Demopolis could inch closer to region crown with win at Central

Demopolis coach Tom Causey knows Central Tuscaloosa has plenty to accomplish if it can topple the Tigers Friday night.

The squads sit just one game apart in the Class 5A, Region 4 standings with the Demopolis at 4-0 and Central at 3-1. A win by the Falcons would throw the region in turmoil and force a three-way time, assuming Calera can beat Helena the same night.

But a win leaves Demopolis controlling its own destiny with an opportunity to clinch the region crown at home against Wilcox-Central next week.

Getting that win may be harder than most expect as Central enters on an offensive hot streak, having scored a total of 135 points the last three weeks.

“They’re one of the best offenses we’ve played this year,” Causey said of the Falcons. “They’ve got two running backs who are totally different animals. Lester Cotton is as advertised. Their quarterback does a great job of feeling pressure and not seeing it. Offensively, they’ve got it all.”

With all of that talent, Central finds itself able to attack defenses in numerous ways, an advantage it seizes frequently.

“They’re multiple,” Causey said. “They’ll go from four wide to I formation. They’d rather be in spread, but they’re going to hammer those big backs in there. You’ve got to defend them for 53 yards wide and 100 yards down the field.”

Demopolis will attempt to counter with an offense that has proven adept at running the ball in recent weeks.

Since its season-opening loss to Thomasville, Demopolis has put together five straight wins. During that time, the Tigers have rushed the ball 239 times for 1,588 yards. That is an average of 6.64 yards per carry.

Finding that kind of success this week will entail tangling with an athletic Central defense that has proven susceptible to giving up points in its own right.

“They’re 4-3,” Causey said. “They play a lot of man coverage. As athletic as they are, they can do that. Against Calera at time, we saw that they had 10 in the box.”

Central’s defense has allowed an average of 26.8 points per game, a number that is buoyed by a seven-point outing the unit pitched against Wilcox Central Sept. 19. Against Calera, Dallas County and Paul Bryant, the Falcons allowed 37 or more points in each contest.

Matchups aside, Demopolis will likely need a faster start than it got last week against Sumter Central when it limped its way to a 10-0 halftime lead.

“A lot of it was Sumter Central and what they were doing and how they were doing it,” Causey said. “They came out playing at a high level and we didn’t match it. I’m thankful we had that opportunity to match it.”

The Tigers are set to travel to Central Tuscaloosa Friday for a contest scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.