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Fraser, Grosse Pointes

October 4, 2013

Fraser stuns Grosse Pointe North

Ramblers come from 20 points down in fourth quarter to win

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Fraser’s Jeff Mainhardt runs the ball on a kick return against Grosse Pointe North. Mainhardt started the game with a kickoff return for touchdown, and he also caught a 7-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Homecoming celebrations were going according to plan perfectly on and off of the field for Grosse Pointe North through three quarters of play Friday night.

With a 34-14 lead, it appeared that the Norsemen were going to cruise to a comfortable victory before taking on their crosstown rivals next week, but Fraser had other plans.

It appeared North was going to stop Fraser when the Ramblers were going to punt on the third play of the fourth quarter, but on fourth-and-29 the Norsemen were ruled for roughing the punter.

Fraser's punter initially fumbled the snap, and after scrambling to get a rugby-style punt off, the punter was hit out of bounds by North defenders, and that was enough for a roughing call that gave Fraser new life.

Three plays later, Nate Heyward officially started the comeback with a 30-yard touchdown run to cut North's lead to 34-21.

On North's next possession, it was time for Fraser, especially Heyward, to turn up the heat on defense. Heyward sacked North quarterback Daniel Robinson twice to force a three-and-out.

Fraser would follow that up with a methodical, 13-play drive that was capped off with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Walker to Jeff Mainhardt, who also opened the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown. On the touchdown pass, Walker was nearly sacked and was forced to heave a desperate toss to the endzone, which found the hands of Mainhardt to cut the North lead to six.

"I knew the rush was coming once I got out of the pocket, and I knew if I didn't throw it we weren't going to win, so I just threw it up there and Jeff (Mainhardt) made a play," Walker said. "He hasn't played receiver all year long, so that was huge for him."

With only 1:52 remaining now, Fraser was forced into an onside kick, which it recovered at midfield.

On the first play after the kick recovery, Walker hit Ryan Regener on a 39-yard pass that would set up a 1-yard quarterback run for the game-winning touchdown by Walker two plays later.

North had just more than a minute to mount a come back drive of its own, but Robinson was sacked on the second play of the drive to seal the game.