Demopolis set to face new look Citronelle

DHS vs ACA-7672Friday night may pit Demopolis against a foe it downed 41-0 a season ago, but Tom Causey is anything but comfortable heading into the matchup.

In the Citronelle Wildcats, Causey’s team will run headlong into an opponent that has a new direction under first-year head coach Barry Gibson.

“They look like a totally different team from last year. Coach Gibson and his staff have come in there and breathed new life into them. Citronelle, when we played them last year, had good athletes. They just didn’t seem like they had a plan. It was 11 different guys going 11 different directions.,” Causey said. “This year you see those same athletes all going in the same direction. There’s some people who’ve picked them to make the playoffs this year and I could see that happening. They’re a playoff caliber team.”

The revamped Wildcats will employ a complex offensive attack built primarily on misdirection as the look to confuse a Demopolis defensive unit that limited American Christian Academy to just 67 yards total offense last week.

“Coach Gibson kind of has an offense that he invented, Spinner. They are running some of that with option principles. Against McIntosh, they were spread, trap, veer and sweep. You can tell that they’ve got a plan and they build off of the plays that they run. They are very athletic at the skill positions and they have a quarterback that runs the offense like he is supposed to,” Causey said.

Gibson’s offense is predicated off of movement in the backfield as it draws its name from a pivoting quarterback that will often fake as much as he hands the ball off.

DHS vs ACA-7667“It’s a lot of misdirection that is created by the quarterback. They’ve got guards running one way and backs running the other and the quarterback spinning and giving it to the fullback or spinning, faking it to the fullback and running a toss on motion,” Causey said. “It’s a lot of deception in the backfield, a lot of moving parts. You’d think with running something like that they’d have a lot of illegal procedure penalties and motion penalties, but they don’t. You can tell that Coach Gibson and his staff have done a really good job of getting their guys ready to play.”

For Causey, having his team ready to play means making sure his defense understands not to bite on the hefty diet of deception it will likely be fed by Citronelle Friday.

“You’ve got to read their keys, not start seeing the left hand shaking outside and get hit with the right,” Causey said. “You have to play concepts. Don’t play what you’re seeing, play the concepts. Play the blocking, play the route, play whatever it is at your position that might be an indicator for you.”

Citronelle put its offensive attack to work last week for a 54-34 win over McIntosh. The Wildcats employed a simple defensive approach in that contest with multiple coverages mixed in.

“Against McIntosh, they were base 3-4. They were very vanilla. They’d blitz on third and long in that game and run zone blitz. They played some robber coverage and quarters. They ran to the ball. You can tell again on that side of the ball that they’ve got a plan and they are building that plan,” Causey said. “They play hard. They are going to be used to defending the option from doing it in practice, so it’s keeping me up at night because they know exactly what to look for when we do what we do.”