Demopolis looking for improvement against Jemison

Rashad Lynch breaks free from would be Calera tacklers on his way for a Tiger touchdown.

Rashad Lynch breaks free from would be Calera tacklers on his way for a Tiger touchdown.

One week after his team hit the road for a vital region win against Calera, Tom Causey’s Demopolis Tigers are set to host Jemison Friday night.

The Panthers are fresh off a 30-21 region win over Dallas County and present themselves as a unique competitor for Demopolis as the programs have not met since 2005.

“They’re extremely athletic, well-coached,” Causey said of the Panthers, who are coached by Jacob Hogan. “They’re 2-1. They got a big region win last week.”

In lieu of a jamboree game, Jemison opened its season with a 21-15 win over Shelby County before suffering a 33-0 loss to Class 6A Chilton County.

Despite the point output the Panthers surrendered to rival Chilton, Causey said he is impressed with Jemison’s defensive unit.

“They’ve got 11 guys that run to the football,” Causey said. “It’ll be another tough region game for us.”

Jemison’s defensive unit is predicated on a five-man defensive line that is versatile and promises to test a Demopolis offensive front that showed improvement in last week’s win.

“They play with five defensive linemen,” Causey said. “They’re active and athletic. They do a good job when they play man and they also do well when they play zone. They haven’t given up a lot of points and against Dallas County, it was a couple of big plays.”

Offensively, Jemison looks to attack out of a variety of sets and has enough skill players to challenge defenses.

“They’re multiple. They’ll from (shotgun formation) to (I-formation),” Causey said. “They can throw the ball vertically. They’ve got a wide receiver, Prentice-James Blue, that has as strong of hands as I’ve seen. We’ve seen him make a big time catch in every game.”

Blue is a 6-3, 190-pound athlete who presents himself both as Jemison’s most reliable passing game target on offense and one its most fearsome threats on defense.

For Demopolis, building on last week’s success will be as much about continued improvement as it will anything else. Causey cited his offensive line as potentially showing the most discernable amount of improvement between the Week 1 loss to Thomasville and the Week 2 win over Calera.

“Offensive line definitely played better,” Causey said. “They had good pad level, had their hat in the right place and played hard.”

Continued improvement on the part of the offensive line should help the Tigers to replicate a strong ground game that accounted for 332 yards on the ground a week ago and produced a pair of 100-yard rushers in senior running back Rashad Lynch and sophomore quarterback Logan McVay.

Still, Demopolis will be hard-pressed to find a greater area of concern than its penchant for penalties. Through two games, the Tigers have been penalized 23 times for 220 yards.

“One thing we’ve got to correct and we’ve got to correct now is penalties,” Causey said. “We had way too many of those.”

The Tigers and Panthers are set to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium in Demopolis.