Prep Playoffs 2005 Notebook

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 16, 2005

White “doubtful” for Thomasville

The Demopolis Tigers will likely miss one of their biggest offensive weapons when they face rival Thomasville in the AHSAA Class 4A quarterfinals.

Demopolis head coach Doug Goodwin confirmed Monday that senior receiver Dwiuan White was “doubtful” to participate in Friday’s playoff showdown. White left last week’s playoff win over Rehobeth early in the first quarter after making a tough four-yard run on the Tigers’ opening drive. White grabbed his leg and was in visible pain as he left the field, and did not return to the game.

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Privacy laws prohibit further information about the nature of White’s injury from being released to the media.

If White is indeed forced to stay on the sidelines for the Thomasville game, the Tigers will miss one of their most potent big-play threats. For the season, White has gained 954 total offensive yards and scored 13 touchdowns on only 12 rushes and 26 receptions, an average of 25.1 yards per offensive “touch.” The senior is also a dangerous kick returner, having returned both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in 2005. White currently has the Tigers’ third-highest total of all-purpose yards, behind only quarterback Dontrell Miller and tailback Rock Jones, and is second in scoring only to Jones.

Demopolis was able to make up White’s absence against Rehobeth thanks in large part to junior tight end Rob Quinney, who doubled his reception totals for the season with a four-catch, 57-yard performance that also included a two-point conversion reception. The team’s second-leading receiver in 2005, Giorgio Griffin, added three catches for 43 yards.

Aside from White’s injury, Goodwin says Demopolis is in better health than he might expect at this stage of the season. Barring an injury in practice, no other Tiger players are in danger of missing time against Thomasville. There was another scary moment for Demopolis fans in the Rehobeth game, when Jones was slow to get up and left the game after a tough hit near the goalline. But Goodwin said Jones had merely gotten the wind knocked out of him and he returned to the game shortly.

“We’re in pretty good shape,” he says.

Drury more than just RB

By now, most area high school football fans are going to be familiar with Wallace Drury. The Southern Academy senior tailback added another 316 yards and four touchdowns to his remarkable senior season in last week’s 47-14 win over Lowndes Acad. Drury has now rushed for 2,766 yards in leading the Cougars to the AISA Class A title game, where they will face Autauga Acad. this Friday in Troy.

But many fans might not realize that Drury does much more for the Cougars than just take handoffs.

“He can play a lot of positions,” says Southern head coach Shaun Bonds. “He can do so many other things.”

For starters, Drury is a more-than-capable quarterback, one that threw a touchdown pass to Matt Rutherford in the first half of Southern’s win over Lowndes. In the preseason, Bonds had planned on using an option attack with Drury as the triggerman, but a short depth chart at tailback caused the switch. Before that, Drury had served as the team’s quarterback for two 2003 playoff games, and has practiced at the quarterback position for nearly all of his Cougar tenure.

“He can run our entire offense,” Bonds says. “He can throw it, he can run it…he can step in and play quarterback today and we wouldn’t miss a beat. He’s played QB all his life.”

The list of Drury’s contributions goes beyond that, though. His solid play in the defensive secondary has helped the Cougar defense hold every opponent but AA finalist Patrician to 14 points or less. He has caught a number of passes as a receiver out of the backfield. Although senior lineman Andy Wheeler has claimed the job, Drury has kicked several extra points for the Cougars. And, finally, Drury is Southern’s leading kick and punt returner as well.

“He’s got good hands,” says Bonds. “We need somebody back there who can catch the ball.”

The Cougars will need Drury to be at his best wherever he lines up to fend off an Autauga team that appears to be playing its best football of the year after last week’s 35-14 win over Shelby.