Dowagiac keeps playoff hopes alive with 54-14 rout of Rams

Published 3:02 pm Sunday, October 15, 2017

SOUTH HAVEN — The Dowagiac football team kept its playoff hopes alive with a 54-14 victory over winless South Haven Friday night.

The Chieftains (5-3) raced out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back in defeating the host Rams, who dropped to 0-8 on the season.

Dowagiac built a 33-7 halftime advantage as Caleb Murphy and Jamin Hunt both scored a pair of touchdowns.

Murphy scored on a 32-yard pass from Brenden Dudley and an 84-yard kickoff return after South Haven’s Joe McFarland put the Rams on the board with a 36-yard interception return.

Hunt scored on runs of 27 and 9 yards, while Duan Simpson’s 32-yard run accounted for the other Chieftain score.

Dowagiac scored three times in the third quarter to open take a 54-14 lead into the final quarter, which was played under a running clock.

Shiquan White opened the second-half scoring with a 34-yard run, while JJ Smith caught a 33-yard pass from Dudley and Richard Payne scored on a 33-yard run.

South Haven’s second-half touchdown came on a 33-yard pass reception by Griffin Rooker from Charles Soristo.

Dowagiac outgained South Haven 467-144.

The Chieftains rushed for 339 yards yards, led by Simpson, who carried the ball 11 times for 102 yards. Hunt and White finished with 75 and 72 yards rushing respectively.

Dudley was 11 of 14 for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Justin Lyle led the Dowagiac defense with six tackles, including two for loss.

Smith and Eddy Perez both recovered fumbles for the Chieftains.

Dowagiac hosts Paw Paw in its regular season finale at Chris Taylor-Alumni Field at 7 p.m. Friday.