Demopolis opens region play with win over Calera

Published 11:54 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

The Demopolis Tigers (1-1, 1-0) came away with a 33-19 win in their region opener against the Calera Eagles (1-1, 0-1) Friday night.

The Tigers withstood a comeback attempt by the Eagles in the second half and were able to ice the game with under a minute to play with a touchdown run by Logan McVay.

Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said he was proud of his team for the way they came out and played.

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“We felt like we had something to prove tonight, and they came out and did that,” he said. “I’m proud of our guys in all three phases of the game.”

Calera head coach Wiley McKeller took the blame for his team’s loss.

“We didn’t come out to play,” he said. “We had a bad first half, and that’s my fault. I’ve got to do a better job of getting our guys ready. Hopefully we’ll learn from it and be better for it.”

Both teams’ defenses came out strong, forcing three-and-outs on the first drives. On Calera’s second drive, they got the ball in the endzone on a 7-yard run by Ty Evans. The extra point was no good, and the Eagles led 6-0 with 5:39 to play in the opening frame.

On Demopolis’ next drive, they responded and took the lead on an 11-yard pass from Logan McVay to Ryan Schroeder. Tyler Overstreet hit the extra point to give Demopolis the 7-6 lead.

Another three-and-out by the Eagles offense gave Demopolis the ball at their own 31 yard line to start the second quarter. The Tigers moved the ball down the field, and a 35-yard run by McVay put his team on the 2 yard line. Jay Craig finished off the drive to give Demopolis a 13-6 lead after the missed PAT.

After another three-and-out by Calera, the Eagles defense forced the Tigers to punt, but a fumble on the return forced by Wil Stephens and Travares Hall gave Demopolis the ball back at the Calera 19. Hall was in on the recovery for Demopolis.

A couple plays later, Rashad Lynch scored from 15 yards out to put Demopolis on top 20-6 with three minutes to play in the half. That score held until halftime.

At the half, Calera’s ShaKeith Tyes had 84 yards rushing on 10 carries. He finished the game with 87 yards on 13 carries after the Eagles went to the passing game in the second half.

On Demopolis’ first drive of the third quarter, McVay threw an interception to Deszmond Kersh, but the Tigers defense stood tall again, forcing another three-and-out.

On the Tigers’ next play from scrimmage, Lynch scored from 68 yards out. Eagles defenders thought he was down after some contact, but he managed to keep his balance and outran the defense the rest of the way. After the PAT, Demopolis led 27-6.

As time was running down in the third quarter, the Eagles got on the scoreboard again, this time on a passing connection from Evans to Zachary Gaines from 18 yards out.

Mid-way through the fourth quarter, a Craig fumble was recovered by Calera’s John Killingsworth, giving the Eagles the ball inside Tiger territory.

Evans found Kyle Harrell from 14 yards out to bring the Eagles within eight points at 27-19 with 6:23 to play.

On Demopolis’ next drive, McVay took over and made some of his best reads of the night from the quarterback position. He took the Tigers down the field and ran it in from a yard out with 37.9 seconds to play to ice the game, giving the Tigers the 33-19 win.

“We played really physical up front tonight against a physical opponent,” Causey said. “Kids grow up on drives like that last one. We needed that drive, and we got it. That was really big for us.”

When it was all said and done, the Tigers outgained the Eagles 388 yards to 294. All but 56 of Demopolis’ yards came on the ground.

McVay ended the game with 136 yards and a TD on 27 carries, while Lynch also crossed the century mark with 117 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Craig had 67 yards and a TD on nine carries for Demopolis. Defensively, AJ Collier led the way for Demopolis with nine tackles and a pass breakup.

For Calera, Tyes ended the game with 124 all-purpose yards.

“We had a good football team across from us tonight, and our little guys held up,” Causey said.

Next week, Demopolis will host Jemison and Calera will travel to Central-Tuscaloosa.