Demopolis falls short in defensive struggle at Auburn

AUBURN – Demopolis came up on the short end of a defensive struggle in a 20-0 loss to Class 7A, No. 6 Auburn Friday night.

Neither team found success running the ball as the dueling Tigers tallied just 134 yards on the ground all night on a combined 66 rushing attempts.

“I thought our defense played extremely hard. They played a lot of snaps and they played extremely hard. They did a pretty good job stopping the run,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “They’re a pretty run-oriented offense and I thought we put them in some pretty tough situations and made them throw the football. I was proud of our kids and just the effort they gave the whole game.”

Auburn got the advantage that it would never forfeit with 2:55 remaining in the first quarter when Avery Atkins booted a 39-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead. Auburn found a hole in the Demopolis defense early in the second quarter when quarterback Alexander King hit Garrett Jones for a 53-yard strike that set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Jay Walker for the 10-0 lead.

Auburn added to the lead with a 42-yard Atkins field goal with 2.6 seconds left in the half.

“We didn’t do the things we normally do on offense. Credit to them. They’re a tremendous football team and they’re incredibly well coached. Credit goes to them,” Seymore said. “But we’ve got to go back and correct some things and keep working because we’ve got a huge game next week at home against Williamson.”

Jay Walker added the final touchdown with 11:46 to go for the 20-0 final. Demopolis continued to fight with its reserves in on defense in the fourth quarter, recovering a fumble to thwart an Auburn drive at the DHS 11. Derrick Birl and Joe Birl recorded sacks on back-to-back plays when King rolled out and looked to throw on the final Auburn possession.

“Like I told them, ‘Hey, we gotta keep playing guys.’ I was proud of our young guys going down there, causing a fumble, getting two sacks and some of their guys were frustrated,” Seymore said. “I was proud of our effort. You never want to lose, but I saw a lot of good things tonight.”

Auburn got 227 of its 301 total yards through the air. Demopolis finished with 104 yards passing and 60 rushing. The Tigers created a pair of turnovers, including a Rod Gaines interception. The loss snaps an eight-game win streak for Demopolis.

Demopolis is set to host Williamson Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.