• 59°

Demopolis dominates in region win

Demopolis (3-1, 3-0) played its first team offense 16 snaps then shifted into cruise control for a 56-12 win over visiting Wilcox-Central (1-3, 0-3) Friday night. The decision to pull the starters midway through the second quarter likely evaded an embarrassing blowout similar to the 79-6 victory Demopolis put together against Wilcox-Central last season.

The Tigers appeared poised to score on the opening play of the game when Kiandre Adams returned the opening kickoff 70 yards to the Wilcox 20 before being forced down. The first play from scrimmage saw Ben Pettus account for the difference when he hit James Wilson for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Cameron Fendley, who finished the night 8-for-8 on extra-point attempts, put the Tigers up 7-0 just 16 seconds into the game.

Demopolis then needed only two plays to score on its next possession, handing the ball to DaMarcus James for a 27-yard run before putting it in the hands of Wilson for a 29-yard touchdown run.

The first team offense’s lone mistake of the night came on its next possession when a reverse play accounted for 14 yards down to the Wilcox five before the runner had the ball stripped. The Jaguars recovered the miscue to keep hope briefly alive.

The Tigers’ ensuing possession covered 40 yards in two plays, both runs by James. The latter of those two carries resulted in a 22-yard touchdown dash.

On the ensuing kickoff, David France recovered a fumble in the end zone for the first touchdown of his varsity career. The senior finished the night as the Tigers’ leading tackler, recording 10 total stops to go along with a forced fumble, a pass deflection, the fumble recovery and the touchdown.

“David has had a great summer,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said. “He’s worked really hard this summer and has been really focused on what his job is.”

Demopolis added one more score on the last play of the first quarter when Pettus found Kiandre Adams over the middle for a 48-yard touchdown pass. The haul was the first reception of Adams’ varsity career.

“We’ve been trying to ease Kiandre in for the last couple weeks,” Causey said of the coaching staff’s attempts to get Adams involved in the offense. “But when we called that play, I didn’t even no he was in the game. It just happened to be Kiandre in at that time.”

Five plays later Cameron Wells recovered a fumble forced by France at the Wilcox 33. The Tigers capitalized on the gift with a five-play drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown run by Wilson, putting Demopolis up 42-0. The short march proved to be the last of the opening half by the Tigers, who pulled their offensive starters with 7:44 to go in the second quarter.

Demopolis inserted its first team for one drive in the third quarter. The three-play possession saw James cap the drive with a one-yard scoring run, ending his night with 92 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.

Demopolis’ final score came from the second unity when freshman Demetrius Kemp scored the first touchdown of his career with a four-yard rush. Wilcox added two scores late to cut into the deficit.

Wilson, Kemp, James, Pettus, Tre Dotson and Jerry Campbell combined to rush for 315 yards on 38 attempts for the Tigers. France’s defensive effort headed a trio of standouts that included Terrance Charleston, who recorded nine tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Defensive end Reid Barkley put together eight tackles with sacks.

Causey said he is unconcerned with the lack of first team offensive repetitions heading into next week’s game against Class 4A power Thomasville.

“That’s what we practice for. We don’t have any control over who we play,” Causey said. “We’ve got a lot of respect for what Thomasville does. It’s such a high quality program that you better be ready to play them. Hopefully we’ll give them a good ball game.”