Demopolis turns back Saraland threat
Sat. September 15, 2012 at 12:18 a.m. | By Jeremy D. Smith
DEMOPOLIS | The Demopolis Tigers jumped out to an early lead, fended off a brief Saraland threat and never looked back in a 41-14 win Friday night.
Demopolis hung the first points on the board less than four minutes into the game when Tucker Jones hit Cortez Lewis with a 10-yard touchdown pass.
The Tigers found paydirt again on their ensuing possession when Demetrius Kemp plowed over the goal line for a 1-yard rushing score.
Saraland got its first hint of life when Mitchell Sanders snagged a 42-yard pass from Jay Ward to launch an 88-yard Spartan scoring drive that ended on a 1-yard plunge from Leander Burrowes, cutting the Demopolis lead to 13-7.
Demopolis answered with 6:21 to go in the second quarter when Rodney Harper reached around the helmet of a Spartan defender and tipped the ball to himself in the end zone on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jones.
Saraland showed its resilience again when Mitchell Phillips recovered a fumbled punt to set up a short scoring drive that culminated with a 1-yard plunge by Ward.
Kemp responded with what proved to be the backbreaker right before halftime, reeling off a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to up the Demopolis lead to 27-14.
“That’s huge. It’s a one-score game right there. It was a big momentum swing right there,” Demopolis coach Tom Causey said.
Kemp’s return ignited a string of 21 unanswered points by the Tigers that also included a 1-yard touchdown run by Jones and a 78-yard touchdown catch by Brock Montgomery.
“They played hard. They played hard for 48 minutes, and that’s something that we’ve been looking for,” Causey said of his team’s effort. “Give Saraland credit. Those jokers never quit, kept playing all night long.”
Jones ended his night with 190 yards through the air and 57 more on the ground. Roderick Davis anchored the rushing attack with 112 yards on 22 carries. The Tigers had 361 yards of total offense, including 171 on the ground.
While the offense lit up the scoreboard, it was the Tigers’ defense that suffocated Saraland in the second half.
“I saw them, in the second half, pitch a shutout,” Causey said of his defense. “First half, we had a couple missed assignments in the passing game and Saraland took advantage of them.”
Saraland had 152 yards passing but only 57 rushing yards on 32 carries.
Demopolis (3-0) hosts Selma next week while Saraland (2-1) hosts Satsuma.