DMS game called due to lighting failure

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2005

You could say the Demopolis Middle School-Camden football game got lost in the dark.

The lighting towers on the west side of Memorial Stadium never came on for DMS’s second and final home game of 2005 Tuesday, and after a half first played in fading sunlight and then in semi-darkness, officials called the game. The score at halftime was 8-0 Camden.

Proponents of plans to build Demopolis a new football stadium will add Tuesday’s cancellation to the growing list of problems with the current facility. The failure was blamed on a blown fuse on one of the towers and will be repaired Wednesday.

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Mark Pettus, head of Demopolis Parks and Recreation and a supporter of replacing the old stadium, said Tuesday that this is the second time this season problems have been discovered with the lighting. A test just before the beginning of the regular season discovered a wiring problem in one of the east towers.

After the game, DMS coach Mark Cochrane expressed disappointment in the cancellation. Demopolis’s staff had asked for a delay at halftime while technicians attempted to solve the problem, but Camden’s coaching staff preferred to discontinue the game and the officials called it off.

“It’s frustrating for the kids,” Cochrane said.

Unfortunately, by and large things didn’t go very smoothly for Demopolis on the field, either. The Tigers went three-and-out on their first possession despite a strong first-down run by Tremaine Sanders and a scramble by QB Jeremy Wallace that ended just shy of the first down.

The Tigers’ defensive line stuffed Camden on the Jaguars’ possession and forced a punt, but DMS surrendered the ball again on a fumble just two plays later. The Jaguars would capitalize with a 28-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion to go up 8-0.

DMS would penetrate Jaguar territory on each of their next two possessions but came up empty both times. Following the touchdown Wallace made two big plays, making a crazy across-the-field-and-back scramble to gain 12 yards and give Demopolis a first down on their own 47. He then hit Wiley Isaac for a 24-yard gain to the Camden 29. But a sack pushed the ball back out to the 35 and a fourth-down pass fell incomplete, stopping the drive.

But again the Jaguars could not move the ball against the stout DMS front seven and the offense went to work again. Isaac took the ball on a reverse for a 30-yard gain to the Camden 32, and four consecutive Anthony Hardy runs took the ball inside the Camden 5. But Hardy was stopped for a big loss on second down and after an incomplete pass to Isaac and a 2-yard gain on fourth down, the Tigers were turned away again.

After their last game with Camden, in which DMS led 30-0 at the half, DMS very likely feels they were robbed by the lighting malfunction

“This game ain’t over with,” said one player as he left the field.

DMS returns to action on the road at Prattville this coming Tuesday at 6 p.m.