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Defense steps up, offense consistent

Demopolis High School rushed for 232 yards and held Class 4A defending state champion UMS-Wright to just one touchdown to remain undefeated and advance to the semifinals against Trinity of Montgomery next week.

The Tigers first score of the 19-7 win came with 4:23 left in the first quarter when quarterback Devin Goodwin hit Michael Lee on a sideline route. After a Seth Basinger extra point, DHS led 7-0.

The teams bogged down with punts until UMS began a drive in the second quarter from their 43-yard line. On the second play a pass from quarterback Taylor Atchison to John Hayes reached the 10-yard line. Four runs by Milan Williams got the ball to the three-yard line. An illegal procedure penalty put UMS back to the nine-yard line, but a pass to Josh Stapleton got the Bulldogs to the one-yard line. On third down and one, Atchison scored.

The extra point by Andrew Friedman was good, and with 3:44 left in the first half, the score was tied 7-7.

The Tigers would shock the Bulldogs on the next drive. On the second play Dustin Gracie broke through the line and ran 74 yards for a touchdown. Basinger’s extra point was no good, and with 3:00 left in the first half, the score was Demopolis 13-UMS 7.

The Bulldog’s next drive was stopped after two plays when Stapleton fumbled a pass reception. With 2:10 left in the second quarter, the Tigers had the ball at their own 49-yard line. A pass to Rod "Rock" Jones brought the ball to the UMS 30-yard line. However, Goodwin was intercepted by Davis Pilot.

The Bulldogs ran the time out, and the halftime score remained DHS 13-UMS 7.

The Bulldogs had the ball when the third quarter began at their 30-yard line. With runs by Williams and a pass to Hayes they reached the DHS 48-yard line. Then Demopolis’ Dontrell Miller made the play of the game, literally taking away the ball from receiver Preston Dial and running the ball 53 yards for a TD.

Devin Goodwin’s extra point was no good, and with 9:16 left in the third quarter, Demopolis led 19-7.

UMS tried to comeback through the air, but solid coverage by Devin Goodwin and Vincent Jackson stopped the big pass plays.

The Bulldogs did mount a great drive in the third quarter. A long pass to Hayes got the ball to the DHS 20-yard line. Williams would take the ball to the five-yard line. On fourth down and 5 with 1:46 left in the third, Jackson intercepted the UMS pass to stop the drive.

The next Tiger drive could only reach midfield. On the next UMS drive, the Bulldogs seemed to self -destruct. They fumbled but recovered the punt reception, and despite a pass interference penalty on DHS, an illegal shift and personal foul flags sent the Bulldogs going in the wrong direction.

Demopolis couldn’t move the ball, but a great 38-yard punt by Devin Goodwin put UMS on their six-yard line.

Running by Williams and passes to Stapleton and Hayes got UMS past midfield, but a holding penalty and delay of game flag pushed them back. A sack of Bulldog quarterback Atchison by Ezell Braxton made things worse.

The Bulldogs thought they had a score with 2:15 left in the game when Atchison threw to Williams from the UMS 32-yard line. An illegal shift penalty took the score away. The UMS final drive would ultimately be turned over on downs with seconds left in the game.

The Tigers are 13-0 for the second year in a row and have tied the DHS record for most number of wins. DHS will host Trinity High Friday at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.