• 70°

Tigers head for Hillcrest

In its final tune-up performance before hosting Charles Henderson in the first round of the playoffs, Demopolis (6-3) will travel to Tuscaloosa Thursday night to take on Class 6A Hillcrest High (9-0).

“I think it is really good playoff prep for us,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said of his team’s last opponent of the regular season. “They are Region 5, 6A champions. They are definitely one of those teams that will prepare us for what we are going to see in the coming weeks.”

Causey’s team will face one of its toughest tests of the season Thursday when it collides with an experienced Patriot team that has talent all over the field.

“This is the fourth year we’ve played them,” Causey said. “A lot of these kids are the same kids we’ve played against for the last three or four years. This is probably the most experienced Hillcrest team we’ve played. They are very talented, extremely well coached and they play the game with a passion about them.”

Among the more passionate players on the Hillcrest roster is middle linebacker Deddric Williams, a player Causey knows could cause the Tigers fits it they allow him.

“They don’t give up many points. Their defensive front fits as good as anybody we’ve seen. They have a middle linebacker that has been playing for them for three or four years,” Causey said. “He is kind of the heart and soul of their defense. They do a great job of tackling, running to the football and defending the field.”

While Williams will lead the Patriots’ defense, quarterback Luke Wingo will command the Patriot offense.

“They run the football. They are downhill at you with a big offensive line, a really experience quarterback and an explosive running back that is probably as good as anyone we’ve seen this year,” Causey said. “The Wingo kid has the ability that, if you pack the box, he can throw it pretty well and beat you.”

Causey recognizes the caliber of team his Tigers will be facing Thursday night and is hopeful his team can continue to build on the progression it displayed last week in a 41-21 win over Selma.

“I think the improvement was fairly obvious,” Causey said. “We got a rhythm on offense and were able to score some points. And our special teams were much better and gave us a chance to play the field position game.”