Demopolis falls to Carver 34-12

Published 2:40 am Saturday, September 19, 2009

The rain started in the second quarter and scarcely let up as the Tigers (3-1, 1-1 Region) fell at home to Carver 32-14 Friday night.

After forcing a three-and-out on the opening possession of the game, Demopolis needed only four plays to go 67 yards for the first score. The bulk of that load was carried by Damarcus James, who capped the drive with a 53-yard touchdown run. Matt Sellers added the point after for a 7-0 lead.

Carver answered back late in the first quarter, pushing the ball 71 yards on eight plays, finishing off the possession with a Reginald Aaron keeper from two yards out to start the second quarter. The missed point after attempt left Demopolis up 7-6.

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The Tigers took over at their own 20 on the ensuing possession. James announced his presence again, amassing 35 yards on two carries to start the drive. After a false start and a fumble that took a fortuitous DHS bounce threatened to stall the drive at midfield, Ben Pettus went over the top to Fred Irby for a 50-yard touchdown pass.

“We knew we had one shot at it and we hit it,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said of the play. The point after gave DHS the 14-6 lead.

Carver fired back quickly, getting 81 yards on eight plays on a drive that saw Aaron connect with Antonio Pitts on fourth down for the score. The Wolverines’ two-point conversion attempt kept the game at 14-12.

The tide continued to stay in Carver’s favor for the remainder of the quarter as Demopolis turned the ball over on a fumble the first play of the next possession. The Tiger defense allowed Carver to get inside the 10 before buckling down for four straight plays and forcing a turnover on downs. As the rain got harder, the DHS offense sputtered even more, ultimately putting its punter in his own end zone on fourth down. That kick never crossed the line of scrimmage, setting Carver up for an easy score and a 19-14 halftime lead.

“The entire second quarter they were in good field position,” Causey said of the Wolverines, who outpaced DHS 19-7 in the period.

Demopolis showed promise out of the gate in the second half. Pettus took the first play from scrimmage nine yards on a carry before reeling off 41 more on the next play. A late hit penalty tacked on at the end of that run put the ball up to the Carver 14. Two plays later, Pettus took the ball all the way down to the Carver one and appeared to set Demopolis up for a go-ahead score before the Wolverine defense emerged from the pile with the ball.

CHS ran only two plays in the series, barely making it out of the end zone on both before punting on third down. Demopolis appeared ready to capitalize when it took the ball all the way back to the Carver eight, sustaining the drive on a pair of fourth down runs by James. However, James’ third attempt at a keeping the drive alive on a fourth down run was spotted inches short of the marker.

“We didn’t put the ball in the end zone,” Causey said. “We made some mistakes, but you’ve got to give credit to their defense. They are a dang good defense. They bowed their necks and made some plays.”

On three separate occasions in the game’s third quarter, Demopolis peeked the inside the Carver 15 yard line, coming up empty on all three possessions. The final opportunity came when Tremaine Sanders recovered a fumble at the Wolverine 18 with 1:46 remaining in the period.

Carver appeared to put the game out of reach with a five-yard scoring run by Stanley Robinson with 6:20 to go in the game. The Wolverines added to that lead with a touchdown pass with 3:37 left on the clock.

“That’s a good football team right there,” Carver head coach Al Pogue told his team following the game. “They’re going to beat a lot of folks.”

As Demopolis huddled together following its third loss to Carver in two years, senior defensive end Tre Jones addressed his teammates.

“It all happens for a reason,” he told them. “Nobody hang your head.”

Causey echoed the senior’s sentiments.

“I am as proud of you now as I would be if you won the ball game,” Causey said. “You played your tails off for 48 minutes. The goal for this season never was to go undefeated. The goal for this season was a lot of things. The last one was a state championship.”