Updated: Vicksburg 21-point fourth quarter dooms Dowagiac

Published 12:35 pm Friday, August 25, 2017

VICKSBURG — Veteran Dowagiac coach Mike Stanger said there is work to be done following the Chieftains’ 38-27 loss to host Vicksburg Thursday night, but all is not lost.

The Chieftains led 27-17 with 4:21 to play in the third quarter, when the Bulldogs took control of the game.

Bulldogs’ quarterback Garrett Ketelaar was nearly unstoppable in the final 12 minutes as he spearheaded the Vicksburg comeback.

Ketelaar finished the game with 215 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown. He also threw for 79 yards and a pair of scores.

“We’ve got some work to do,” Stanger said. “We were not consistent on either side of the ball. We had inconsistency on the offensive side of the ball even though we put together a couple of drives. I thought the same thing about the defensive side of the ball. At times we played well, but we also gave up big plays. We allowed Ketelaar to get loose after we got pressure on him from the outside. We have to play more consistent and get the job done.”

Dowagiac’s Caleb Murphy was the star of the game for the Chieftains as he scored three times. Murphy scored on a 73-yard punt return, a 35-yard interception return and a 6-yard run.

“I thought Caleb played outstanding,” Stanger said. “Defense, offense and special teams. On defense we are moving him back and forth between defensive end and linebacker. He did a nice job of dropping back into coverage and then made a great run to return it for a touchdown. He also set up our other touchdown out of our wildcat package with a 45-yard run.”

The Chieftains (1-0) finished with just 91 yards rushing, led by Murphy, who carried the ball three times for 52 yards. Duan Simpson added 24 yards on four carries.

Brenden Dudley was 10-of-24 for 122 yards and a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jamin Hunt, who led Dowagiac with three receptions for 45 yards.

“I thought the effort was there,” Stanger said. “We were winning by 10 with eight minutes left in the game, but I do not think we played great football. It was close to average at best. We are young in some spots and we need to work to get better.”

The Bulldogs (1-0) finished with 276 yards rushing and another 78 passing as Ketelaar was 4-of-12 with a touchdown pass to Ryan Morgan.

Dowagiac faces another tough opponent Thursday when Three Rivers comes to Chris Taylor-Alumni Field, which has had a facelift with new visitor and home bleachers having been installed over the summer.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


At Vicksburg

Dowagiac 7 14 6 0 – 27

Vicksburg 7 7 3 21 – 38

V – Caleb Welch 19 run (Joe Brady kick).

D – Caleb Murphy 73 punt return (Drew Davis kick).

D – Murphy 34 interception return (Davis kick).

V – Ryan Morgan 28 pass from Garrett Ketelaar (Brady kick).

D – Jamin Hunt 27 pass from Brenden Dudley (Davis kick).

V – Brady 31 field goal.

D – Murphy 6 run (kick blocked)

V – Adam Henderson 34 pass from Ketelaar (Brady kick).

V – DJ Bullock punt block (Brady kick).

V – Ketelaar 3 run (Brady kick).

Varsity records: Dowagiac 0-1, Vicksburg 1-0.