Dowagiac travels to Three Rivers Friday

Published 4:34 am Monday, October 27, 2008

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Dowagiac Daily News
Dowagiac, Cassopolis and Buchanan will continue their seasons this weekend as the opening round of the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs begin.
All three teams will hit the road with the Chieftains heading to Three Rivers, Cassopolis heading to Decatur and Buchanan heading to Hopkins.
The Chieftains and Wildcats will kick things off at 7 p.m.
While Dowagiac, Three Rivers, Cassopolis and Decatur are no strangers to each other in the post season.This will be the first meeting between the Bucks and Vikings.
Dowagiac and Three Rivers last met in the playoffs in 2006 with the Chieftains taking a 27-7 victory over the Wildcats.
The Rangers and the Raiders squared off in 2006 as well with Decatur taking an 18-13 victory.
The Chieftains will be making their fourth straight appearance in the playoffs, while the Rangers are in their third straight post season and the Bucks' their fourth appearance in the past five years.
Dowagiac coach Mike Stanger and his staff fully expected to play Three Rivers with Paw Paw hosting South Haven if the lines were drawn north and south instead of east and west.
"We thought we might be going to Hamilton, but we knew if we were in with Paw Paw they would be the No. 1 seed," Stanger said Sunday night. "Grand Rapids had a perfect eight teams, so they were kept together and Three Rivers came with us."
Stanger traded films with Wildcats' coach J.J. Wagner Sunday night and the two shared a laugh about not having to do too much research about their first round opponent.
"We are both different teams from the first meeting," Stanger said. "We have had some personnel changes and I am sure they do some things different."
Stanger said that one of the keys to winning on Friday night will playing more consistent on offense.