Demopolis comeback attempt falls just short in semis

12-1-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — As the fog settles near the end zone, Demopolis’ A.J. Jackson (4) lowers his shoulders to take on several Saints to score the Tigers’ first touchdown against Saint Paul’s Episcopal.

Demopolis finished three yards shy of a trip to the Class 5A state championship game Friday night. The Tigers lost a thriller to St. Paul’s 20-19 as their two-point conversion pass fell incomplete with 43.9 seconds remaining in the game.

“It was my call and I just didn’t want to put it on the freshman kicker,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “I felt like that was an opportunity right there. It comes down to execution. They made the play and we didn’t.”

“It’s a little bit of numbness when you think about it and you’ve got nearly 47 and a half minutes of a game that comes down to one play,” St. Paul’s coach Steve Mask said. “It’s not just coach speak, but a lot of credit goes to Brian and his staff and his players. He absolutely did the right thing. I would’ve done the same thing. We were just there to make the play and fortunate to make a play.”

12-1-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Antonio Besteder runs around the outstretched arm of a Saint Paul’s defender during the Tigers game against the Saints.

Demopolis trailed 13-0 until A.J. Jackson scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 10:55 left in the game to cap an 11-play, 56-yard drive and cut the deficit to 13-6. St. Paul’s responded in kind as Jordon Ingram broke a 40-yard scoring run to move the lead to 20-6.

After an Andrew Patterson four-yard run on fourth down fell short, St. Paul’s took over with less than six minutes to play. Demopolis forced the only turnover of the night when Keionte Whitfield recovered a fumble at the Saints’ 48. Andrew Patterson connected with DeDe Davis on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 3:28 to play in the game to cut it to 20-13.

The Tigers then recovered an onside kick and embarked upon a 12-play, 48-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Antonio Besteder with 43.9 to play.

Demopolis then ran a two-point conversion play, but the pass fell incomplete to all but seal the game for St. Paul’s.

“I’m so proud of these seniors. They’ve had three coaches in their career and they really bought into what we were doing,” Seymore said. “Nobody really gave us a shot tonight. But I just felt like our kids were going to show up and play hard.”

The Tigers end their first season under Seymore at 11-3.

12-1-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Derrick Birl (24) and Russ Logan (43) take down a Sanit Paul’s runner during the Tigers game against the Saints.