Takin’ care of business

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 12, 2005

The Demopolis Tigers haven’t lost a regular season football game since 2001. Judging from their play Friday night against Dallas County, it might be another four years before they lose again.

DHS rolled past the outclassed Hornets 61-6, seizing control of the game with a 40-point first half and never looking back. Leading the charge for the Tigers was senior receiver Dwiuan White, who finished the game with four touchdowns scored in three different fashions-on the ground, in the air, and via special teams.

Demopolis got things started quickly, scoring touchdowns on six straight possessions to close the half after fumbling the ball away on the Dallas County 17 to begin the game. Rock Jones grabbed the first TD, going in from 4 yards out to cap a 65-yard drive. A long Dontrell Miller completion to Giorgio Griffin had moved the ball inside Hornet territory. The extra point failed, leaving DHS with a 6-0 lead.

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After senior defensive tackle Justin Jackson had given DHS great field position at the Hornet 28 with a fumble recovery, Miller carried for 14 and Calvin Bryant scored his second TD of the year, sweeping around left end for a 14-yard score. Miller dashed in for the two-point conversion with 1:24 left in the first quarter.

The score remained 14-0 until the end of one, but a 26-point Demopolis second stanza put the game well out of reach. This time it was junior running back Lucious Haywood getting the call, cutting around right tackle from eight yards out.

Another missed extra point left the score at 20-0, but it didn’t stay that way for long as Jones scored his second on the Tigers’ next possession. This time the senior carried around right end from 17 yards out after back-to-back 12-yard completions to Jones and Willie Gracey gave the Tigers the ball at the Hornet 22.

DHS was up 26-0 with 7 minutes still to go in the half, but thanks to White they were far from done. After the

Tigers took over at their own 20, the DHS coaching staff recognized the man-to-man coverage on White and called for a bomb o nthe possession’s first snap. Miller connected with White and the big senior was off to the races, going 80 yards to paydirt. New kicker sophomore Reed Gardiner hit the extra point and DHS was up 33 with 3:18 still to go.

White would add his second before the half closed as Miller, following his own interception, continued to pick the Hornets apart through the air. After finding White and Griffin for 9 and 14 yards to the Hornet 23, Miller connected with White for his second touchdown reception and the half ended mercifully for the Hornets with the score 40-0.

The Hornets failed to register a first down until less than seven minutes remained in the first half and The Tiger defense ensured the lead was never threatened, keeping the Hornets’ senior backfield of QB Derrick McGhee, RB Brandon England, and RB Rafael Miller bottled up throughout the game. McGhee broke free for the Hornets’ only score, a 17-yard TD scamper with 2:34 remaining in the game, but by then DHS was up 54 thanks to an interception return for score by Ezell Braxton and a 1-yard dive by Jacob Smelley.

And even then White wasn’t done, taking Dallas County’s kickoff and returning it 85 yards down the left sideline to wrap the game up at 61-6

With the win, Demopolis moves to 2-0 in regional play, 3-0 overall, and extends their regular-season winning streak to 33 games. The Tigers return home next week to face another struggling regional foe, the Livingston Cougars, for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium.