Demopolis pounds Sumter in penalty-riddled contest

Demetrius Kemp returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Sumter Central.

Demetrius Kemp returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Sumter Central.

LIVINGSTON — Demopolis (5-2, 3-2) rebounded slightly from last week’s loss to Greenville with a 42-9 over Region 3 foe Sumter-Central (1-6, 0-5) Friday night.

On a night in which the scoreboard and game clock were malfunctioning, the Tigers and Jaguars played two hours and 52 minutes in a contest that featured 29 penalties, 13 fumbles and 35 incomplete passes.

Demopolis senior Demetrius Kemp returned the opening kick 87 yards for a touchdown. Leif Midgorden’s extra point put Demopolis up 7-0.

Demopolis used a Tyler Merriweather blocked punt and a Logan McVay fumble recovery to help open its first three offensive possessions inside the Sumter 40 and failed to score a single point.

Ryan Schroeder returns a Sumter Central punt for a touchdown.

Ryan Schroeder returns a Sumter Central punt for a touchdown.

The Tigers then proceeded to go 62 yards on four plays on their fourth possession, capping the march with a 21-yard touchdown run by Tyler Oates to stretch the advantage to 14-0.

Sumter tried to answer with a 13-play drive that covered 58 yards but was snuffed out when Bobby Taylor intercepted a pass at his own 3 on fourth down.

The Tigers could do nothing with the turnover and needed a 73-yard punt return from Ryan Schroeder to stretch the advantage to three scores. Dayvon Branch added the two-point run to put Demopolis up 22-0.

“He’s been working hard all year long. He’s made a lot of big plays for us throughout the season and did it again tonight,” DHS coach Tom Causey said of Schroeder.

Another McVay fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff put Demopolis on a short field. Roderick Davis then broke a 22-yard run to set up his own five-yard touchdown run and put DHS up 29-0.

Tyler Oates unloads a pass against the Sumter Central Jaguars.

Tyler Oates unloads a pass against the Sumter Central Jaguars.

Drew Jones then blocked another punt for Demopolis, setting up a 27-yard touchdown strike from Oates to Kemp, leaving DHS up 35-0 at half.

Demopolis scored its final touchdown of the night on its first possession of the third quarter when it took advantage of a shanked punt that went out of bounds at the Sumter 15. Davis finished the possession with a nine-yard scoring run that left Demopolis up 42-0.

Two possessions later, Sumter covered 93 yards in six plays to score its first points of the game when Markeous McGraw hit Richard Jones for a 44-yard touchdown pass. Marvin Wrenn added the extra point to cut the deficit to 42-7.

Sumter would later march 98 yards from its own 1 to the Demopolis 1 on a 16-play drive that ended when Matt Dauphin recovered a Sumter fumble in the backfield.

The Jaguar defense then capitalized on the field possession when it drug down the Tigers’ backup quarterback in his own end zone for a safety.

Roderick Davis rushes for some of his 105 yards against the Sumter Central Jaguars.

Roderick Davis rushes for some of his 105 yards against the Sumter Central Jaguars.

“I saw some kids who were determined just to finish the game. You know, we’re young. I’ve only been with them for going on four months now,” Sumter coach DreMail King said. “We’re going to get better. It takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

The teams combined for 220 yards in penalties in the contest. Sumter-Central tallied more total yards than Demopolis with 212 against the Tigers’ 186. Sumter completed only nine of its 37 pass attempts for 115 yards.

Davis led all rushers with 105 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Merriweather had a sack to go along with his blocked punt.

Demopolis is scheduled to host Satsuma next week for homecoming while Sumter travels to Selma.