Highway 43 Rivalry to resume Friday

Demopolis coach Tom Causey looks on near the end of his team's 27-26 win over Thomasville in 2012.

Demopolis coach Tom Causey looks on near the end of his team’s 27-26 win over Thomasville in 2012.

Friday night will mark the sixth consecutive year that Class 5A Demopolis and Class 4A Thomasville have collided since the renewal of the Highway 43 Rivalry in 2008.

Now a staple on the schedule for both teams, the rivalry was shelved from 2000 to 2007 wit the lone meetings in that stretch occurring in 2004 and 2005 during the Class 4A state playoffs.

However, the schools have clashed 45 times in their respective histories, a series that included a stretch of 14 consecutive years from 1986-1999.

Perhaps it is history, tradition or good old-fashioned disdain that fuels the long-standing rivalry. But Demopolis coach Tom Causey cites proximity and familiarity as two of the three keys to driving the rivalry.

“One is proximity. They’re from right down the road,” Causey said. “A lot of our parents and their parents work together. A lot of our parents grew up in Thomasville. A lot of their parents grew up here. Kinfolks.”

Roderick Davis looks for running room against Thomasville in 2012.

Roderick Davis looks for running room against Thomasville in 2012.

However, Causey notes, the pride that both teams place in besting the other would be forfeit were it not for the continued success of each program.

“I think the success that our program has had and their program has had over the last 10 years has a lot to do with that,” Causey said. “Their guys have gotten better every year and we’ve tried to improve on our team. Any time you have two schools who are used to winning playing each other, rivalries naturally occur. I think it has got a lot to do with the fact that both schools have been successful in the last 10 years.”

To Causey’s point, the teams have combined for a record of 210-54 since the start of the 2003 season. During that stretch, Demopolis has posted a mark of 103-28 while Thomasville is 107-26.

In terms of their recent head-to-head meetings, Thomasville holds a 3-2 advantage since the re-establishing of the series including the two largest margins of victory for either team.

Demopolis won the rivalry’s renewal in 2008 with a 35-20 victory but suffered a three-year drought against Thomasville that it snapped last season in a 27-26 thriller.

Since the team’s first met in 1922, the two largest margins of victory came with a 47-point Demopolis win in 1951 and a 40-point Thomasville win in 1988.

Fourteen times the game has come down to less than a touchdown differential with last season’s installment of the rivalry serving as the only one-point victory for either team since the series’ inception.

Demopolis holds a 25-17-3 advantage in the lifetime series.

The latest chapter in the storied rivalry is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday night at Tiger Stadium in Demopolis.