Devon’s Sports Watch

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Another week of school down and that means another week of high school sports is in the books. This is the 4th installment of the sports watch this year and it’s off to a great start. Most of the topics this week haven’t changed, except this week we will talk about

Coach Sklad and quarterback Ian Casey discussing a play during the 2nd quarter against L'Anse Creuse.

Devon Schwarze-Hemelberg
Coach Sklad and quarterback Ian Casey discussing a play during the 2nd quarter against L’Anse Creuse.

1. Fraser Football Grabs 2nd Win of the Year

Friday night marked the second straight win for the Fraser Ramblers. This week’s game against L’Anse Creuse was a contest between two 1-5 teams. The Ramblers now sit at the 2-5, but are still near the bottom of the MAC Blue division.

The Ramblers raced out to an early 13-0 halftime lead against the Lancers. Walter Davis scored on a 2 yard touchdown run. Junior Tshaun Kimbrough caught his first touchdown in the first half on a deep ball thrown by Ian Casey. The two would hook up again late in the game.

Fraser started right where they left off once the 2nd half began, scoring on the first drive of the half. They would take a 20-0 lead, but soon after they gave the Lancers an opportunity to score and they capitalized. L’Anse Creuse stormed back, bringing the game to a 20-20 tie after Fraser’s Danny Diem blocked the go ahead field goal. The pressure was on for the Ramblers as all momentum had swung to the home team’s side. The Lancer’s and their crowd were back into the game and boy were they loud.

The next possession saw the Ramblers’ Ian Casey throw a strike to Tshaun Kimbrough for a touchdown. A young sophomore quarterback with the confidence of a 4 year varsity starter, Casey stood in the pocket to throw a beautiful ball to Fraser’s #1 receiver and it couldn’t have been placed any better. The crowd roared and the players on the sideline exploded down the line to greet the offense. Hand shakes and hugs all around as the Ramblers took a 27-20 lead early in the 4th.

L’Anse Creuse Carlos Smith led the offense down the field. Breaking down the defense using his arm and legs, Smith was able to get the Lancers into the redzone. The drive was capped off by a jet sweep reverse to Anton Jones, who blew past the defense for an easy 5 yard score. The Lancers went for the win, using a fake field goal to attempt to take the lead, but were unsuccessful as the place holder floated a pass that was knocked down by cornerback Josh Brady.

Fraser recovered the onside attempt with just over a minute left on the clock. All they had to do was run the ball and run down the clock. Instead lead running back Luke Warchol received the carry and took it all the way to the right side, down the sideline, and for the score. Dylan Donnelly kicked in the extra point for a 34-26 Fraser lead. The Lancers would need to drive the length of the field in just over a minute.

Carlos Smith started off the drive and went straight to his star Griffin Oresky for a first down. He went right back to Oresky who had been covered all night by sophomore Josh Brady. Again Oresky caught the ball to bring the ball inside the Ramblers’ 35 yard line. Brady had been targeted often Friday night and for most of the night he was beat as Griffin caught 4 passes for 100 yds and a TD. After an incompletion, the clock sat with just over 30 seconds left on it and the ball still more than 30 yards from the end zone. Carlos Smith dropped back in the pocket, quickly stepping up in the pocket as pressure arrived. He threw a bullet to Oresky, but this time the ball was caught by Brady. The interception sealed the game for the Ramblers as this young team acquired their second win of the year. Throwing against a good cornerback is a lot like playing with fire; at some point you’re going to get burned and that’s exactly what happened to Smtih.

Senior Luke Warchol led the running attack with 28 rushes for 192 yds and 2 TDs. Tshaun Kimbrough scored both of the team’s receiving touchdowns. Danny Diem led the defense with 11 tackles and Brady contributed with by picking off the last pass of the night.

The Lancers Carlos Smith threw for 122 yds and a TD. The two headed monster of Ryan Zemla (86 yds) and Joe Wakefield (105 yds) combined to have 12 carries for 206 yds and a score. Kiren Turner had a rushing touchdown and 35 yds for L’Anse Creuse as well.

