Tigers get revenge on Wildcats, advance to semifinals

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 29, 2004

MONTGOMERY – For almost 365 days, Demopolis High players heard the name Tommy Trott, and they cringed – literally.

For the rest of his football-playing days, Trott will cringe every time he hears the word “Demopolis.” Especially after the Tigers handed Trott and his Trinity Wildcats a 46-7 thumping in the third round of the Class 4A playoffs.

With 3:47 left in the first half, Trott broke up the right sideline, trying to work his way behind the Demopolis High secondary. Wildcat quarterback Rory McKean overthrew Trott by a yard, and McKean quickly directed his team back to the line of scrimmage.

Email newsletter signup

Downfield, however, Trott was in no rush to run another play. He ambled back to the line while the rest of his Wildcat teammates waited to run their hurry-up offense.

Though there was still a half of football left to play, the defending state champions were done. Trott’s defeated stroll back to the line painted the perfect picture of a dominant Demopolis High football team poised to take on another undefeated team this Friday when they face UMS-Wright in Mobile.

Before Demopolis could look ahead though, fans, players and coaches all found themselves looking backwards for the first two minutes of Friday’s game.

After going three plays and gaining just three yards, Demopolis was forced to punt from deep in its own territory.

Trinity broke through the line on the punt and got to Devin Goodwin’s leg before his foot got to the ball. The Wildcats blocked the punt and recovered it on the four yard line.

One play later, Trinity’s Matthew Tapley cruised into the endzone untouched and the Wildcats took a quick 7-0 lead. The blocked punt and quick touchdown were eerily similar to DHS’s 33-27 loss to Trinity one year ago, when virtually the same thing happened. This year, though, the Tigers responded a little differently.

“We kept preaching to them that it was over with,” said defensive coordinator Freddy Lawrence. “We told them to put it behind them.”

The Tigers, unlike last year, responded to the advice.

In a methodical 80-yard drive spurred by Devin Goodwin, the Tigers took less than four minutes to move the ball downfield and answer Trinity’s touchdown.

A 40-yard pass to Bart Pettus was followed by another 15-yard strike from Goodwin to Pettus for a touchdown.

“I guess there were a lot of key plays for us, but that drive, being able to answer them, was the biggest set of plays for us,” said head coach Doug Goodwin.

Maybe more impressive, however, was the way the DHS defense responded. On Trinity’s next possession, the defense gave up just one yard and got the ball back to the Tiger offense near midfield.

“We didn’t do a lot different than we have all year,” Lawrence said. “We always knew where Trott was on the field, but we really just wanted the guys to swarm to the football.”

And that’s exactly what the Tiger defense did. At the end of the first half, Demopolis had given up just 33 yards of total offense to the Wildcats. On the night, they held Trinity to -13 yards rushing and a net 78 yards of offense.

Meanwhile, Devin Goodwin and Dustin Gracie virtually had their way with the Trinity defense.

Goodwin completed 22-of-28 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns. Gracie rushed the ball 12 times for 61 yards and he had three touchdowns, including two touchdown receptions. Goodwin also added a 26-yard field goal.

Along with strikes to Pettus and Gracie, Goodwin connected with Dontrell Miller with 7:54 left in the third quarter on a 22-yard touchdown pass.

“Yeah, Devin had a pretty good night,” head coach and father Doug Goodwin said after the game.

Not only did Devin complete four touchdown passes, he also had two interceptions on the defensive side of the ball.

Minus the first series of plays, Demopolis had its way with the defending state champions. Goodwin’s crisp passes, coupled with Gracie’s powerful runs were too much for Trinity. But it may have been one single play call that separated Demopolis High from the Wildcats.

With 10:59 left in the second quarter, Goodwin connected with Pettus at the Trinity 34-yard line. Dashing up the right side of the field, behind Pettus, was Gracie. As soon as Pettus caught the ball, he immediately turned to his right and pitched the ball to Gracie, who bolted 34 yards for a touchdown to put DHS up 22-7.

“If it wasn’t that series when we answered Trinity, I’d have to say that play was the biggest turning point in the game,” Doug Goodwin said. “I think that took the air out of [Trinity].”

Though DHS (13-0) must now face another undefeated team – UMS-Wright – Doug Goodwin wasn’t quite ready to think about next week’s game on Friday night.

“We’ll let this one sink in a while,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy it tonight.”

If Goodwin and his players stay true to form, they won’t bask in the win too long.