Tigers dispatch regional rival Selma with little trouble
SELMA – Demopolis rushed out to a sizable lead, put in its reserves and scarcely looked back during a 39-14 win over Selma that took more than three hours to finish.
“We played well on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game until it was 39-0,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said.
The Tigers’ (5-1, 2-1 Region) opening possession covered 70 yards in 14 plays, culminating with a one-yard touchdown run by Damarcus James. Matt Sellers added the extra point, giving DHS the 7-0 lead.
Selma threatened to answer back on its ensuing drive when Keaton Spears found Kendrick Woods on a 53-yard pass play that appeared to have reservations for six before DHS corner Kiandre Adams made the tackle at the Tiger 16. The Saints’ march stumbled as the next two plays lost 14 yards, leading to a fourth down heave the safety Tremaine Irby deflected to the Memorial Stadium turf.
Demopolis then used its next six plays to go 70 yards and increase its lead. The final play of the drive saw quarterback Ben Pettus hook up with Anthony Hardy for a 36-yard pass that reached the Selma 20 before a timely hit jarred the ball loose. An opportunistic Fred Irby scooped up the loose ball and carried it the rest of the way to up the Tiger lead to 13-0.
A three-and-out on the Saints’ next possession left Demopolis 66 yards from paydirt. The Tigers covered that distance in two plays, capping the drive with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Pettus to Jeremy Wallace. That play left Demopolis up 19-0 with 6:48 to play in the first half.
The Saints misfired on their next play from scrimmage, finding DHS defensive back Wiley Isaac rather than their intended target. His interception return set Demopolis up 30 yards from a four possession lead.
Six plays later, James scored from two yards out to increase the Demopolis lead. Larry Cobb caught Pettus’ two-point conversion pass to increase the lead to 27-0 before the half.
The Tiger offensive starters played only two possessions in the second half. The first of those covered 77 yards in six plays and ended when Pettus darted through the heart of the defense for a 32-yard touchdown run.
“I thought he did a real good job of reading the option tonight,” Causey said of Pettus. “I don’t know that he had too many misreads. This was his best night running the football.”
It was also Pettus’ best night throwing the football. The junior completed 66 percent of his passes. His final throw of the evening came on the third play of the Tigers’ next possession. That toss found Cobb streaking down the field for a 49-yard touchdown, leaving DHS up 39-0.
Pettus finished his night going 10-for-15 through the air for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Pettus also covered 60 yards and accounted for a touchdown on just five carries.
Defensively, senior linebacker Larry Dunn recovered a pair of fumbles for the Tigers. The second of those recoveries finished a play started by senior safety Ben McCarter, who forced the miscue on a touchdown saving tackle at the Tiger 2.
Causey was pleased with the way a number of his reserves performed.
“Trent Blackwood gets a sack. Kyle Littles and Taylor Simpson, I saw them rushing the quarterback well,” Causey said.
Selma added its two scores after the Tigers put in their reserve units. The first of those was set up by a Jonathan Harris fumble recovery at the DHS 13. The Saints got on the board with 2:02 to go in the third quarter when Spears found Woods in the end zone from six yards out.
With 48.7 seconds to go in the game, Spears found Woods again from 28 yards away. Spears added his own two-point conversion run, accounting for all 14 Selma points.