Demopolis (2-0) recovered the opening onside kick, took the ball 50 yards on five plays and never looked back en route to a 50-0 win over Chilton County (0-2) Friday night.
Senior A-back Shelby Speegle set the tone on the opening drive, chewing up 44 yards before scoring the game’s opening touchdown. The end zone strike was the first of three during the first quarter for Speegle, who helped the Tigers to a 20-0 lead at the end of the opening period of play.
“It all starts with the offensive line up front,” Speegle said. “If you’ve got good blocking, running and scoring touchdowns is easy.”
Speegle’s second touchdown came on a 10-yard run that capped a five-play, 26-yard drive set up by a Jacob Kerby interception. His third trip to the end zone came on the receiving end of a 23-yard swing pass from Rick Boone.
On the ensuing series, Chilton County receiver Michael Jones snatched down a third-down pass for 37 yards, pushing the Tigers into Demopolis territory for the first time in the contest. Two plays later, Demopolis defensive back Anthony Hardy squelched the drive by plucking his first of two interceptions on the night.
The next two Demopolis possessions ended in turnovers as Chilton County forced a fumble and then came up with an interception at the one-yard line. On the very next play, Demopolis junior defensive lineman Tremaine Sanders tore through the offensive front and hit the CCHS running back in the end zone for the safety to push the score to 22-0.
“We did a good job defensively,” Demopolis defensive coordinator Rudy Griffin said.
After returning the safety punt to the 45-yard line, Demopolis assembled an 11-play drive that covered 50 yards and ended in a 14-yard touchdown run by Boone. The drive nearly ended on its first play when the Tigers put the ball on the turf after a six-yard run. The possession was preserved when Tiger center Morgan LeCroy wrestled the ball away from two Chilton County defenders. The drive also faced premature extinction again on a fourth-and-1 situation. Boone took the ball 20 yards on a quarterback keeper to sustain the effort before scoring three plays later to push the score to 29-0.
Chilton County’s final possession of the half saw the Tigers gain two first downs while giving up three sacks. A roughing the kicker call against Demopolis on the punt attempt kept the drive alive, but CCHS was unable to capitalize on the miscue.
Demopolis added three more touchdowns in the second half while the defense continued to pitch its shutout.
“The secondary looked great even though the field was kind of wet,” Hardy said. “Our D-line played great, giving the secondary a chance. I give them all the credit.”
“Great defensive line play against the pass will make a secondary look good,” Griffin said. “Everybody just played great. The guys in the back have been doing what we’ve been telling them to do.”
As a unit, the Demopolis defense recorded seven sacks and came up with three interceptions on the night while allowing Chilton County a paltry 16 total yards.
“I thought we played extremely physical up front on both sides of the ball,” DHS head coach Tom Causey said. “It was a good night for both sides of the ball up front.”
Demopolis put together 484 of total offense, anchored by a rushing attack that tallied 414 yards while racking up 17 first downs.
James led the way with 141 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“Whenever I hit the field, I was ready,” James, who missed last week’s game due to injury, said.
Boone added 77 yards and one score while Speegle finished with 72 yards with two rushing touchdowns. Hardy and Kerby added 67 and 45 yards respectively. Michael Davis scored a touchdown in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter to anchor the second-team offense’s efforts.