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Demopolis ignores Homecoming distractions

Demopolis routed Monroe County 62-21 a season ago in a game that got out of hand early. With a rematch against MCHS looming Friday night, Tom Causey anticipates a much different game this time around.

“We’re expecting their best effort,” the third-year Demopolis head coach said Monroe County. “The best game they played all year long was against Chilton County last week.”

In that contest, Monroe County trailed Chilton 21-0 before rallying to close the gap, eventually losing 21-14.

Despite the team’s 1-5 record, Causey said there is no comparison between this year’s Monroe team and the one Demopolis dismantled a year ago. The difference for Monroe begins at the top with a brand new coaching staff.

“It’s a whole new system. It’s a whole new everything,” Causey said. “You can’t really compare them.”

The biggest danger in preparing for Monroe County is finding a way to limit the team’s skill players. More dynamic and athletic than they have been in previous years, Monroe boasts a big play ability that has been absent from its offense.

“They’ve got dang good skill guys,” Causey said. “They’ve got skill guys who can score from anywhere on the field.”

While Monroe County is looking for something to build on in the latter portion of its schedule, Demopolis is riding back-to-back wins following a difficult loss to Carver.

The most recent of those victories for DHS came last week when the Tigers overwhelmed Selma before pulling its starters in a 39-14 blasting.

The win notwithstanding, Causey was displeased with a number of things his team did and did not do against the Saints.

“Fundamentals of football,” he said plainly of the team’s focus this week. “We didn’t do the little things real well; getting off blocks, staying on blocks, hat placement. Those are things we’re hammering this week. We made a lot of technique errors last week. We’re a long way from good. So we’ve got a lot to improve on.”

On the plus side for the Tigers, junior quarterback Ben Pettus is fresh off his best start of the season; a contest in which he accumulated 285 total yards and three touchdowns.

“I thought Ben did a good job throwing the football Friday night and he did a better job running the football,” Causey said. “We’ve just got to keep getting better at what we do.”

Getting better for the Tigers this week means shutting out the potential distractions of Homecoming week. Causey reminded his players of that at the conclusion of practice Monday.

“That’s scary every year,” he said of the potential obstacles presented by Homecoming festivities. “You hope your kids are mature enough to understand that Homecoming for us is about the game Friday night.”