Demopolis looking to rebound Friday

DHS vs Gville-5119Demopolis High head coach Tom Causey knows his team has no margin for error remaining.

“This is a huge game for us. Every game from this point on is one with our back against the wall, fighting for our lives. So, we’ve got to go back to work and get ready to play,” Causey said.

His team fell 18-16 to Greenville last week, suffering its second region loss of the season and tumbling to fourth place in Class 5A, Region 3. With region contests against Sumter Central, Satsuma and Jackson remaining, Demopolis now finds itself fighting for a playoff berth.

“I think it’s only natural that it does (heighten the urgency),” Causey said of the effect of suffering two region losses through four tries. “Every region game is big when you’re undefeated. But when you’ve got two region losses, everything becomes really big. Every game becomes real important. First of all, we’ve got to qualify for the playoffs and then once we qualify for the playoffs, it’s got to be working every day to get better and get ready for the playoffs. We haven’t qualified for the playoffs yet and that’s something that we’ve got to get accomplished over the next three weeks.”

The Tigers’ quest for the playoffs begins Friday when they travel to Livingston Junior High to take on Sumter-Central.

DHS vs Gville-4847The Jaguars enter at 1-5, having given up more than 45 points in five contests thus far this season. Still, Causey see plenty of life in Sumter under first year head coach DreMail King.

“Coach King is in his first year there and you see a lot of similarities between them, Selma and Greenville in that they have big, fast, physical kids,” Causey said. “They spread their offense out and throw it around and run their quarterback when they get opportunities. Defensively, they play a four-man front with a big Mike backer. They’ll deepen him up and let him run to the football. He’s really physical and a really good player.”

However, for Demopolis, Friday night will be less about the Jaguars and more about the Tigers. DHS will be tasked with overcoming its own penchant for mistakes as it looks to hone its execution and improve after scoring only a safety in the game’s final two quarters last week.

“We didn’t make plays on four or five particular plays. You get the pas interference in the end zone, you’ve got a chop block in the second quarter that kills an offensive drive. That pass interference in the fourth quarter extends a drive and gives them an opportunity to score,” Causey said. “We had two turnovers and a couple of third down plays that we don’t make plays on, we don’t fit just right and they hit us for long runs. When you talk about games being big games, that’s usually what happens is four or five plays. And it was four or five plays during this game where it was the difference in winning or losing and it was a two-point loss.”

Demopolis beat Sumter Central 42-6 a season ago in the teams’ only previous meeting.