senior quarterback Dylan Walker and senior blocking back Marcus Bowers made the Ramblers’ ground game go with the help of an aggressive front line.

“Our big fellas were kickin’ out everyone,” Walker said.

On defense, Fraser had big games from the likes of Jeff Mainhardt and Jared Roberts, who made six tackles apiece.

Fraser had a 3-6 record last season, Threet’s third as the Ramblers’ coach.

Fraser beat Marysville in its 2013 season opener, but then lost four games in a row before going 2-2 over the final four weeks of the schedule.

“We finished strong,” Threet said. “We started a lot of juniors.”

There’s an air of excitement about what the Ramblers might be capable of doing in the Blue Division this fall.

“I feel we’re going to be really good,” Threet said after the win over Utica.

“We’ve got some great senior leadership.”

Fraser has now won three season openers under Threet, but the Ramblers have yet to start 2-0 under the coach.

That could change next Friday if Fraser is able to defeat Cousino in both teams’ Blue Division opener.

“Coach always tells us to break the season into thirds,” Walker said. “Next week we’ve got Cousino. We’ve got to get ready for them.”

Walker and Threet liked what they saw from the Ramblers against Utica.

Kumehnnu Gwilly, Utica’s junior running back, gashed the Fraser defense for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, but the Ramblers adjusted and kept Gwilly and the Chieftains in check in the second and third quarters.

“We freed up our (defensive) ends,” Threet said. “We changed up a little something in there.”

Meanwhile, Walker and the rest of the Ramblers offense scored the only points of the second half on a pair of touchdowns.

“We fought, we fought, we fought,” the quarterback said.

Fraser hasn’t had a winning season going 5-4 in 2001.

That was during the time when Ray Barr was the Ramblers’ coach, an era when Fraser was a frequent playoff participant with teams that liked to play a hard-hitting game.

Fraser showed a liking for that style of play against Utica.

“We have some big, strong kids,” Threet said. “They eat it up. They love it.

“This is a great group of kids. I’m having a blast.”

Last Updated: 8/29/2014 7:01:32 PM EST