Demopolis routed by Thomasville

Published 12:36 am Saturday, September 24, 2011

Demopolis (3-2, 3-0) spotted Thomasville (5-0, 3-0) three scores in the first five minutes of the game and could not recover en route to a 55-27 loss.

“Our goals are still in front of us,” a somber Tom Causey told his players following the game. “The region championship is still in front of us.”

Thomasville opened the night with a 44-yard kickoff return from University of Alabama commit Tyler Hayes that set up a four-play, 41-yard touchdown drive. John Knight punched the ball in from one yard to give THS a 7-0 advantage.

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Demopolis coughed the ball up on the first play of the ensuing drive as Thomasville’s Myles Clayton recovered the ball at the Demopolis 29 yard line. Three plays later, Hayes sprinted in from 17 yards out to up the lead to 14-0.

Two plays into its second possession, Demopolis put the ball on the ground again. Clayton again dove on the ball to set Thomasville up 41 yards away from a three-score lead.

On the only play of the possession, Tevin Watters rolled to his right and fired the ball deep to Clayton for a 41-yard touchdown that put Thomasville up 21-0 with 7:40 remaining on the first quarter clock.

Demopolis picked itself up on the next possession, going 69 yards on eight plays to get on the scoreboard when quarterback Tucker Jones punched the ball in from a yard out. Jones made runs of 20 and 15 yards on the drive and connected with Logan Holley on a 25-yard pass along the way.

Down 21-7, Demopolis appeared poised to get itself back in the game before allowing Delvonte White to break a 51-yard scoring run on third down to up the advantage to 28-7.

On its next possession, Thomasville seemed to have stretched its lead even further when Watters chunked a 36-yard pass into the end zone. But Demopolis cornerback Justin Durant wrestled the ball away for the interception to give his team a reprieve.

The teams proceeded to trade punts until Durant struck again when he plucked a deflected pass out of the air and returned it to the Thomasville 29 with 5:23 remaining in the second quarter.

Demopolis needed only one play to squander the opportunity when it fired a ball that found its way into the hands of Clayton.

Four plays later, Knight erupted for a 53-yard touchdown run up the middle of the Demopolis defense, leaving Thomasville up 34-7 with 3:14 to go in the first half.

Demopolis again drove deep into Thomasville territory in an attempt to answer before a fumble allowed Lukador Lanier to scoop up the the discarded ball and return it 64 yards for a touchdown to send Thomasville into the locker room with a 41-7 lead.

“We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the football in the first half,” Causey said of his team, which fumbled the ball six times in the first half and 10 in the game, losing four of the errors. “We got behind and started chasing points all night and couldn’t match them.”

Demopolis drew first blood in the second half when Jerry Campbell took the opening kickoff 84 yards to the Thomasville 4 to setup a scoring run by Jones. The Mitch McPherson kick cut the deficit to 41-14.

After forcing a three-and-out, Demopolis proceeded to drive the ball to the Thomasville 45 on a drive that saw Jones injured and helped off the field after a critical third and short. He did not return.

Thomasville answered the stalled Demopolis drive with a seven-play, 55-yard drive that saw White punch the ball in from four yards out to stretch the advantage to 48-14.

Thomasville scored its final touchdown of the night when James Bettis took the ball in from 10 yards out to cap a nine-play, 39-yard drive.

Backup quarterback Tyler Oates engineered Demopolis’ final two scoring drives. The first covered 65 yards on eight plays and ended on an 11-yard pass to Tre Dotson. The final Demopolis scoring drive was set up by a Taylor Polk fumble recovery and covered 45 yards in 10 plays, ending when Demetrius Kemp pounded the ball into the end zone from a yard out.

Durant had six tackles and two interceptions to lead the defense. Wesley Anderson added six tackles while Pat Taylor had five. Holley was the lone offensive standout, hauling in four passes for 98 yards.

Demopolis amassed 159 yards rushing on 44 carries while Thomasville had 320 on 45 totes.

Thomasville’s scoring outburst marked the first time Demopolis surrendered 50 points in a game since the First Nixon Administration. The phenomenon last occurred on Oct. 13, 1972 when Holt beat Demopolis 55-0.

Demopolis returns to region play next week when it hosts Paul Bryant while Thomasville travels to Escambia County.