It’s been a season of firsts for the Winthrop/Monmouth football team. The Ramblers played their first game as a co-operative program and won their first season-opener in three years, beating Lisbon 14-8 last Saturday. The Ramblers also won their first game at Maxwell Field in three years.

Next on the Ramblers’ radar: A winning streak.

Winthrop/Monmouth (1-0) seeks its first winning streak since it won six straight to open the 2010 season when it plays at Old Orchard Beach (1-0) at 7 tonight.

“We’re a pretty confident group,” Winthrop/Monmouth senior wide receiver Drew Stratton said. “But we know if we don’t play our best game, we’re going to go down there and lose.”

The Ramblers finished a combined 5-11 the last two seasons, but they turned some heads with the victory over Quincy Thompson and Lisbon last weekend.

If the Ramblers were over-looked before, they aren’t now.

“We’re not going to be able to sneak up anyone this year,” Winthrop coach Joel Stoneton said. “Beating a team like Lisbon, that’s a pretty big deal.”

Added Phil Rowe, a Monmouth senior who plays fullback and middle linebacker: “I feel like we have a big target on our back now. Everyone wants to take us down.”

The Ramblers last weekend ran 60 offensive plays, of which 55 were on the ground. Zach Glazier received the bulk of the carries, rushing for 138 yards on 31 carries.

Glazier played sparingly on defense, a luxury of the team’s depth this season, which helped keep him fresh. He expects yards might be a little more difficult to come by against a Seahawks team that went 7-3 last season and reached the Western C Campbell Conference semifinals.

“I expect we’ll see a lot of guys in the box this week,” he said. “But I have confidence in our passing game. We have a lot of guys who can step up. We have the ability to switch things up.”

Old Orchard Beach is a veteran team, with 23 juniors or seniors on its 34-player roster.

Running back Joe Gildard, quarterback Bryan Roberts and wide receiver Tyler Scott — all seniors — lead the Seagulls.

OOB came from behind to defeat Traip 34-14 last weekend. Roberts completed 4 of 8 passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns.

“We have a nice looking team,” Roberts said. “We’re pretty hungry. We have the experience and it should be an interesting game.”

Added OOB coach Dean Plante: “We’re balanced, which is kind of unique in this league. We have multiple ball carriers and we have a good quarterback who can throw it. I think this will be a pretty good measuring stick for us.”

Should the Ramblers look to open up their passing game, they will look to senior quarterback Jared Hanson to get into a rhythm. Stratton, Dakota Carter, Zack Phinney and Brandon Goff, among others, headline a deep receiving group.

“I think we’ll see what they give us,” Stoneton said. “We can do different things. We’ll take what’s there. It should be a great game.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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