Demopolis blasts ACA in 35-0 in opener

Cortez Lewis comes down with a jump ball to set up an early Demopolis touchdown Friday night against American Christian.

Cortez Lewis comes down with a jump ball to set up an early Demopolis touchdown Friday night against American Christian.

Demopolis saw its seniors make big plays Friday night as it downed visiting ACA 35-0 to open regular season play.

The Tigers found their first offensive rhythm of the season on their second possession when they used nine plays to cover 80 yards The big play came when Northern Illinois commit Cortez Lewis went vertical to snag a jump ball for a 33-yard gain that set up a Roderick Davis touchdown run from two yards out.

ACA appeared to have life when Will Sullivan forced and recovered a fumble just 18 yards from a potential tying score. The drive would later fizzle out when the Patriots missed a 25-yard field goal attempt.

The Tigers then covered 65 yards in two plays on a 36-yard run by Davis and a 29-yard pass to Lewis before DHS missed a field goal attempt of its own. One play later, Georgia Tech commit Tyler Merriweather ripped and recovered a ball at the ACA 21. That was enough for the Tigers’ senior tailback as Davis took the ball in from 21 yards out to extend the DHS lead.

Roderick Davis plows over an ACA defender and stretches for a touchdown.

Roderick Davis plows over an ACA defender and stretches for a touchdown.

“My coach was just pushing me to squeeze the tackle’s shoulder. For the first part of the night, I really wasn’t doing it,” Merriweather said of the pivotal defensive play. “So that play, I just really focused on squeezing the shoulder and putting myself in position to make the play.”

After Lewis had a 60-yard punt return for a score negated by a personal foul penalty, the Tigers went 52 yards in four plays, capping the scoring drive with an eight-yard run by Southern Miss commit Demetrius Kemp.

Demopolis, which amassed 434 yards of total offense on the night, used eight different ball carriers to tally 41 rushes and 314 yards on the ground.

“When we were hitting our tracks and not missing assignments, I felt like we had anything,” Demopolis coach Tom Causey said. “That’s no disrespect to ACA. When we failed, it was on us.”

Nelson Brown gave the Patriots hope in the second half when he forced and retrieved a fumble to halt a Demopolis drive. But the Patriots would threaten no more as the Tiger defense held ACA to 67 total yards on the night.

“It’s a solid defense. You’ve got good athletes and they’re well coached,” ACA coach John Causey said. “You know they’re going to make plays. It’s how we respond to them. When you talk about trying to move the ball against that solid defense, it’s difficult.”

The Tigers got their fourth touchdown after a 40-yard run by Ryan Schroeder helped set up two-yard scoring plunge by Lewis.

Drew Jones carries the ball for a Demopolis score.

Drew Jones carries the ball for a Demopolis score.

Demopolis cashed in one more time when Drew Jones blasted his way in for a four-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

The game marked the back end of a home-and-home series for the teams coached by the Causey brothers.

“There’s not another human being on this earth I respect more than him as man and as a coach,” John said of his Friday night opponent. “You’re going to get a clean, classy, hard-nosed, the way you want to play Friday night football. I have all the respect in the world for what he has done, not only on the field but the character he instills in those guys.”

“It’s fun. We’ve been competing since we were little boys and it was nothing any different tonight. They did a great job getting their kids ready to play tonight. The coaches did a good job. It was fun. I’m glad it’s over. But it was fun,” Tom said. “It has put a lot of strain on my mother and she doesn’t win either way. It was fun while we were playing the game and it is time to move on now.”

Davis led all rushers with 107 yards on 13 carries. Schroeder added 85 yards on five carries for Demopolis. Lewis finished with 79 yards on four catches to go along with his rushing score.

Matt Dauphin, Kesean Bell, Lakendrick Gilbert and Caleb Spence combine to stop an ACA runner.

Matt Dauphin, Kesean Bell, Lakendrick Gilbert and Caleb Spence combine to stop an ACA runner.

Merriweather led the Demopolis defense with seven total tackles to go along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Jacquan Lawson, Lebaron Spencer, Rahmeel Cook and Peyton Pearson each recorded a sack on the night for the Tigers.