One to forget
Published 6:58 pm Saturday, October 18, 2003
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- In the 100 times Niles and Dowagiac have met on the football field, never until Friday night was the game decided by the play of a girl.
Dowagiac's Hillary Bisnett kicked a 24-yard field goal to give the Chieftains a 31-28 double-overtime victory.
For Bisnett, who has been solid as an extra-point kicker for Dowagiac this season, it was her first ever field goal.
Both teams went scoreless in the first overtime. Niles then missed a field goal attempt on the first possession of the second overtime. Dowagiac managed just three yards on its first three downs in the second overtime before Bisnett's kick.
The victory was the fourth straight for the Chieftains who are now 5-3 on the year and 3-0 in the West Division of the Big-16 Conference. Niles, ranked No. 10 in Division 3, fell to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in West play.
Niles scored four touchdowns and a field goal in regulation compared to just four touchdowns for Dowagiac, but the Vikings had trouble converting on special teams.
Marcus Lawshea kicked an extra point following the first touchdown of the game but Niles never converted on its point-after attempts.
Niles took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter when Lonnie Jones scored on a 38-yard carry and Lawshea kicked the extra point before connecting on a 40-yard field goal.
Dowagiac roared back to take a 14-10 halftime lead with a one-yard quarterback keeper by Jesse Cox, a fumble recovery in the end zone by Schuyler File and a two-point conversion run by Ryan Withorn.
Niles came out fired up in the second half and regained the lead on its first play from scrimmage when Jones broke free for a 69-yard touchdown run.
The Vikings tacked on another touchdown when Josh Schoenthaler scored from 29 yards out but a failed extra points and a failed two-point conversion attempt left Niles with only a 22-14 lead.
Cox then connected with Landon Reed on a 15-yard touchdown pass and Niles stopped the two-point conversion try to preserve a 22-20 lead.
After Jones' four-yard touchdown carry and another missed extra point, Dowagiac's Robbie Ferrier scored on an 11-yard carry. Cox again passed to Reed for the tying two-point conversion.
Niles travels to St. Joseph to finish the regular season next week.