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Demopolis wins big in regional tune-up with Fayette

Demopolis (3-0) marched 47 yards on 10 plays in its first drive Friday night, taking a lead it never relinquished en route to a 32-7 win over Fayette County (2-1).

Michael Davis punched the ball in from two yards out, capping a drive that saw the Tigers methodically chew up turf and clock.

Demopolis committed its first of five turnovers just one play into its second drive. After setting Fayette up 33 yards from pay dirt, DHS safety Tremaine Irby plucked a third down heave at his own one to turn possession back over to Demopolis.

The teams then traded punts before Demopolis set up shop at its own six yard line. The Tigers needed only two plays to go 94 yards. Damarcus James bolted for 11 yards on first down to give the Tiger offense some breathing room. Ben Pettus went underneath to senior receiver Fred Irby on second down. Irby made the catch, found his blockers and took it the distance for the 83-yard scoring play.

“In the huddle (fellow senior receiver) Larry (Cobb) told me, ‘Fred, you catch it and I’m coming baby.’ I caught it and ran to him,” Irby said of the play, which put Demopolis up 12-0. “He made a good block that screened me to the end zone.”

Two plays into Fayette’s ensuing possession, Rusty Palmer found the first of his two interceptions, giving Demopolis the ball at its own 45. On second down, Pettus sold the play fake and fired over the top to Anthony Hardy, who promptly put the defense to his backside for a 52-yard score.

“They were overplaying the formation,” Causey said of the Fayette defense. “Their linebackers were attacking the run really hard. We play-actioned them and threw the ball over the top on them.”

James added the two-point conversion run to hand DHS the 20-0 lead going into the locker room.

The Tigers forced their third turnover of the evening on the opening drive of the second half when Tre Jones forced a fumble that safety Anthony Hardy recovered.

“I think our secondary played about as good as they’ve played since I’ve been here tonight,” Causey said. “They did a great job in coverage a great job in run support.”

Demopolis took advantage of the miscue with a nine-play drive that covered 37 yards and ended with a three-yard scoring run by Pettus, leaving Demopolis up 26-0.

Jeremy Wallace later rounded out the Demopolis scoring with a 45-yard punt return that put DHS up 32-0.

“We lost our focus when we got up 32,” Causey said of his team, which committed four turnovers in the second half. “We’ve got to quit doing that, quit making those silly mistakes and play one clean ball game. We need to be able to play 48 minutes and not turn the ball over.”

Immediately following the victory, Causey turned his team’s attention toward its next challenge, a region contest against rival Carver next Friday night.

“Twice last year. Twice last year,” he said in the post-game huddle as he reminded his team of the two losses it suffered to Carver last season.

“It’s real big. We still remember 2.2 seconds,” Irby said of the amount of time left on the clock before Carver connected on the game-winning field goal that bounced Demopolis from the third round of the 2008 playoffs. “We talk about it everyday. We’re going to have to work hard at practice for four days and come out and just perform Friday.”

“You always want to be playing well. We’re not playing real well right now even thought we’re 3-0,” Causey said. “I’m glad we’ve got them at home. It’s a huge game for us. I hope the whole city shows up for us.”