Demopolis struggles with Tuscaloosa County in jamboree tune-up

Davontae May puts pressure on the Tuscaloosa County quarterback.

Davontae May puts pressure on the Tuscaloosa County quarterback.

NORTHPORT — Demopolis High got its final preseason test Thursday night in a 32-14 jamboree loss to Class 7A Tuscaloosa County.

Following the exhibition contest, Demopolis coach Tom Causey praised the efforts of his reserve players and questioned the output and attitude of his starters.

“What I was most proud of tonight was your effort,” Causey told his reserve players following the game. “You went out there and you played hard. (Starters), you went out there flat as a pancake. We stood in the ring and waited on them to swing.”

Tuscaloosa County got on the board with 3:55 to play in the first when Derrick Burns punched it in from seven yards out to cap a 12-play, 85-yard drive.

Two plays later, Rodney Bell recovered a fumble for TCHS and set up a 33-yard strike from Seth Franks to Javel Bailey to stretch the lead to 13-0 with 3:30 left in the opening quarter.

Tripp Perry fires a pass to Jayjerrin Craig in the Tigers' game against Tuscaloosa County.

Tripp Perry fires a pass to Jayjerrin Craig in the Tigers’ game against Tuscaloosa County.

Demopolis dodged a proverbial bullet when an 11-yard punt led to a 12-play drive that ended with a missed 33-yard field goal attempt. The Tigers proved unable to find any momentum on offense the next possession, leaving County to go 46 yards on three plays and punctuate it with a Franks strike to Eddie Williams.

“I was looking for effort and attitude and we’ve got a long way to go on that,” Causey said. “We’ve got to change that around between now and next Friday.”

The Tigers started to show signs of life down 19-0. A 25-yard pass from Logan McVay to Ryan Schroeder preceded a trio of defense-softening runs from Jayjerrin Craig. The combination set up a 30-yard rumble up the middle from Rashad Lynch that put the Tigers on the board. Tyler Overstreet added the extra point to cut the deficit to 19-7.

McVay hit Mackins for 21 yards on the next drive and appeared to have his team in business again when Caleb Bonner picked off a pass for the Wildcats and took it back to the DHS 22.

Logan McVay makes a cut in the open field against Tuscaloosa County.

Logan McVay makes a cut in the open field against Tuscaloosa County.

“There’s two or three plays in the first half we were very capable of making that we didn’t make,” Causey said. “That’s the difference in going into halftime down 25-7 or possibly up 14-7.”

Chase Pearson finalized the Wildcat scoring in the first half when he finished what Bonner started with a 17-yard reception of a Franks pass as only 53 seconds showed on the first half clock.

The third quarter saw County High string together an eight-play drive that covered 60 yards and ended with a 23-yard Roe Wilson TD run.

The Wildcats appeared to have reservations for six and they chewed up more yards on their next possession before Matthew Beckum stepped in front of a TCHS pass and took it 51 yards to the County High 40.

“Our (second string players) did surprise me tonight,” Causey said. “They had struggled in practice and they went out and made some plays.”

Matt Beckum returns an interception against Tuscaloosa County.

Matt Beckum returns an interception against Tuscaloosa County.

Beckum’s play set up a seven-play, 40-yard drive that featured a 17-yard pass from Andrew Patterson to Demarcus Johnson and ended on a 3-yard touchdown by Demetrius Davis.

Demopolis is set to open the regular season at home Friday night against a traditional rival, Class 4A Thomasville.