Player of the Week: Damarcus James

Published 11:09 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Imagine you are a defensive lineman. You do everything right. You fire out of your stance. You get by the opposing blocker. You’re in the Demopolis backfield. You know that No. 4 has the ability to make you miss or to go straight through you. You know that you have to make him commit to a direction. You remember seeing the film; how he always seems to fall forward or how he continually makes something out of nothing. You’ve studied him all week. You’ve prepared for his unique running style that blends quickness and agility with a penchant for the bruising finish.

Finally, the moment has arrived. You have him six yards behind the line of scrimmage; dead to rights. In an instant, two of your teammates are alongside you in the DHS backfield. This is it. You have No. 4 hemmed up.

Ever relentless, he reverses field to his right. Headed for the sidelines, he quickly encounters your teammates. All that study. All that preparation. This is the moment it pays off.

Then, as if on the face of a dime, he cuts back to his left and throws it into a gear you didn’t know he had. You’re chasing him, but it’s like he’s found the turbo button on the Xbox and all you can do is give chase so the coach doesn’t call you out for lack of effort at next week’s film study.

He cuts around the corner, finds the sideline and breaks it up field. All you can do is watch and feel bad for the defensive back who will be credited with the tackle and have the aches to remind him of it in the morning.

Nope. Damarcus James is not everything you thought he was. He is more. He is the heart of the Demopolis run game. And if you’re a Hillcrest Patriot in need of a win, he just torched your well-prepared defense for 218 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.

You saw your opportunity to steal a win. Your effort was unquestioned. Your team successfully raised the stakes with an evening chocked full of physical play. Then Demopolis did what you wanted it to do. It gave the ball to James. The Tigers fed him the rock on nine straight plays on the game’s most pivotal fourth quarter drive. And, even though you were ready for him, he punched his way through your defensive ranks with bad intentions.

Now, all that is left for you to do is to pick yourself back up and be glad you don’t have to play him again this year. Oh yeah. And you might want to say a little prayer for the poor suckers who still do.