Tigers soar over Falcons
Demopolis (2-1, 2-0) persisted in the passing game Friday night as Tucker Jones threw four touchdown passes to down Central-Tuscaloosa (0-3, 0-2) 43-20 in a key region win.
“I think it was a team deal because Central was trying to take one thing away from us,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said.
“First half, Demetrius Kemp had a couple big catches to get Tucker some confidence.”
That confidence proved key for Jones, who finished the night 8-for-15 through the air for 159 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing the ball 12 times or 132 yards.
Jones put some distance between his team and Central late in the third quarter when he lofted a ball over the top to Logan Holley, who sold a run block against the Central corner before sprinting down the sideline and making and over-the-shoulder catch for a 45-yard score.
After Robert McVay recorded his first of two interceptions on the night to setup the knockout blow, Jones delivered the final shot when he connected with Holley down the left sideline again, this time hooking up with the senior for a 20-yard strike with 18.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 43-14.
Following a lengthy Central possession ended in an unusual play that saw the quarterback fumble the ball before picking it up and throwing a 34-yard touchdown pass, the Tigers played keep away as the first team offense drove the ball from its own 24 down to the Central 35 before inserting is reserve unit into the game to ice the win.
After the Tigers took a 22-6 lead into the locker room, their opening drive of the third quarter stalled. Stephen Stewart unleashed a 46-yard punt to hem the Falcons in at their own 10. Central proceeded to go 90 yards in 15 plays and added a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 22-14.
The Tigers then sandwiched the two touchdown passes to Holley around a five-yard scoring run from Tre Dotson that was set up by fumble recovery and return from McVay to go up 36-14.
Dotson had 53 yards on 11 carries in the second half when he entered the game in relief of James Wilson who left with an apparent knee injury.
“Tre had an unbelievable offseason,” Causey said of the preparation by Dotson.
“He has gotten better and better and has really accepted his role on this football team.
“There is no drop-off when Tre is in the game.”
The Tigers opened the scoring in the first quarter when Jones hit Kemp on a six-yard touchdown pass. Demopolis upped the lead to 15-0 when Jones went over the top to Kemp, who beat his man and reeled in the pass for a 31-yard score.
After Central cut it to 15-6, Wilson plunged in from a yard out with 1:44 to go in the first half, stretching the Demopolis advantage to 22-6.
Kemp finished the night with five catches for 73 yards while also recovering a fumble from his outside linebacker spot. McVay had two interceptions, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt. Justin Durant recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass in the first quarter before going on to record 10 tackles on the night, two of which prevented certain touchdowns.
“What a great job our defense did causing and creating turnovers,” Causey said.
“On the other side of the ball, we did a better job taking care of the ball.”
Demopolis won the turnover battle for the first time this season, racking up five takeaways while only surrendering the ball once.
Neilson Renner caused one of those Falcon fumbles while also recording 10 tackles in the game. Wesley Anderson finished the night with 12 total tackles.
Lane Hawkins had six tackles and a sack from his defensive end position while Spence Overstreet also finished with six tackles.
Mitch McPherson was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra point kicks.
Demopolis travels to Wilcox-Central next Friday night.