Demopolis gets shot at Carver

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Demopolis is only two days away from a game it has anticipated since making a hasty round three playoff exit last season. In that game, a rematch with region rival Carver, the Tigers scored a touchdown and two-point conversion to take one-point lead with 1:36 remaining on the game clock. One minute and 36 seconds later, Demopolis players and coaches stormed the field to celebrate their victory following a missed Wolverine field goal attempt.

That scene quickly gave way to confusion and ultimately agony as the Tigers were flagged for running through the center on the attempt, setting Carver up 15 yards closer for a second chance chip shot that ended Demopolis’ season and sent the Wolverines to a fourth round date with eventual state champion Vigor.

The Tigers’ playoff loss to the Wolverines came at Cramton Bowl. Their regular season defeat happened on somewhat neutral turf in Wetumpka. This Friday’s affair is the first time the Demopolis will host Carver, who dropped from 6A to 5A prior to the 2008 season.

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“I’m glad we get them at home,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said of Friday’s rematch.

While the events of Nov. 21, 2008 have replayed continually in the minds of Demopolis players and coaches over the last nine months, Causey cautions that such emotions will not be enough for the Tigers to gain their first victory over Carver.

“They won our region last year. They beat us twice. I think anybody who has blood running through their veins and went through what we did last year is going to have a real emotional week getting ready for this ball game,” Causey said. “We can’t cloud our preparation with emotion. This ball game isn’t going to be won on emotions.”

Carver, who entered the season as the No. 3 team in the ASWA poll before a loss to Greenville two weeks ago, figures to be the Tigers’ toughest test to date. Causey understands just how formidable of a threat the Wolverines are to the state’s current No. 3 team.

“We’ve got to line up correctly and don’t miss tackles,” Causey said. “We’ve got to make tackles for sure against this bunch. They have the ability at all their skill positions to score from anywhere on the field.”

Causey also understands that Demopolis’ offense can help its defense by taking care of the football. Despite a lopsided win over Fayette County last week, the Tigers committed four turnovers in the second half, two of which came on back-to-back drives that stalled after only one play.

“We can’t have a one-play drive and turn the ball over against an offense as good as Carver’s,” Causey said. “They’re extremely good and have big-play capability. We have to limit their opportunities.”

The game marks only the second region contest of the year for Demopolis and the second against a 2008 Class 5A, Region 3 playoff representative. The Tigers bested Chilton County, the only common foe between Demopolis and Carver thus far this season, 21-14 two weeks ago. The Wolverines dropped Chilton 35-3 last Friday.

“Obviously Greenville and Carver are two dang good football teams and Selma is coming on. Each region game is huge,” Causey said of the region road ahead for the Tigers. “I just think if we go out and play our game and don’t turn the ball over and eliminate the big play, we’ll win the ball game.”