Dowagiac gets defensive in win over South HavenPublished 2:14am Saturday, August 29, 2009
By SCOTT NOVAK
Dowagiac Daily News
Defense and a punishing ground game combined for a lopsided season opening victory for host Dowagiac Friday night at Chris Taylor-Alumni Field.
When all was said and done, the Chieftains had a 41-6 Wolverine Conference victory.
The Chieftains set the tone for the game on the first play by stuffing South Haven quarterback Isaiah Magett.
After a three and out, Dowagiac started running the football right at and around the Rams.
In the end, the Chieftains had amassed 459 yards rushing.
It took Dowagiac’s offense a while to get on track, but once it did, there was no stopping the Chieftains.
Dowagiac scored five rushing touchdowns and had a couple called back due to penalties.
With 18 seconds left in the opening quarter, Jon Myers scored the first touchdown of the 2009 season on a 19-yard run.
Cody Carnell, who had missed on an earlier field goal attempt, hit the first of his five extra point kicks on the night.
South Haven appeared to be ready to put up a fight, as they answered the Chieftain touchdown with one of their own with 4:26 remaining in the opening half.
Josh Taylor scored on a 56-yard run, which included a couple of broken tackles.
“Overall, defensively I thought we played outstanding, take away that one touchdown run,” Dowagiac coach Mike Stanger said. “I thought the pass coverage was good and I thought the run defense was good outside of that one play.”
Dowagiac would score twice more before the end of the first half.
Brandon Douglas, who had a touchdown run taken away by a penalty in the first quarter, scored on a 13-yard run.
Then, with time winding down in the second quarter, South Haven punter Trevor Stricklin couldn’t handle the snap and Myers fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
Carnell tacked on both extra points and the Chieftains headed to the locker room with a 21-6 lead.
It was all Dowagiac all the time in the second half.
Steven Baylock scored on a 17-yard run through the heart of the Rams’ defense, dragging and running over tacklers on his way to the end zone.
Douglas added a 68-yard jaunt to paydirt in the third quarter to give the Chieftains a 34-6 lead.
The final score came on a 10-yard run by Carnell in the final seconds of the contest.
“I think we have got big play potential with our offense,” Stanger said. “We know we have a lot of running backs in the stable. Tonight we had 10 different guys carry the ball for us. We know we have got some stuff to clean up, like penalties because we had too many of them tonight. But overall, I thought we wore them down and I thought we played very physical.”
Troy Butcher led Dowagiac with 122 yards on 10 carries, while Myers added 95 yards on seven totes and Douglas finished with 90 yards on 12 carries.
Austin Adams was 2-of-5 for 29 yards.
Taylor led the Rams with 90 yards on the ground on just five carries.
Magett was 12-of-34 for 77 yards and three interceptions.
Douglas, Butcher and Ryne Lindsey all had picks for the Chieftains. Adam Roach and Myers recovered fumbles.
South Haven 0 6 0 0 – 6
Dowagiac 7 14 13 7 – 41
D – Jon Myers 19 run (Cody Carnell kick)
S – Josh Taylor 56 run (kick failed)
D – Brandon Douglas 13 run (Carnell kick)
D – Myer fumble recovery (Carnell kick)
D – Steven Baylock 17 run (Carnell kick)
D – Douglas 68 run (kick failed)
D – Carnell 10 run (Carnell kick)