Raiders raided: DHS 7-0 with 42-0 win

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 10, 2005

The ’85 Chicago Bears. The ’92 Alabama Crimson Tide. The 2000 Baltimore Ravens. The 2005 Demopolis Tigers?

It’s starting to look that way after the Tigers’ fourth consecutive shutout, a 42-0 blanking of Greensboro Friday night that ran Demopolis’s state-high winning streak to 23 games.

“Our defense played great all night,” said DHS head coach Doug Goodwin. “They came out and set the tone for the game. I thought our offense executed pretty well, too.”

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The closest the homestanding Raiders would come to scoring was an 8-play drive that bridged the first and second quarters and took Greensboro to the Demopolis 9. A pass interference call and a 13-yard run by Bruce Brown put the ball on the DHS 39 before Ivory White connected with Rashad Hobson for a 30-yard gain and a first-and-goal.

But that was as close as the Raiders would get. A shovel pass to Brown was stuffed for a loss of 2. Outside linebacker Ezell Braxton came in untouched on the second down to force a five-yard loss. A pitch to Marvin Williams went nowhere and pushed the Raiders all the way back to their 23, and on fourth down Tiger safety Willie Gracey intercepted a White pass intended for Kiara Paige to end the Raiders’ only serious scoring threat of the night.

By that time, the Tigers had already taken a 13-0 lead. The Raiders went three-and-out on the game’s opening possession and after taking over on the GHS 47 Demopolis wasted no time in putting the game’s first points on the board. Dontrell Miller hit Giorgio Griffin for a 16-yard gain and then ran for 13, setting DHS up at the Raider 18. Another completion to Griffin and a 13-yard run by Rock Jones put the ball at the 1, and Miller took it in for six. Justin Davis’s extra point was good and with 8:42 left in the first quarter Demopolis led 7-0.

DHS would have two touchdowns called back for penalties on their second possession, but the Tigers would not be denied as Miller hit Dwiuan White on a crossing pattern on fourth-and-17 from the Raider 38. The senior streaked into the endzone untouched for a 13-0 lead.

Miller uncharacteristically turned the ball over on Demopolis’s next two possessions, first tossing an interception to Raider safety Mike Wiggins and then fumbling on the Raider 6, spoling the crafty senior’s effort three plays earlier when he had dashed up the middle for 66 yards.

But the Tiger defense stoned the Raiders each time and Demopolis would still go into at the half up four scores. Miller redeemed himself on the Tiger’s following possession with consecutive passes to Gracey and White, the second going for the pair’s second touchdown of the night. Jones carried for the two-point conversion following Davis’s previous miss and DHS led 21-0 with 3:40 left in the first half.

But thanks to a big play from the Tiger D’s big play player, they weren’t done yet. Freshman Demarquelle Tabb stepped in for White at QB for the Raiders and immediately hit Wiggins for 15 yards to the DHS 44, and a pass interference call moved the Raiders inside the Demopolis 30. But Braxton stepped in front of a Tabb pass intended for Paige and took it the distance, going 75 yards down the left sideline. Davis’s extra point gave the Tigers a 28-0 lead as they headed to the locker rooms.

In the third quarter the Raiders would begin their second drive at the DHS 20 after a blocked punt by Hobson, but a third-down sack by Stephen Cupit and a fourth-down sack by Braxton and Rob Quinney kept the Raiders at arm’s length.

Jones carried twice from the 18 to score the Tigers’ fifth TD with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter and Jacob Smelley capped the scoring with a two-yard plunge in the fourth.

DHS finished the game with a 477 to 97 edge in total yards. Jones carried 10 times for 121 yards while Miller completed 11 of 16 for 157 yards and two TDs to go with his two interceptions.

Greensboro head coach Michael Reynolds said after the game he was pleased with his team’s effort but that the Raiders needed more belief in their abilities.

“We didn’t quit. We kept playing hard,” he said. “What hurt us was our confidence. We have to play with more confidence.”