Demopolis falls to B.C. Rain in playoff opener

Rashad Lynch (3) runs off the block of Travares hall during the Tigers game against BC Rain.

Rashad Lynch (3) runs off the block of Travares hall during the Tigers game against BC Rain.

Demopolis saw its season screech to a halt Friday night in the first round of the AHSAA Class 5A playoffs as B.C. Rain’s Corey Brown sprinted down the sideline and into the end zone to tie the game. Seconds later, Luis Aguilar drilled an extra point to hand B.C. Rain a 28-27 victory.

The game-defining play came just seconds after Demopolis had taken a 27-21 lead on a Jamarcus Ezell 13-yard touchdown run with 1:19 to go in the contest.

Jamarcus Ezell throws a touchdown pass to Ryan Schroeder.

Jamarcus Ezell throws a touchdown pass to Ryan Schroeder.

On the first play of Rain’s ensuing possession, Carl Williams took the snap, rolled right and subsequently some 15 yards backfield to avoid the pursuit of Tim Bonner. Williams ultimately hoisted the ball down the sideline in the direction of Brown, who leaped to make the catch over an outstretched Demopolis defender, tiptoed down the sideline and over a would-be tackler on his way to the end zone for the 72-yard score.

“That last play, that was just a kid being an athlete and making a play,” Rain coach Tellis Stone said. “He rolled out after the play had broken down and communicated with his receiver and made a great throw. And that was a great play by the receiver catching the ball, keeping his balance and getting in the end zone.”

“The quarterback scrambled and kept the play alive, threw it up for grabs and the athlete made a play,” Demopolis coach Tom Causey said.

The play was the culminating moment of a comeback effort spearheaded by Williams in which he scored two of his three rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Demopolis led 14-7 after a 60-yard touchdown run by Rashad Lynch with 7:11 to play in the third quarter.

Williams pulled his team back even on an 8-yard sprint early in the fourth quarter.

Ryan Schroeder hauls in a touchdown pass from Jamarcus Ezell.

Ryan Schroeder hauls in a touchdown pass from Jamarcus Ezell.

Demopolis regained the lead with 9:51 left on the clock when Jayjerrin Craig punched it in from a yard out following a 70-yard kickoff return by Ryan Schroeder.

Williams answered again on an 11-yard run to knot the game at 21 with 5:25 to play.

Ezell handed Demopolis the lead once more with his 13-yarder, setting up the heroics by Williams and Brown.

Williams opened the scoring with 1:28 to play in the second when he scored on a 10-yard run to give B.C. Rain a 7-0 lead. Schroeder responded quickly, hauling in a 19-yard pass from Ezell with 56.2 to go before half.

Demopolis had its struggles with penalties throughout the game. While the Tigers only incurred 78 yards in infractions, two of those came in the form of blocking fouls that took touchdowns off the board in the first half.

Demopolis also found tough sledding in the ground game.

Kesean Bell brings down a BC Rain runner.

Kesean Bell brings down a BC Rain runner.

“They manned us up. They pressed us and made it almost impossible to get the ball to the edge and they were pretty dang good up the middle,” Causey said.

“We knew if we took away the middle, we gave ourselves a chance to win this ball game,” Stone said of the defensive strategy that helped his team contain the Demopolis offense.

Despite the difficulty, Lynch amassed 179 yards on 19 carries in the contest. Rahmeel Cook recorded nine total stops to go along with a fumble recovery and two pass deflections. Bobby Taylor intercepted two passes on the night.

The loss ends the Demopolis season at 8-3.

Drew Jones hauls in a pass against BC Rain.

Drew Jones hauls in a pass against BC Rain.