Dowagiac rallies to blow out Coloma

Published 8:58 am Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dowagiac's Brandon Hatch tries to get away from a Coloma defender Friday night. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Dowagiac’s Brandon Hatch tries to get away from a Coloma defender Friday night. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

A lack of focus in the first half had the Dowagiac football team on its heels heading into halftime of its homecoming game against Coloma Friday night.

The Chieftains trailed 16-7 to the Comets after the first two quarters, but some halftime adjustments and a commitment to the running game turned the tide for Dowagiac in the final 24 minutes at Chris Taylor-Alumni field.

The result was 43 unanswered points and a 55-16 victory for the Chieftains, who improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Wolverine Conference West Division.

“We came out flat in the first half and I talk responsibility for that as the head coach,” Dowagiac’s Mike Stanger said. “We thought we were guarding against it all week, but we came out flat, we had some turnovers, but I am so proud of these kids because they never give up.”

Just as they did the previous week against Berrien Springs, the Chieftain defense stepped up at perhaps the biggest moment of the game and turned things around for Dowagiac.

The Comets (1-4) were driving for a potential touchdown that would have put them up 23-7 midway through the third quarter when linebacker Rolly Lucio stepped in front of a Caleb Hester pass and returned it 58 yards down to the Coloma 16-yard line.

Three plays later Brandon Hatch scored from eight yards out, Chase Camp added the 2-point conversion and the Chieftains were ahead for good, 22-16.

Dowagiac would score four more times, including a 6-yard run by Lucio to complete the rout.

The Chieftains finished the night with 424 yards in total offense, including 257 yards rushing in the second half. Dowagiac did not attempt a single pass in the final two quarters of play.

Aaron Adams led the Chieftains with 105 yards rushing, which included a 52-yard run in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring. Hatch finished with a pair of touchdowns, while Brody Froehlich and Camp each scored once.

Coloma was held to just 77 yards of total offense in the second half. The Comets had 178 yards in the opening 24 minutes of play.

Zach Williams led the defense with a pair of interceptions and a key pass break-up in the second half.


Coloma 6 10 0 0 – 16

Dowagiac 7 0 15 28 – 50

C – Jason Irvin 38 pass from Caleb Hester (kick failed)

D – Brody Froehlich 17 run (Xavier Marquart kick)

C – Irvin 30 field goal

C – Hester 1 run (Irvin kick)

D – Chase Camp 2 run (Marquart kick)

D – Brandon Hatch 8 run (Camp run)

D – Rolly Lucio 6 run (Austin Broda run)

D – Froehlich 1 run (Marquart kick)

D – Hatch 8 run (kick failed)

D – Aaron Adams 52 run (Marquart kick)