Dowagiac falls to Three Rivers 35-14Published 6:27pm Sunday, September 6, 2009
By RICK SWANSON
Dowagiac Daily News
VICKSBURG – “We knew they were going to go vertical,” Coach Mike Stanger said Friday night after the Chieftain’s 35-14 loss to the Three Rivers Wildcats under the lights of Vicksburg stadium.
The original game was to take place Thursday night at Three Rivers Stadium, but due to problems at the stadium, a neutral site was selected and moved to Friday night.
It could not have been a more beautiful night for high school football in Southwestern Michigan with the temperature hovering in the low 70s, not a breeze to be felt, and the gently fading sun in the western sky.
On the field, however, it was a different story.
The Chieftains started their comeback too late to make a dent in Three Rivers’ sizable first-half lead of 35-0.
The Chiefs struggled to guard the pass and keep the Wildcat wide receivers covered. The Wildcats senior quarterback Aaron Spence threw for 312 yards, with 263 of those yards coming in the first half.
He lit up the night sky with each successive pass, going 13-of-17 attempts, including touchdown passes of 69-, 59-, and 65-yards.
The Chieftains came out of the locker room for the second half with a new sense of urgency.
“There was a lot we did not do in the first half, but… we did a better job (in the second half),” Coach Stanger remarked.
All 14 Chieftain points came in the third quarter; by then, however, the damage had been done. In the first drive of the second half, junior quarterback Austin Adams handed the ball off to senior Jon Myers for a 56-yard touchdown run.
This score gave the Chieftain defense momentum as they stopped the Three Rivers offense in just five downs on the Wildcats next possession.
Early in the third quarter, Adams was taken out of the game with a knee injury, and was replaced by junior Mike Pranschke who guided the squad down the field culminating with a 24-yard pass to Senior Brandon Douglas. Pranschke finished the game in relief of Adams and completed two of four passes.
Junior Troy Butcher and Douglas carried the ball eight and seven times respectively for 85 yards. Additionally, Adams carried the ball six times for 12 yards and Myers for 59 yards on four carries.
Douglas caught three passes for a total of 53 yards, Troy Butcher caught two for 13 yards and senior Destin Payne had a 12-yard pass completion.
On defense, senior linebacker Cody Nowak had seven tackles, junior defensive back Mike Bennett had five, and seniors Adam Roach and Sinjin Ownby, along with junior Ryne Lindsey, each recorded four tackles.
Next week the Chieftains take the field against Vicksburg at Christ Taylor-Alumni Field.
Dowagiac 0 0 7 7 – 14
Three Rivers 21 14 0 0 – 35
TR — Thomas O’Dell 69 pass from Aaron Spence (Kyle Lokar kick)
TR — Alec Friel 2 run (Lokar kick)
TR — Dan Shutes 59 pass from Spence (Lokar kick)
TR — Lokar 10 pass from Spence (Lokar kick)
TR — Lokar 65 pass from Spence (Lokar kick)
D — Jon Myers 56 run (Cody Carnell kick)
D — Brandon Douglas 24 pass from Mike Pranschke (Carnell kick)