Tigers avoid Dallas Co. scare, remain unbeaten

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Any person who has watched Doug Goodwin-coached teams knows that if an oppenent scores quickly, Goodwin’s teams just come back more aggressive.

During Friday night’s game at Dallas County, the Demopolis High Tigers would have to take a major beating for almost three quarters before they found that aggression and defeated the Hornets 31-20.

Fans didn’t have time to sit down with their popcorn before Dallas County’s Randall Browder returned the opening kickoff 90 yards to a touchdown. Anthony Wilson’s extra point was good, and the Hornet were quickly on top of the Tigers, 7-0.

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DHS had to settle for a field goal on their first drive. Devin Goodwin’s 27-yard kick was good with 2:35 left in the first.

Devin Goodwin intercepted Dallas County on their next drive, but they were not able to score despite reaching the Hornet 18-yard-line.

Hornets were delivering some vicious blows to Tiger players in the first half. Dustin Gracie and Chad Schroder received some hard licks in the first quarter, and Rod Jones was seen being worked on by the trainer. Dallas County were intent upon punishing the visitors Friday night.

Both teams began trading punts, then they traded fumbles in the second quarter.

The Hornets would wind up with a DHS fumble at midfield, move the ball successfully, and Browder scored again with a one-yard TD run. The extra point was good, and with 41.2 seconds left in the first half, the DHS fans were shocked by the score 14-3 in favor of Dallas County.

The Tigers got moving as the first half was ending. They should have scored on a pass to Bart Pettus who as he was being tackled lateraled the ball to Rod Jones. The referee said Pettus was down. To add insult, Pettus’ knee was injured on the play.

The first half ended with the score still 14-3.

The Tigers came out fired up for the third quarter, but neither team could move the ball. DHS gave the Hornets a gift when Schroeder fumbled on a punt return. Dallas County drove the ball from midfield again, and Browder scored again on a 12-yard run with 5:55 left in the third. At least the Tigers blocked the extra point.

It did not look good for DHS, but there was just too much time left for a Doug Goodwin offense.

The Tigers began their next drive on their own 37-yard line. Dontrell Miller picked up a crucial first down on 4th down and 2 at 4:29.

Devin Goodwin then passed to Chris Wasson to reach midfield, and scored with a 53-yard pass to Colby Roberts. The extra point kick hit the cross bar and was no good. With 3:19 left in the third quarter, the score was Dallas County 20-DHS 9.

The Tiger defense stopped the Hornets, and Dallas County received a dead ball penalty on their punt. DHS had the ball on the 50.

A pass to Dontrell Miller got the ball to the 36-yard line. Three runs by Rod Jones inched the ball to the 23-yard line, and Jonathan Sommers scored with a 23-yard pass from Goodwin.

DHS went for two, and the pass to Michael Lee was just inside the goal line. The Tigers had moved closer, and with five seconds left in the third quarter, the score was DC 20-DHS 17.

The Hornets began to move the ball again in the fourth quarter from their own 33-yard line, but as they moved into Tiger territory they were intercepted by Vincent Jackson.

That was the time the Demopolis fans saw the true hearts of their Tigers. Starting at the Hornet 36-yard line, Gracie drug defenders with him to the 21-yard line. Schroeder ran to the 12-yard line, and after hard running by Gracie and Jones, Gracie would score on a five-yard run to give Demopolis its first lead on the night.

The extra kick was good, and with 7:42 left in the fourth, the score was DHS 24-DC 20.

Next the Tiger kickoff was out of bounds, then the rekick gave the Hornets the ball at midfield. Dallas County fumbled but recovered and then were sacked by the DHS defense.

An interception by Seth Basinger ended the Dallas County threat and began the final scoring drive for DHS on the Hornet 36-yard line.

Hard running by Rod Jones and Jacob Smelly brought the ball down to the 11th yard line. On 4th down and 3 with 3:34 left in the game, Rod Jones got the first down.

Gracie would reach the three-yard line, and Jones would get the score with 2:19 left. The extra point was good, and Demopolis led 31-20.

Dallas County’s last drive began on their 31-yard line. They would move the ball to the Tiger 34-yard line before Vincent Jackson snuffed out their threat with another interception.

The Demopolis High Tigers are 9-0 and area champions.

After the game, coach Goodwin said "Dallas County was ready to play." However, he had told the team that "the most insignificant thing in a football game is the halftime.

Demopolis will travel to Jackson High School Friday for the final regular season game. If all goes well they will likely play Hillcrest-Evergreen in the first playoff game at home.