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Demopolis drops Selma for Homecoming victory

Demopolis (2-4, 2-1) put its demons to bed Friday night, scoring on the first play from scrimmage and never looking back on its way to a 55-20 Homecoming win over Selma (4-2, 2-2).

“We needed a fresh start,” junior A-back Anthony Hardy said.

Hardy caught a pass from senior quarterback Rick Boone on the first offensive play of the game and took it the distance for a 62-yard touchdown play.

“Anthony made a heck of a catch right there,” DHS head coach Tom Causey said. “The ball was a little behind him.”

“Me and Rick knew we had a mismatch,” Hardy said. “I told him if he threw it, I was going to get it no matter what.”

Demopolis followed the possession by kicking and recovering an onside kick. That set up a nine-play, 40-yard drive that concluded with a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore DaMarcus James.

After a brief Selma drive that ended on a Greg Irvin sack, Demopolis constructed a seven-play drive that covered 80 yards and ended on a three-yard touchdown run by Hardy. The point after attempt pushed the score to 20-0.

“What (Selma) did defensively against us really fit well into the game plan our coaches had,” Causey said.

On the next Demopolis possession, Boone and Hardy hooked up again on first down. This time the play went for 59 yards and a touchdown and featured an acrobatic catch in which Hardy reached around the trailing Saint defender to pull in the pass.

“He just kept battling for the ball right there,” Causey said of the play.

On the next kickoff, Deonte Washington forced a fumble that was ultimately recovered by kicker Alan Brooker at the Selma 33-yard line.

The Tigers then assembled a four-play drive that ended on a 13-yard touchdown run by Hardy. The play was his fourth trip to the end zone on the night.

The ugliness continued for Selma on the following kickoff when Demopolis’ Tremaine Sanders force a fumble that was scooped up by Irvin at the Saint 15.

Two plays later, Boone took it the distance himself for a 15-yard scoring run. The extra-point put the Tigers up 41-0.

After Selma picked up a first down on a third-and-long situation, the Tiger defense stiffened and allowed no yards on the next two plays before Jacob Kerby drug down the Saint passer for a 12-yard loss on third down to squash the drive. On fourth down, Sanders penetrated the line and blocked the Selma punt. Demopolis fell on the stray ball at the 38-yard line of Selma.

“It’s a direct result of how they practiced this week,” Causey said of his team’s success. “I think our kids did exactly what they had to do all week long to get ready for tonight.”

On their final possession of the opening half, the Tigers marched 38 yards on six plays to push the lead to 48-0 on an eight-yard touchdown run by DaMarcus James and bonus point kick by Tyler Brooker.

“We just did the same things we did in practice,” Boone said. “We went hard in practice, tried to be perfect in practice. It just carried over.”

Selma opened the second half with vigor, constructing a nine-play drive that covered 72 yards and cut the DHS lead to 48-6. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

Demopolis answered back on its next drive when it took the ball 67 yards. James’ five-yard touchdown run capped the possession. The extra-point kick rounded out the DHS scoring for the night and left the lead at 55-6.

Selma then managed two touchdowns against the Tigers’ second-team defense to cut the deficit to 35.

“Great. That’s all I can say,” Boone said of his feelings following the win that snapped a three-game DHS losing streak.

“(Our players have) just got to come to practice everyday with an open mind, ready to work and ready to go full speed,” Causey said of the recipe for continued Tiger success.

Hardy finished the night with 121 yards receiving. His effort helped Boone to his best passing performance of the year. The senior signal caller put together an 8-for-13 night that chewed up 212 yards through the air.

“Coach (Causey) just told me to go out there and have fun,” Boone said. “I guess that’s all it took.”

James led the team in rushing with 167 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Irvin finished the night with eight tackles and a sack on defense. Sanders tallied seven tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked punt. Larry Cobb added six tackles.

After being held to 66 yards in the first half, Selma finished the night with 287 total yards of offense. Demopolis countered with 423 yards of its own.

The win leaves Demopolis in third place in the region, only a half game behind Greenville, who defeated Wilcox-Central 35-12 Friday night. Selma sits in fourth place in 5A, Region 3.