Goodwin, players never doubted ability to win

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 24, 2003

They said it couldn’t be done, but the Demopolis Tigers did it anyway. The Tigers were out-numbered and underrated coming into the game. But they still found a way to beat the unbeatable.

The UMS-Wright Bulldogs came into last nights third round playoff match without a loss to a 4A opponent in three years. But now there is a new king in 4A.

DHS head coach Doug Goodwin knows that his Tigers did something last night that no other 4A team has been able to do in a long time.

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Beating this two-time state championship team says a great deal about this Tigers football team and perhaps now the Tigers will receive the kind of respect they do so deserve.

One player that does deserve a great deal of respect right now is DHS cornerback Vincent Jackson. At 5’8"150lbs, Jackson is perhaps the most aggressive defensive back on this Tigers team and there is no doubt that he is considered the most focused.

While other defensive players were sitting on the bench resting, Jackson, as he has all season, watches and waits for another chance to back on defense.

And Friday night when needed he stepped up and made things happen. "What I do on the field, I do for this team. And right now this win is almost indescribable but this doesn’t mean that it’s all over with. This is just one more win, we still have two to go," Jackson said.

It’s that type of attitude that helped the Tigers beat the (11-1) Bulldogs last night.

And don’t forget about outside linebacker Chris Cupit who fractured his leg two weeks ago against Choctaw County and came back to play tonight. "I have been waiting for this game for all year there was just no way I was going to miss it," Cupit said.

Goodwin knew that in order for his team to win they would have to play mistake free football and that is exactly what they did. Just ask UMS-Wright head football coach Terry Curtis.

Throughout this season everyone in Demopolis has known that it has been this Tigers defense that has made the difference and now after holding one of the best offensive teams in 4A football to a mere seven points everyone else will know it too. The Tigers defense fought through the Bulldogs’ quick ground game and impressive passing game and forced big play after big play. And that is what it takes to be the best.

"They deserve to win the game tonight. They got after it defensively and forced us to start throwing the ball. And anytime you have to do that, you are going to make mistakes," Curtis said.

The Tigers put together two outstanding goal line stands against the Bulldogs and kept any hopes for a Bulldogs score to have to come from either a field goal or a lucky long bomb.

Throughout this week we have all heard about the strong right foot of Bulldogs kicker Andrew Friedman. But come game time, Friedman must have gotten lost among the crowd of Bulldogs along the sidelines because when the Bulldogs needed him he wasn’t there.

With 2:36 left in the third quarter the Bulldogs were faced with a fourth-and-six situation from the Tigers’ 6-yard line. And instead of taking the easy three points, the Bulldogs went for it.

But the Bulldogs are definitely a great football team and they proved it as they handled the loss with style and grace. After the game coach Curtis showed nothing but class as he personally shook the hands of every DHS player and congratulated each one of them on a job well done. "They are a very classy program," Goodwin said.