Tigers return to region play

Published 12:55 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tom Causey was pleased with his team following last week’s win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, citing the game as the most complete contest Demopolis has played this season.

“(Our players) played 48 minutes,” he said.

The game was a stark contrast to its predecessors. In week one, Demopolis trailed Wetumpka for much of the ballgame before rallying late to pick up the win. In week two, the Tigers posted 21 points in the second quarter and held on to drop Chilton County. Week three saw Demopolis erupt out of the gate before turning the ball over four times in the second half against Fayette County en route to a win. Week four watched the Tigers take the early lead and momentum against Carver before ultimately fading down the stretch.

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While Causey was impressed with his team’s effort, the veteran coach was also pleased with the way it bounced back following its region loss to Carver.

“I’m extremely proud of the way our kids and coaches rebounded from a tough loss,” Causey said. “Now, let’s see how we rebound from a big win.”

Causey explained his philosophy that complete game efforts, such as the one Demopolis exhibited in its 25-20 win over Hillcrest, are rooted in the days leading up to the game.

“When we practice like that, we play like that,” Causey said. “I think we’re getting better. We’ve got to get better every week. We’ve got to get better at practice tempo. Learning how to practice is the biggest hurdle I think every team we’ve had here has had to overcome.”

This week the Tigers will travel to face a 3-2 Selma squad looking to make a push for a playoff spot out of Class 5A, Region 3.

“Last year, they were 4-1 at this point,” Causey said of the Saints. “The one difference is they lost to Leflore.”

Demopolis opened last year’s affair with Selma by going to the air, finding Anthony Hardy for a 62-yard touchdown pass, the first of three scores on the night for the lanky A-back. By evening’s end, DHS had amassed 423 yards and put together a 55-20 victory.

Still, Causey anticipates an improved Selma squad and said the challenge ahead of Demopolis is clear as it attempts to limit an athletic Saint team.

“They’re so talented at every position,” Causey said. “You can see that they are working together better than they were last year. That’s scary when you get that kind of athletic talent going together.”

Included on that athletic Selma roster is Dexter Blackmon, a 6-foot-2, 265-pound defensive end who has verbally committed to LSU. On the other side of the ball, the Tigers will be forced to contend with 6-2, 210-pound running back Eddie Johnson.

“(On defense), we’ve got to be able to stop their big running back, make sure we don’t give up the big play against him,” Causey said.

In addition to limiting Johnson and executing when they have the ball, the Tigers will focus on improving their special teams play, which has struggled mightily at times thus far this season.

“We’ve got to be better in the kicking game,” Causey said. “We’ve got to be better at what we do.”