Miller’s return sealed win for Demopolis
Published 12:00 am Monday, November 24, 2003
While there were many memorable plays Friday night that were a key factor in the big win against the Bulldogs. There was one that just kind off stole the show and changed everything for the Tigers.
Although the Tigers lead at the half 13-7, everyone on the DHS sidelines knew that it wasn’t going to be enough to beat the Bulldogs. There was a sense of urgency along the DHS sidelines once the third quarter got under way.
The Bulldogs took the kickoff to start the second half and began their opening drive from their own 30-yard line. An offside penalty pushed them back to the 25-yard line on their first play form scrimmage and the tigers were feeling good that for once maybe the officials were going to call it fair from here out.
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On first-and-fifteen from their own 25-yard line the Bulldogs try to fool the Tigers with a draw play but the Tigers defense was not fooled and the Bulldogs lost a yard on the play. But then the Bulldogs’ little running back picked up seven yards and the Bulldogs were looking to move the ball.
On third-and-seven the Bulldogs dropped to pass and with no pass rush from the Tigers, quarterback Taylor Atchison completed a 14-yard pass and the Bulldogs had themselves another first down.
Tigers Defensive Coordinator Freddie Lawrence was becoming impatient with the officials who seemed to overlook all the holding that the Bulldogs were doing every time they dropped to throw the football.
The Bulldogs then went back to the running game with Williams but the Tigers were all over him like bugs on an outside porch light in the middle of July.
By this time the Bulldogs have become predictable with their play selection and Lawrence knows what is coming next.
Atchison dropps back into the pocket and finds Preston Dial over the middle on a crossing route for what looks like a sizable gain. DHS cornerback Dontrell Miller moves towards the play running full speed in the opposite direction of Dial. The two players meet around the Tigers 45-yard line.
It may have looked like Dial had escaped the tackle but Miller knew the minute he collided with Dial that something was loose. "I was going to tackle him but as soon as I hit him I felt the ball kind of bolt from his hands and I knew that I could strip it," Miller said.
Not realizing that the ball was loose, Dial continued to move forward while Miller snatched the ball and went the other way.
Lawrence was the first to witness the burglary and as Miller started toward the end zone, Lawrence pointed out the great crime and took off running with miller down the sidelines.
And as Miller crossed the goal line, Lawrence about exploded with excitement. "That’s what I’m talking about, son," Lawrence said. Millers’ 53-yard return gave the Tigers a comfortable 19-7 lead going into the fourth quarter and gave the Tigers enough momentum to win it all.
And that is how the Tigers have made it to the fourth round of the playoffs and that is how they are going to win it all. With great defensive plays. But could you ask for a better way to end it all though. A defensive touchdown from a defensive team that gives up nothing.