Tigers blow by Jaguars
Head coach Tom Causey had very few words after his Demopolis Tigers (7-2, 4-2) demolished Wilcox-Central 79-6 to close out Region 3 play Friday night.
“It ain’t about the score,” he told his team in the post-game huddle. “You kept your class all night long. That score never should have gotten like that.”
The lone bright spot on the night for Wilcox-Central was a 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown by linebacker Thomas Salisbury. He scooped up a bobbled pitch and went the distance to help the Jaguars avoid the shutout. That came with 3:07 to play in the third quarter.
“Our kids played hard all night long,” Causey said humbly of the blowout win. “I’m proud that we got to play everybody. I’m proud of our kids for their effort.”
Demopolis recorded a safety with 9:18 to play in the first when Saul Palmer and Michael Davis combined to tackle the WCHS punter in the end zone. Demopolis then put together an eight-play, 47-yard drive that was marred by penalties. Quarterback Ben Pettus hit Anthony Hardy on an underneath route. Hardy’s dive for the pylon extended the DHS lead with 5:14 to go in the first. Spence Overstreet came on to add the point-after, making it 9-0. By night’s end, Overstreet was 11-for-11 on extra-point kicks.
“Spence has worked hard all year,” Causey said of the sophomore kicker. “He had an opportunity tonight because we had (starting place kicker) Matt Sellers out sick. He come through when we needed him to.”
Less than three minutes later, Demopolis was in the end zone again. This time, Tremaine Irby fielded a WCHS punt at the line of scrimmage and returned it 18 yards for the score and a 16-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, Damarcus James hit paydirt from two yards away, making it 23-0. Just 15 seconds later, the Tigers capitalized on a Tremaine Sanders fumble recovery with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Wiley Isaac. The score, the first of the senior’s varsity career, made the game 30-0.
Hardy found the end zone again with 6:35 left in the half, this time pulling in a 45-yard touchdown pass from Pettus.
The Tigers went into the locker room with a 44-0 lead after James bolted in from nine yards out.
Demopolis went to its reserves in the second quarter, but the bleeding scarcely slowed. Before the Tigers put their offense on the field in the second half, three more touchdowns were added to the board.
Jeremy Wallace took the opening kickoff of the third quarter 83 yards for a TD. Two plays later, he snatched a fumbled ball out of the air and took it 15 yards for another score.
“I think Jeremy has changed his life personally, for himself,” Causey said of Wallace, who sat out his junior year but has since returned to contribute in all phases of the game for the Tigers. “He’s working extremely hard at being a good teammate. Jeremy puts his teammates ahead of himself and he’s being rewarded by the game.”
On the ensuing kickoff, Darnell Hammond came up with a loose ball and took it 18 yards for a score. With 10:15 to go in the third quarter, Demopolis led 65-0.
On the Tigers’ first offensive play of the third quarter, James Wilson went 29 yards up the middle to extend the advantage to 72-0.
After Salisbury got the Jaguars on the board, the scoring appeared to be done until backup quarterback Tucker Jones broke free for a 62-yard scamper on a fourth down run. With 4:14 to go in the game, Overstreet hit his final extra-point of the evening to leave the Tigers one-point shy of the dreaded 80-point mark.
Causey is now tasked with getting his players’ focused on rival Thomasville, who lost to Jackson Friday night.
“I don’t think that’s hard to do when you’re talking about playing Thomasville,” he said of the getting his team focused. “Don’t take anything away from Thomasville because they play in the toughest region in the state, top to bottom, 1A through 6A. They play state championship caliber teams each and every week.”