Demopolis looks to slow down 3-0 Helena

Keishaun Scott outruns several Jemison defenders on his way to the end zone.

Keishaun Scott outruns several Jemison defenders on his way to the end zone.

Many of the Demopolis faithful may be looking ahead to next week’s matchup with Class 5A No. 1 Jackson, but coach Stacy Luker certainly is not. Luker knows that his Tigers face a talented and unique challenge Friday when they welcome region foe Helena.

“They’re a very good football team. I think they are a major player in our region. I really do,” Luker said of Helena. “They’ve got us and Calera left and that’s a big part of their schedule. I just think they are a dangerous football team.”

Helena has opened the season 3-0 and tied with Demopolis for first place in 5A, Region 4 at 2-0. And the upstart program has accomplished that with fast-paced offense that has score in excess of 30 points per contest.

“They’re well coached. Offensively, they’re very efficient. They just do things well. They can put us in a bind, I think, because of how well they do things and execute,” Luker said. “Averaging 39 points a game on offense. That ought to tell you enough right there. They spread. It’s that Malzahn type stuff, Power, Power Read. They tempo it. They’re going to push the tempo, I think, on us.”

As it did a year ago in a 48-31 loss to Demopolis, Helena employs an effective two-quarterback system.

“The quarterback makes good decisions, throws good balls. They use two quarterbacks. One of them is more of a runner than the other one, but both of them are running threats,” Luker said.

The biggest test for the Demopolis defense may be its ability to communicate quickly and find its alignment before Helena snaps the ball.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re communicating and getting our calls in in a hurry. I think getting our calls in quick and communicating and keeping things simple on defense, which we have and we’ll continue to do,” Luker said. “After the ball is snapped, it’s just reading your keys and playing football.”

Demopolis, which has run the ball 142 times through its first three games, will likely look to use its methodical offense to drain the clock and keep Helena’s scoring threats on the sidelines. However, Luker also recognizes that also will not be an easy task to accomplish.

“Defensively, they’re in position, making plays,” Luker said. “They are a 3-4. They’ll slide into a four-man front. They really attack. They’re big in the box, pretty physical up in there. There ought to be some licks passed between the tackles Friday night anyway.”

Demopolis hosts Helena Friday night with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.