The Three Rivers football team loads up the bus and heads to Dowagiac tonight for a Wolverine Conference tussle. The Chieftains are 5-1 and a game behind league-leading Edwardsburg (6-0) going into tonight. The Wildcats are third in the standings at 4-2.
We briefly caught up with Three Rivers coach J.J. Wagner, whose team is coming off an emotional overtime victory at home last week against Berrien Springs, to get his thoughts on tonight’s matchup.
What’s your assessment of Dowagiac?
“Dowagiac always has tough, physical kids and they are extremely well coached. This year is no different. They feature a 4-3 defense with multiple coverages and blitzes, which is quite similar to our own.
“Offensively, they feature a version of the wing-T, similar to Berrien Springs. They do appear to throw the ball a bit more this year, and their quarterback is a pretty good athlete.”
What do your boys need to do to top Dowagiac and take its spot in the league standings?
“To be successful, we have to be more physical, take care of the football, and force some turnovers.”
How much did last week’s thrilling victory boost your program’s confidence needing to win two of the last three games?
“The win over Berrien Springs was big on a lot of fronts. First of all it was just a great night. The weather was good, we had a big crowd, and with it being homecoming, too, it was pretty special the way it ended. It also keeps us in line for a playoff berth and in contention for the division. Hopefully, it reinforces to our kids they do have the ability to overcome obstacles, and persevere when things get tough. With that being said, this week’s game is just as critical and we’ll be ready to go.”