POTW: Damarcus James

Published 8:02 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2009

After Friday’s performance against Spanish Fort, how could anyone but Damarcus James be named the Player of the Week?

There was very little mystery to the Tigers’ gameplan. Everyone in the stadium knew the junior back would be getting the ball early and often. Still, James took handoffs and pitches and gashed, cut and pounded his way through a Spanish Fort defense that could scarcely hinder his progress.

James appeared to have Demopolis on top early when he broke a jaw-dropping, 43-yard run that saw him juke and jive his way through a slew of defenders and into the end zone. A holding call brought the run back, but James made up for the points a few plays later. That was the first of four trips to the end zone on the evening, three of which went for touchdowns.

The most impressive play of the night for James was not the 75-yard dash in the third quarter or even the plunge that put Demopolis down 28-27 with 51.8 to play. The most impressive play was borne out of an offensive huddle after that last touchdown run.

Intent on going for two and unsure of what play to call, head coach Tom Causey looked into the eyes of his junior and saw what he was seeking. He told James — who now has 134 carries for 949 yards in the playoffs — to put the ball in the end zone. James responded as he always does. First, he nodded his head slightly in acknowledgement of his coach’s instruction. Then, he took the handoff and bullied his way across the goal line, giving Demopolis the lead and an eventual state championship berth. And Thursday in Tuscaloosa? The safe play is to expect more of the same.