Chieftains have some work to do
Published 9:24 pm Monday, September 16, 2013
It’s been a struggle for the Dowagiac offense so far in 2013.
Part of that comes from inexperience as the Chieftains had to replace 18 of 22 starters from last year’s squad, which went undefeated in the regular season.
Part of that has also been because of injuries.
Dowagiac (2-1) started Austin Broda at quarterback in the season opener, but he was replaced midway through the game by Bryce Dodd because Broda had to jump over to the defensive side of the football when the Chieftains lost Devin Chapman.
Now, Broda will return to the starting quarterback spot because Dodd has been lost for up to five weeks with a broken bone suffered in the fourth quarter Friday night.
Veteran Dowagiac coach Mike Stanger hopes to have Chapman back shortly as well as Rolly Lucio, who plays linebacker and running back for the Chieftains.
Stanger won’t have Davion Highsmith at his disposal against Berrien Springs Friday night as he awaits the word on the extent of his knee injury.
Highsmith suffered the injury against Comstock in Week 2 and missed Friday’s game against Plainwell.
No matter who is in the starting lineup or available for Dowagiac, Stanger and his staff must find a way to generate more offense.
“We have got to put it together offensively,” Stanger said following the game. “The second half I thought we did a better job. We still missed some receivers who were open when we threw the ball and we had too many turnovers. You can’t win games with five turnovers. And when you defense gets you three turnovers in the first half and you don’t capitalize on it, that’s the game right there.
“We are going to go back to work. These kids are going to work hard. We are going to make the adjustments we need to make offensively. We have some ideas personnel-wise what we want to do and we are going to find out what we are made of. Our character is going to be tested.”
The Chieftain defense has been outstanding through the first three weeks of the season, allowing just eight points per game with a shutout already in the books. Dowagiac has given up less than 200 yards in total offense in two of its first three contests.
The Chieftains will host the Shamrocks (1-2) Friday night at Chris Taylor-Alumni Field.
The Shamrocks are coming off a 13-0 loss to Otsego Friday night. Berrien Springs outgained the Bulldogs 275-234, but could not find the end zone.
Kickoff for Friday night’s contest is set for 7 p.m. The Michigan State band is scheduled to perform at the game.