The offense seems to be moving the chains better as they’ve scored 62 points in the last 2 games (34 points scored Friday night). The playcalling has been better in recent weeks as they’ve went with a more aggressive game plan, which has worked well so far. Balance has been a key factor in the the team’s two wins as they’ve thrown the ball quite often. Usually when it gets colder, teams are more likely to feature a heavy run attack, but the coaching staff has went with a game plan that’s featured a lot of play action and deep balls. This has kept teams off guard as seen by the two long touchdowns receptions in last week’s game. If the team continues to run hard and stretch the field, it should keep the opposition on their toes and help the offense to continue to score.

Your Fraser Ramblers will play their next game at home against former coach Patrick Threet and the Lakeview Huskies on October 16th at 7pm. The Huskies are 1-6 with their lone win coming to Lake Shore. This week’s game is also Fraser’s homecoming game. They won last year’s game vs the Lancers and are looking to extend that streak this year.

 

2. Fraser Soccer Gears Up as Districts Approach

The Fraser Ramblers had a good week, but it was somewhat disappointing as their tie vs Eisenhower last week ensures that they cannot win the MAC Red. The team won 2 games against Stevenson and Lake Shore by scores of 1-0 and 8-0. Their lone tie came Wednesday at Eisenhower in a matchup of two of  Macomb County’s best teams. The Ramblers Nick Sharpe had a great week as he scored vs Stevenson and assisted 4 times against the Shorians. John Steffes got three shutouts and moved his season total to 13. He is 4 shutouts away from tying last year’s record of 17 set by Alec Sharpe. Alex Mezin and Jordan Hogard each scored twice in Friday’s win. The team is now 15-2-3 on the year and will face the Utica Chieftains on Monday night. The game starts at 7pm and is at Utica.

This is the final week for the Ramblers before Districts. They will face the Stevenson Titans Tuesday night, October 20th, at Fraser high school. This is the first round of Districts and is a one loss tournament so one lose and a team is done for the year.

 

3. Eisenhower Upsets Chippewa Valley

Going into Friday night’s game, the Big Reds had a share of the MAC Red. That was until they faced the Eisenhower Eagles. Coach Smith and his team marched right into Chippewa Valley’s stadium and came out with a 17-3 win.

The Eagles pressured Chippewa’s Patrick Briningstool all night and made it tough for him to complete throws. Chippewa had a tough time moving the chains as they didn’t score until the last few minutes of the 2nd quarter. That was all the Big Reds would muster as Eisenhower kept the offense in check for the rest of the night.

This has been a crazy year in the MAC Red as every team has lost at least one or more divisional game and their is a 2 way tie for the title. Each team is now 2-2 in the MAC Red. Both teams have a chance to still win the division, but a lot would have to happen for either of those scenarios to work out.

 

4. Marysville Upsets Sterling Heights

The Stallions are having a remarkable year so far as they have made quite the turn around from last year. The team is now 5-2 after finishing last year 1-8. The team suffered their 2nd loss of the year last Friday when they were trounced by the Marysville Vikings. They were beat handedly on the road by a score of 48-21.

The team raced out to a 34-14 lead and made the 2nd half an easy one for Marysville. The offense was firing on all cylinders as they eclipsed over 400 yards in the win. The Vikings Ryan Ellul ran for 231 yards on 27 carries, crossing the goal line 5 times. Marysville added scores by Kyle Cook and Dante Kiger.

The win put Marysville in a tie with the Stallions and Marine City at 3-1 in the MAC Gold. If Sterling Heights and Marysville finish with the same divisional record and are the only two teams at the top of the division, the Vikings would receive the title by way of head to head tiebreaker.

 

5. What To Watch For

Next week’s matchup between Sterling Heights Stevenson and Dakota would be for outright control of the MAC Red title. The winner of the game would control its own destiny and by winning their final 2 games  would win the MAC Red. The game will be played at Dakota on October 16th at 7pm. It should be one of the top games in the state for this week as the name has huge implications in both the MAC Red and the Division 1 Playoffs that start at the end of October.

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