Dowagiac dismantles South Haven 55-0Published 10:30pm Friday, September 28, 2012
Dowagiac tuned up for a key three-game stretch to end the regular season with a 55-0 victory over visiting South Haven at Chris Taylor-Alumni Field Friday.
The Chieftains, 3-0 in the Wolverine Conference West Division, also qualified for the post season as they improved to 6-0 overall.
Dowagiac coach Mike Stanger said he wanted his team to become more balanced offensively as it began preparation for the final games of the regular season and the post season. The Chieftains did just that in amassing 435 yards in total offense.
Dowagiac ran for 244 yards and passed for 191 yards. Chieftain quarterbacks Brett Scanlon and Cal Cox were a combined 9-of-12 and two touchdowns in the first half as they opened up a 48-0 lead.
Dowagiac ran the ball exclusively in the second half, which was played with a running clock and took less than 25 minutes to complete.
“We talked about it, championship teams play at a high level every week,” Dowagiac coach Mike Stanger said. “You don’t have a letdown and you don’t play down to your opponent. We wanted to prove that we could come out and we could execute and I thought effort and the focus was there all night.
“We practice throwing the ball all the time. So especially these last three weeks teams are going to try to put eight or nine in the box to stop the run. I feel we have some backs and receivers who can catch the ball and we have two quarterbacks who can throw it. We wanted to come out and try to do some different things tonight.”
Dontel Highsmith, who played his first game of the season a week ago, made his presence felt even more Friday night with three touchdowns. Highsmith, who recently gave a verbal commitment to play basketball at Northern Illinois, caught a 48-yard touchdown pass, returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and returned an interception 39 yards for another score.
He finished with 138 yards in total offense as he had two receptions for 73 yards and two kick returns for another 65 yards.
Highsmith was one of seven different receivers that Cox and Scanlon connected with out of their nine completions.
Cox finished the night 6-of-8 for 115 yards and a touchdown, while Scanlon was 3-of-4 for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Scanlon also was the leading rusher for the Chieftains with 57 yards on three carries. In all, 10 players carried the football for Dowagiac.
The Chieftain defense, which entered the game allowing just 5.2 points per game and had given up just 26 points the entire season, recorded its third consecutive shutout.
Dowagiac held the Rams to just 108 yards in total offense, all of which came through the air. South Haven quarterback Trenton Smiley was 9-of-19 with two interceptions. Will Anders rushed 10 times for 30 yards, but negative yardage and sack yardage on five other plays negated any yardage on the ground for the Rams.
The Chieftains will now set their sights on Three Rivers to begin a stretch of three games against quality opponents to end the regular season.
After Friday night’s game with the Wildcats on the road, Dowagiac wraps up the season with a Homecoming contest against Edwardsburg Oct. 12 and against visiting Otsego Oct. 19.
South Haven 0 0 0 0 – 0
Dowagiac 28 20 6 0 – 55
D – Brett Scanlon 46 run (Scanlon kick)
D – Dontel Highsmith 48 pass from Cal Cox (Scanlon kick)
D – Davion Highsmith 12 pass from Scanlon (Scanlon kick)
D – Dontel Highsmith 65 punt return (Scanlon kick)
D – Dontel Highsmith 39 interception return (Scanlon kick)
D – Todd McIntyre 10 run (Scanlon kick)
D – D.J. Hunt 1 run (kick failed)
D – Shane Bevins 16 run (Scanlon kick)