Demopolis faces stiff challenge in Greenville

Demopolis has very little opportunity to celebrate its 27-26 victory over rival Thomasville as it must go on the road for a key region contest against Greenville Friday.

Greenville presents itself a familiar adversary to the visiting Tigers, having beaten Demopolis 30-14 in 2011. Friday will mark the ninth time the teams have played since 2004.

“We’ve got our hands full and it ought to be a great opportunity for us to find out where we match up in our region,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said of the importance of the contest.

While the game will certainly be key in determining playoff positioning, a victory over Greenville would lock up a playoff spot for Demopolis.

Accomplishing that feat means overcoming an experienced, athletic Greenville squad that has won its last three regular season home meetings with Demopolis.

“I think their three D-linemen and two inside backers are as good as there are in the state of Alabama. Those guys seem like they’ve been playing over there for six years,” Causey said of the strength of the Greenville defense. “Really physical and fast on defense, athletic skill guys that catch the ball, run with the football extremely hard, really good offensive line. Their record is no indication of what kind of football team we’re playing, 2-3 is not indicative of what type of team they’ve got.”

Greenville enters having sustained losses to Class 6A Anniston, unbeaten Jackson and Class 5A Charles Henderson.

And while Greenville’s win-loss record is not as impressive as Demopolis’ 5-0 mark, all the hosting Tigers need to do to put themselves ahead of DHS for playoff positioning is win. Greenville will look to pull that off by bombarding Demopolis with a series of talented skill players that Causey believes make Greenville among the more dangerous offenses his team will see this year.

“They want to pound you. They want to do it from the spread formation and pound it up in there on you, quick passing game, not a lot of stuff down the field. They are going to pound you,” Causey said of Greenville’s offensive preference. “They want to hit the ball between the tackles then hit you with their speed on the edge after you start condensing the middle.”

Greenville will look to impose its offensive will with a new-look set of skill players that features former quarterback Kent Riley in the slot and former slot receiver Harper Vinson at quarterback.

“(Vinson) was one of the guys that scared us to death last year as a slot for them. Just a fantastic athlete, throws the ball well. I think it probably made them a better offense moving Riley to slot because now they have a threat at wide receiver in a big tall kid, (Matthew Craig) that’s about 6-5, 200 pounds. You’ve got Riley in the slot. You’ve got the kid who was a backup quarterback last year, (Jerome Watkins), playing running back, (Donte Lee) back at running back and you’ve got (Vinson) at the quarterback position,” Causey said. “Now they’ve got threats on the outside, in the slot, quarterback and both running back spots. I think it has made them a more dangerous offense.”

The teams have played one another 12 times with the first meeting coming in 1984. Demopolis leads the all-time series 7-5.