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Tigers take one more shot at UMS

There is no Demopolis fan alive that could forget the date Nov. 29, 2002, when the UMS-Wright Bulldogs knocked the DHS Tigers out of the playoffs with a 17-0 victory in the semi-finals.

Those same Tiger fans &045; and the team they support &045; have a shot at redemption tonight when Demopolis High hosts UMS-Wright at 7 p.m.

For head coach Doug Goodwin tonight’s game is not about fear; rather about excitement.

Although tonight’s game is a big one for the Tigers, coach Goodwin doesn’t believe in adding extra pressure to his players by stressing how important the game is. Instead he keeps them calm but focused all week until game time. "I don’t believe in being ready to play before Friday. We don’t want to peak too early in the week. After all, they don’t keep score Monday through Thursday. Friday is the day we have to be ready to play," Goodwin said.

The Bulldogs have been a dominating factor in 4A football since entering the class in 2000. Under fifth year head coach Terry Curtis the Bulldogs are (59-9) and have won two state championships and four regional championships.

It’s not that the Bulldogs are so perfect it’s just that they don’t know how to do anything else but win.

But all of that doesn’t frighten Goodwin and his Tigers who are looking to change some of the mental views this year about their program. "Winning has become a habit at DHS and we plan on keeping that way," Goodwin said.

There numbers may be intimidating with two undefeated seasons in both 2001 and 2002, not to mention going (12-1) this season. But they are very beatable as we saw in the last week of the regular season when the 5A cross town rival St. Paul’s defeated the Bulldogs 28-24.

But for the Tigers, the task of playing mistake free football has not exactly been an easy won thus far in the playoffs. "We can’t turn the ball over, that is the first thing," "We have to make them beat us and not beat ourselves," Goodwin said.

Despite not making mistakes, the Tigers must also come ready to give up nothing defensively. "We have to play good defense and gang tackle that little running back they got. And we can’t give up the big pass play because they like to throw it deep a lot," Goodwin said.

But Goodwin likes this match-up and is looking forward to the challenge. "I think we match up well against them. They have that quick little running back that we have to wrap up on and if we can play good pass defense and not get trapped in the line then I think we will have a chance," Goodwin said.