Goodwin looks for more of same vs. Hornets

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 9, 2005

Football coaches are well-known for being the pessimistic sort, able to spot the one missed assignment on an otherwise perfect long touchdown run. But Demopolis head coach Doug Goodwin didn’t find much to be pessimistic about after his team’s comfortable 28-6 victory over Bibb County last Friday at Memorial Stadium.

“I thought we controlled the game from the second series on,” he says. “Our lead was never less than two touchdowns at any time. I think whenever you beat a team by two touchdowns or more you’ve done a pretty good job.”

Quarterback Dontrell Miller stole the offensive show with 306 total yards, a passing TD, and no interceptions, but tailback Rock Jones struggled to find the same success he’d had the week before, rushing for 30 yards on 16 carries. Goodwin says the discrepancy doesn’t bother him as long as DHS puts points on the board.

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“They were keying so much on our tailbacks. It’s kind of like ‘pick your poison.’ If you stop the run, we’ll get the pass going and if you stop the run we’ll get the pass going,” he says. “Not too many people out there can stop everything we can do. It’s just a matter of adjusting.”

Miller finished the game with 16 carries, but Goodwin–noting that several of those were called passes on which Miller tucked the ball and ran–says he’s not worried about Miller wearing out by season’s end or receiving an injury.

“You can’t go into a game worried about someone getting hurt,” he says. “It’s part of the game.”

Helping soothe Goodwin’s injury worries is that the Tigers are at almost 100 percent health. Starting linebacker Tyler Moody will return to the starting lineup this week after missing the Bibb Co. game through illness, and hobbled guard Windam Dinning is improving after being relegated to long snapping duties last Friday. Dinning will probably give way to sophomore Quintez Wallace in the starting offensive line again but should be back soon.

“We’re in good shape,” Goodwin says.

Dinning’s absence was cushioned by Wallace’s solid play in his first varsity start. Along with junior center Andrew Rogers and sophomore tackle Walter Hudgens, Wallace is one of three new starters from last year on the offensive line. Goodwin says he’s happy with the performance Wallace and the other new starters have offered so far.

“He did a good job and we expect he’ll get better. We’ve got three new starters and they’ve done fairly well,” he says. “They haven’t made every block but they’re getting better every week. If they work hard, have the right attitude, and get better, that’s the most important thing.”

Between the three new starters and stand-bys Zach Landerfelt and Justin Davis, the offensive line should make a major difference in this week’s road contest with Dallas County.

“If we have any advantage we think it’s at the lines of scrimmage,” Goodwin says. “And regardless of what anybody says the game is won on the line.”

Those lines include, of course, Demopolis’s defensive line. Tiger linemen like noseguard Perry Little, end Justin Jackson, and temporary end Stephen Cupit are coming off of a solid performance vs. Bibb County in which they helped hold the Choctaws to only 6 yards on 24 attempts.

Another good game will be needed to contain Dallas County’s experienced quarterback Derrick McGhee, no. 6, who like Miller is as likely to run as he is to pass on any given play. Senior running backs Rafael Miller, no. 20, and Brandon England have talwnt and can take advantage if given a seam. Brett Cox, no. 1, is a speedy WR/DB who had an 85-yard kickoff return for touchdown called back by penalty week 1 vs. Maplesville.

“They have good skill people. Their QB isn’t big but he throws the ball pretty good, and they’ve got some quick, good runners and tall receivers,” Goodwin says.

Still, the Hornets are young along their lines and lost their game to 1A Maplesville by 30, 36-6. Many will be expecting an even larger upset when Demopolis visits Plantersville Friday, but Goodwin says his players won’t be among them.

“That’s something we’ve been dealing with for four or five years, not taking any game for granted. One good thing about our coaches and players is that they haven’t done that,” he says. “We ask our players to play as hard as we can every play, no matter who the opponent is or what the score is. Last year’s team did a real good job of that and this year’s has done pretty well so far.”