Tigers head to Chilton County

Published 8:19 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2009

As he looks over Friday night’s opponent, Demopolis High head coach Tom Causey is certain of one thing. This is not the same Chilton County team the Tigers steamrolled 50-0 last season.

“Much improved team from last year,” Causey said. “They’re much stronger than they were last year. You can tell by watching the film they’ve been in the weight room.”

Similar to Demopolis, the CCHS Tigers put together their own late season run to clinch a playoff berth in 2008. Behind signal-caller Taylor Hughes, the Chilton County Tigers dropped Jemison 19-12 in the opener and, undoubtedly, would like to exact a measure of retribution against Demopolis to kick off their region schedule.

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“They’ve got a senior quarterback that I think is one of the best in our region,” Causey said of Hughes, off of whom the bulk of the CCHS offensive attack is predicated. “We’ll have to play well to beat them. We’ll have to play better than we did last week.”

The task of limiting Hughes will fall on a defense that pitched a shutout against the Wetumpka offense last week. Doing the same this week will require slowing a much different offensive scheme.

“They are a hybrid,” Causey said. “They are Tony Franklin with a little option mixed in. They want to run the ball. They definitely want to run the ball.”

Stopping that run game, and establishing one of their own, will begin with Demopolis’ ability to play better in the trenches. Causey said that point is a key emphasis of this week’s practices.

“We’ve got to play with better pad level. Our pad level was horrible Friday night on both sides of the ball,” Causey said.

Aside from pad level, Causey’s offensive group will have to work to eliminate the numerous false start penalties it incurred in the opener.

“We’ve got a long way to go up there,” Causey said of the offensive line. “They’ve got some growing up to do. It takes some time to gel up there. We’ve got to get better up front, got to get more physical for sure. We’ve got to get those five guys to play together.”

One thing the offensive unit for Demopolis did show Friday night was versatility.

“We were extremely balanced as far as running and passing,” Causey said. His team passed for 161 yards while running for 141 on the evening. Still, the team’s success moving forward will depend heavily on its ability to bounce the ball outside, something it was unable to do effectively against the Indians.