Region play kicks off Friday night

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, September 4, 2013

All seven local high school football teams kick off region play Friday night, which is the part of the season that makes the biggest difference come playoff time.

The Demopolis Tigers (1-0) will make their first of two consecutive trips to Mobile this week. Their opponent for the first trip is Citronelle High School (1-0), a team the Tigers defeated 41-0 last season.

Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said he has seen a lot of improvement in the Wildcats since last year.

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“They’re much better, and Coach Gibson has done a great job,” Causey said. “You can see their play style on offense and defense. They have a lot of good athletes they play hard and play with a style.”

Last week, the Wildcats scored 54 points in their win over McIntosh.

“They put up a lot of points last week, and they have a quarterback that’s a winner,” Causey added. “They’ve got two strong fullbacks, and their nose guards use their hands and are good with leverage.”

One of the problems Demopolis had last week against ACA was penalties, and Causey said that is fixed with game reps.

“We had a lot of penalties, but that can be fixed,” he said. “The thing that worried me the most last week was missed assignments, and we’ve fixed that again this week.”

He added that the main thing his team needs to focus on is getting better every day.

“If we continue to improve every day, we’ll be fine,” he said. “No matter the outcome of the game Friday night, if we keep doing what we’re supposed to do and get better every day, we’ll be in good shape.”

Demopolis junior A-back Seth Aiken injured his leg on a special teams play late in the game against ACA, and Causey said he was getting an MRI done Tuesday to see the extent of the injury.

“He’s a hard worker, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get back, whatever the injury is,” Causey said.

Three local teams will play at home this week, while four, including Demopolis, will be on the road.

Linden (0-1) will host Blacksher (0-1) to open region play this season.

Last season, the Patriots blanked the Bulldogs 58-0.

John Essex (0-1) will play host to the Fruitdale Pirates (0-1), who barely came away with a win over the Hornets last season, 34-32.

The Marengo Panthers (0-1) will host the McIntosh Demons (0-1) in the first region game of the season.

Last season, the Demons defeated the Panthers 58-0.

On the road this week will be Sweet Water, A.L. Johnson and Marengo Academy.

Sweet Water (0-1) travels to Leroy (1-0) to take on the Bears.

The Bulldogs shut out the Bears in 2012 45-0.

A.L. Johnson (1-0) will take a long road trip from Thomaston to Mobile to take on St. Luke’s Episcopal (0-1). The Eagles fell to St. Luke’s 35-18 last season.

The Marengo Academy Longhorns (1-0) will head to Montgomery on Friday to take on Eastwood Christian (0-1). Marengo Academy defeated Eastwood 57-0 in 2012.