Chieftains getting defensive as year goes onPublished 8:31am Thursday, October 1, 2009
By SCOTT NOVAK
Dowagiac Daily News
The Dowagiac varsity football team improved to 4-1 last Friday night with a 47-12 win over visiting Comstock.
This week, the Chieftains are hoping that its defense can continue to play well as they host Plainwell (1-4) at Chris Taylor-Alumni Field.
Dowagiac has allowed just 91 points in 2009, second lowest in the league.
Take out the first half of the Three Rivers game and the second half of the Allegan game and those numbers would be even more impressive.
Dowagiac is allowing just 18.6 points per game on defense. The Chieftains have forced 14 fumbles this season, recovering nine and intercepted seven passes.
Jon Myers has two fumble recoveries, while Cody Nowak, Anthony Nelson, Ryne Lindsey, Troy Butcher, Sinjin Ownby and Tremail Butcher have also fallen on loose pigskins.
Lindsey, who picked off a pair of passes Friday night against the Colts, leads the team with three picks.
Troy Butcher has two interceptions, with Nelson and Tremail Butcher notching the others.
Nelson leads the team in total tackles with 47, two better than Nowak.
Nelson and Myers have combined for 22 of Dowagiac’s 52 tackles for loss.
Nowak leads the team in sacks with four.
In need of work
Dowagiac coach Mike Stanger said that the Chieftains’ passing game is in need of work.
Quarterbacks Austin Adams and Mike Pranschke are a combined 14-of-42 for 190 yards and four interceptions.
“We have got to improve our passing game,” Stanger said. “Teams are starting to put nine and 10 guys in the box against us, so we have to complete some passes to keep teams honest.”
Stanger said he was hoping to have Cody Carnell back this week after he sat out last week’s contest.
Carnell, who has a bad hip, handles the kicking duties for the Chieftains.
Dowagiac struggled last week on extra points and kickoffs. Backup kicker Kyle Wright was kicking with a bum knee.