Demopolis rolls Sumter Central in Homecoming rout

Demopolis pulled its starters with more than 10 minutes left in the second quarter Friday night on its way to a 42-6 Homecoming win over Sumter Central.

Antonio Nicholson served as one of the captains for DHS’s 2012 homecoming game against Sumter Central.

“I think our leadership on this football team did a great job handling that,” Demopolis coach Tom Causey said. “I didn’t even notice it was Homecoming week this week the way that our kids handled it. That’s a credit to our school too. It has been the best Homecoming week as far as distractions go of any place I’ve ever been.”

The Tigers amassed 152 of their 251 yards of total offense in the first quarter, building a 21-0 lead in the process before adding two quick scores at the beginning of the second quarter to put the game out of reach.

“That was a great team tonight. They’re strong and physical. We’re just trying to get to that level,” Sumter Central coach Christopher Raymond said of his Jaguars, which fell to 1-6 with the loss. “The thing about it is we only had six kids who had varsity experience. We’ve got a lot of young kids playing. We’re just trying to get better one day at a time, one game at a time. It’s a process. The ultimate goal is to get to where Demopolis is and where Jackson is. I think we’re heading in the right direction. We’re going to just go back to the drawing board and continue to work.”

Demetrius Kemp hauls in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Tucker Jones for the Tigers’ first score of the night.

The Jaguars’ first possession turned disastrous when the SCHS punter fielded a high snap and got tackled at his own 20 to put Demopolis in the red zone for its opening offensive snap.

Two plays later, Tucker Jones went over the top to Demetrius Kemp for a 16-yard touchdown strike, the only pass the Tigers would throw all night.

On the ensuing possession, the Tigers drove 84 yards on eight plays, scoring on a 48-yard run by Jones. The Tiger quarterback then found Kemp again for the two-point conversion strike to up the lead to 14-0 with 4:18 left in the first quarter.

Kemp found the end zone again with 2:10 to go in the game’s opening frame when he recovered a fumble he created and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown.

Roderick Davis scored on a one-yard plunge just 22 seconds into the second quarter before finding the end zone again on a one-yard run, cashing in on an opportunity created by a 40-yard interception return by Tyler Oates.

Tyler Oates returns an interception during the Tigers’ win over Sumter Central.

“He was playing safety tonight. We’ve got some bodies banged up back there. Tyler, being the team guy that he is, he’ll do anything in the world to help this team win,” Demopolis coach Causey said of Oates, the backup quarterback and reserve receiver who made an impact while seeing his first action on defense Friday night. “I was happy to see him make a play back there tonight because he kind of volunteered his service to play anywhere we need him to. He plays on punt block. He plays in the slot for us some. He played safety tonight. That’s a credit to the character of the kid.”

After pulling its starters, Demopolis got its final touchdown with 8:42 to play in the second quarter when D.J. Howell took an Oates pitch 31 yards for a score.

“It’s kind of hard for us ones to sit over there on the sidelines and watch them play,” junior starter Demetrius Kemp said of the abbreviated night for the Demopolis first team. “But it’s our job to kind of keep the twos going and get them up and help them out throughout the game.”

Sumter Central got its lone score of the night on a 31-yards run by Jemarkus Thompson with 1:30 to go in the third quarter.

Sebastian Hale led Demopolis with nine total tackles and two fumble recoveries. Charlie Parten also had an interception for the Tigers on a play in which his touchdown return was negated by a blocking infraction.

Charlie Parten returns an interception for a touchdown, only to have it called back because of a penalty.

Demopolis (7-0) will travel to Satsuma next week while Sumter Central (1-7) hosts Selma.

 Game notes

• The Tigers honored Antonio Nicholson as an honorary captain before the game. Nicholson, a senior at DHS and former Tiger offensive lineman, lost part of his leg following a shooting over the summer.

• Antwaniqua Alston took home the Homecoming Queen crown Friday night. This year marks the a return to tradition for the school, which announced the queen at halftime after having done so the night before for a number of years.

• The game marked the first ever meeting between the two programs.