Demopolis shuts out Thomasville in Luker debut

THOMASVILLE — The Stacy Luker era in Demopolis officially opened Friday night with a 27-0 win over rival Thomasville in an effort that saw DHS display all the hallmarks of a Luker-led team.

Jamarcus Ezell fires a pass against Thomasville.

Jamarcus Ezell fires a pass against Thomasville.

Luker’s squad jumped on top early when a shanked punt left the visiting Tigers on a short field. Jamarcus Ezell polished off the ensuing offensive march with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.

After an 18-play drive milked most of the second quarter and resulted in no points for Demopolis, the Tigers found rhythm in the second half.

“They played big tonight. I thought we were a little sluggish early on, but every kid in that dressing room accepted the challenge and it was a better second half for us,” Luker said of the change in his team after halftime.

Demopolis got a 43-yard run from Jay Craig to open its second possession of the third quarter. Three snaps later, Ezell found Drew Jones on a 14-yard touchdown pass, setting the score at 14-0. Jones caught six balls for 67 yards on the night.

Jay Craig runs behind a block from Jacob Rodrigues.

Jay Craig runs behind a block from Jacob Rodrigues.

“We were just running the waggle and sneaking him out there. We knew they were in man coverage and a linebacker had to guard him and they weren’t getting him out to the flats and Jamarcus put it right there on him,” Luker said. “Drew had a good night. All our backs did. Our backs were physical tonight.”

Two plays later, Khyrim Bryant pounced on a Thomasville fumble at the home team’s 19. Jones took it the remaining distance on the next play to make it 20-0.

Thomasville was poised to respond when it marched 10 plays on the ensuing possession. Matt Beckum jumped a route on the final play of the third quarter and intercepted a pass at his own 2 to nullify the threat.

Drew Jones cuts upfield against Thomasville.

Drew Jones cuts upfield against Thomasville.

“Four turnovers. They’re too good for us to have four turnovers. We didn’t execute well offensively. We let them have their way with us a little bit. Our defense got tired because we put them on the field all night long,” Hankins said. “Two RedZone turnovers will absolutely kill you.”

After the Beckum interception, Demopolis marched 74 yards and finished it off with an 8-yard Craig run.

Craig had 140 yards on 20 carries. Jones had 101 yards from scrimmage on 13 touches.

The defense limited Thomasville to 167 yards, highlighted by four turnovers. Khyrim Bryant had six tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his first start on the defensive line. Russ Logan had eight tackles to lead the unit.

Demopolis hosts Calera to open region play next week.

SCORE BY QUARTER

DHS – 7 0 13 7 27

THS – 0 0  0 0   0

YARDSTICK

DEMOPOLIS 

FIRST DOWNS – 12

RUSHING – 39-208

PASSING – 9-6-67

TOTAL – 275

FUMBLES – 1/0

INTS – 0

PUNTS/AVG. – 2-38

PENALTIES – 10-90

THOMASVILLE 

FIRST DOWNS – 12

RUSHING – 34-106

PASSING – 12-7-61

TOTAL – 167

FUMBLES – 4/3

INTS – 1

PUNTS – 2-20

PENALTIES – 7-49

SCORING SUMMARY 

1ST – 4:15 – JAMARCUS EZELL 1 RUN (R.J. COX KICK) – 7-0

3RD – 5:02 – DREW JONES 14 PASS FROM JAMARCUS EZELL (R.J. COX KICK)

3RD – 4:43 – DREW JONES 19 RUN (KICK FAIL)

4TH – 1:36 – JAY CRAIG 8 RUN (R.J. COX KICK)