Demopolis defense stifles Raiders

9-1-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ A.J. Jackson pulls away from a Raiders defender during the Tigers’ home opener against Greensboro.

Demopolis throttled Greensboro at every turn Friday night while holding the Raiders to 73 yards of total offense in a shutout victory. The Tigers picked up the first win of the Brian Seymore era with a 34-0 win in their home opener.

“Defense is communication, guys working together and everybody doing their job. When we do that, I think we’ve got a chance to be successful,” Seymroe said. “I felt like, y’know, they tested our perimeter defense early and I think our guys made some plays. We got off the field and got the ball back to the offense.”

9-1-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Brandon Simmons scores after picking up a fumble and diving into the end zone during the Tigers’ home opener against Greensboro.

Demopolis’s stingy defense also generated its fair share of turnovers on the night with three passes intercepted. C.J. Williams picked off a pair of Raider throws while Chance McVay intercepted another. Russ Logan and Jordyn Smith each recored a sack in the game.

The offense wasted little time getting going on a night in which it snapped the ball 79 times and amassed 466 yards. Demopolis scored on its first drive of the game when Andrew Patterson hit Brandon Simmons on a screen pass and watched the senior wideout carry it 31 yards for a touchdown. Malaki Simpson added the extra point for the 7-0 lead.

Antonio Besteder added to the advantage on an 18-yard touchdown run with 3:36 to go in the first quarter to move the lead to 13-0.

9-1-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Keionte Whitfield (right) is the first to wrap up a Raider runner on a fourth-and-goal during the Tigers’ home opener against Greensboro.

“Coming off last week, the way we played was disappointing. I told the kids you feel responsible. I think everybody last week showed up. The band showed up. The cheerleaders showed up. The community showed up. The student body showed up, but we didn’t. So, we let a lot of people down,” Seymore said, harkening back to the Tigers’ 29-18 game one loss to Thomasville. “So I challenged our guys and our coaches to go get a good game plan, stick to it, motivate our kids. They came out focused. I think our seniors really stepped up and showed a little leadership. I think they rallied our troops and I think we did what we were supposed to do. We came out there and we got a victory.

Simmons picked up another touchdown in the second quarter when he scooped up a fumble an stepped across the goal line from a yard out with 6:25 until half for the 20-0 lead. Besteder added a 2-yard touchdown run with 2.5 seconds left in the third quarter to make it 27-0. A.J. Jackson finished the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Jackson ran 27 times for 112 yards while Besteder had toted 17 times for 114 yards. DeDe Davis caught six passes for 74 yards in the contest.

Demopolis (1-1) is set to host Central-Tuscaloosa next Friday to open Class 5A, Region 3 play.

9-1-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ C.J. Williams stops a Raiders drive by picking off a pass at the 10-yard line during the Tigers’ home opener against Greensboro.