Survival was DHS key Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The Tigers have done it again as they advance to the third round of the AHSAA playoffs beating the Opp Bobcats 17-10 Friday night. Although it wasn’t exactly pretty or even an easy victory, the main objective was achieved and the Tigers stay alive and live to fight another day.

Demopolis head coach Doug Goodwin admitted that he didn’t much care for all the turnovers and mistakes his team had Friday night but he was pleased with the end result and that is was matters most.

"The turnovers killed us, they seem to come in bunches. Either we don’t turn it over at all or we turn it over three, four, five times. Our turnover ratio had been pretty bad throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs and we have still managed to win both games. Granted if we hadn’t turned it over then we would have won by bigger scores but the fact is we won," Goodwin said.

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But if the Tigers have any hope of moving ahead next week then they had better go see a doctor. In the past two games the Tigers have fumbled the football a total of five times, losing three of the fumbles and have turned over five interceptions. It’s obvious that the Tigers are suffering from fumbleitus, which has apparently spread to turnoverism, the leading cause of defeat in high school football.

But thankfully the disease is not untreatable and with a little help, the tigers could be back to mistake free football condition in no time at all.

The Tigers have had their fair share of injuries in the past few weeks but managed to prevent any further injuries this week and look to head into week 13 fairly healthy.

"I thought the kids that were injured that come back to play Friday night did extremely well about as well as we could ask of them. And I would like to applaud Don Sprewell our athletic trainer for getting these kids back and taken good care of us," Goodwin said.

Offensively the tigers did considerably well considering they only were on the field for 15:26. "When we had the ball we moved. We just didn’t have it that often," Goodwin said.

The Tigers rushed for 72 yards on 21 carries and racked up 161 yards in the air. Running back Dustin Gracie lead the Tigers on the ground with 55 yards on 11 carries for both Tigers’ touchdowns. "I thought Gracie did an outstanding job especially in the second half and turned a 5-yard gain into a 20-yard touchdown by continuing to turn his feet and not letting up," Goodwin said.

But perhaps the biggest points in the game were scored by a defensive player that stepped up this week and took a turn at placekicking. Linebacker Seth Basinger nailed a much-needed 26-yard field goal late in the third quarter to even the game at 10-10.

That he was, Basinger not only hit the 26-yard field goal but also chipped in two extra points.

Defensively the Tigers did exactly what they had to do and Goodwin felt that his team handled the option with great care. "I thought we handled it pretty well. We let them loose a few times but that was mostly due to a missed a tackle at the line of scrimmage," Goodwin said.

It was a long night for the Tigers defense who was on the field a total of 32:34 but only gave up10 points. But Goodwin knew were the fault truly laid. "Had we not fumbled the punt, I don’t think they would have scored," Goodwin said.

As the Tigers head into round three they must prepare to face the wrath of the (11-1) UMS-Wright Bulldogs. And so it has come down to this. The Tigers must get by the same team that knocked them out of the race last year in order to win it all this year. "We don’t fear UMS-Wright. We have been looking forward to this one for a long time now," Goodwin said.