Last-second INT seals Demopolis win over Calera

9-22-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis Aaron Collier (21) watches as C.J. Williams (26) concentrates on completing an interception in the end zone. Williams’ pick would would seal the Tigers’ Homecoming win over the Calera Eagles.

Sophomore corner C.J. Williams watched the ball bounce around in his hands momentarily before clamping down on it as he fell to the ground in the end zone. The catch was the biggest of his young career and represented the interception that effectively handed Demopolis a 21-17 win over Calera with 1.4 seconds left on the clock.

9-22-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis Brandon Simmons runs in the open field during the Tigers’ Homecoming win over the Calera Eagles.

“We put three guys deep, played man under. We told the safety to knock it down and he does,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “Fortunately, C.J. is laying on the ground. We’re blessed that he made the pick and we were able to go to victory.”

Demopolis clung to a 21-17 lead as Calera pushed the ball down the field after taking over at its own 24 with 59 seconds remaining in the contest. Eagle signal-caller Cornelius Brown hit William Ray for a 22-yard gain to move it to the Calera 46. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Brown found William Smith for 12 yards to get into Tiger territory at the 42.

Brown dropped back on the next snap but had little time to survey the field as Tavion Brown blew up the pocket and took down the Calera QB for the sack, forcing the final Eagle timeout.

Brown’s heave down the sideline on the next snap caromed off the hands of Dylan Killingsworth and appeared to fall harmlessly to the ground before a penalty flag quickly followed its descent. The pass interference call moved the ball to the Demopolis 30 with 16 seconds to play. Two snaps later, Brown chucked it to the back right corner of the end zone where Williams’s focused heroics nullified the threat and brought an uproar from the raucous homecoming crowd.

“Our kids showed a little character right there at the end. We needed a game like this to grow on. We needed to face adversity like this,” Seymore said. “I’m just proud that the community and the alumni that came back had a chance to see us win.”

Demopolis largely moved the ball at will in the first half but found itself plagued with turnovers. The Eagles proved ready to capitalize. Orlando Harris picked off a pass to end the first Demopolis possession before returning a Tiger fumble 63 yards for a touchdown on the ensuing drive.

9-22-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis RB Antonio Besteder gets loose on a good run during the Tigers’ Homecoming win over the Calera Eagles.

“We moved the ball really good, just couldn’t finish some drives. The turnover bug got us again a little bit and put us in some tough situations,” Seymore said. “We felt like we had a pretty good call on the speed option and kind of got the pitch a little bit behind and they scooped and scored.”

Demopolis worked its way onto the scoreboard early in the second quarter when it capped a 16-play, 82-yard drive with a 13-yard scoring pass from Andrew Patterson to Jeremy Jackson on 4th and 5. The PAT attempt failed, leaving Calera up 7-6.

Demopolis took the lead with 4:50 to go before half when A.J. Jackson punched it in from 14 yards out. Antonio Besteder added the conversion run to set the advantage at 14-7.

Calera’s attempt to get points on the board before the half traversed 57 yards to the Demopolis 11 before the clock appeared to expire ahead of Brown’s attempt to spike the ball. A conference by the officials resulted in adding 0.9 seconds to the game clock, allowing Zachary Ford to connect on a 28-yard field goal to cut it to 14-10.

Demopolis made the most of its first possession of the third quarter when it covered 79 yards in 12 plays and watched A.J. Jackson scored on a 12-yard run for the 21-10 advantage. Demopolis snuffed the ensuing Calera drive and looked poised to take full control of the contest when a muffed punt bounced free at the Demopolis 16. Calera pounced on the opportunity. Three plays later, Brown hit DeCorean Mickens on a dump off and the Eagle tailback ran it 16 yards for the touchdown. Ford’s kick proved to set the final margin.

Demopolis amassed 338 yards of total offense, led by Besteder’s 19 rushes for 104 yards. A.J. Jackson added 97 yards on 28 totes. DeDe Davis caught nine passes for 65 yards. Russ Logan also intercepted a pass in the game for the Tigers.

With the win, Demopolis sits alone atop Class 5A, Region 3. Demopolis (4-1, 3-0) is off next week and returns to Class 5A, Region 3 Friday, Oct. 7 when it travels to Dallas County.

9-22-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis RB A.J. Jackson (4) runs between the blocks of Matt Dollar (62) and Chris Williams (right) during the Tigers’ Homecoming win over the Calera Eagles.

2017 DHS Homecoming Pep Rally (gallery)

Tigers handle Mississippi College, 42-13, in GSC opener

LIVINGSTON, Ala. – West Alabama outgained Mississippi College by just three total yards, but the stat sheet doesn’t decide the outcome the way trips to the endzone do.

When the humid evening at Tiger Stadium was done Saturday, West Alabama had made it to the endzone five more times than MC on the way to a 42-13 Gulf South Conference victory.

West Alabama (2-1) had 391 total yards to 388 for Mississippi College (0-3), but the Tigers blocked two punts, one for a touchdown, and ended the night clearing the bench for the final minutes of the game.

Averaging 43 points per game, West Alabama scored four times via the run to cap extended drives, once on a long pass and on the blocked punt in the third period. Baylee Blanchard blocked the punt and Seth Knotts covered it in the MC endzone to effectively put the game away with 4:12 left in the third period.

“The biggest thing is we made plays,” UWA head coach Brett Gilliland said. “That’s what our offense is designed to do and we definitely made them when we needed to tonight.

“Anytime you can block two punts and it leads to scores, that’s big,” Gilliland said. “It’s been a big week for Coach (Lamont) Seward. He and his wife Bebe had a new baby and his special teams blocked two punts. Of course, the latter doesn’t come close to comparing to the former.”

Seven of 10 West Alabama drives ended in touchdowns. The Tigers lost two fumbles and Zach Gaines punted once for 62 yards.

Mississippi College’s only TD came on an 87-yard pass from Ty Jobe to Nathan Faciane, taking advantage of a blown Tiger coverage down the left sideline. A pair of field goals by Greg Nickles from 24 and 23 yards completed the Choctaw scoring.

UWA answered the MC bomb with a 4-yard TD run by Rashaad Lee, who would score later on a 2-yard run and finish the game with 99-yards on 13 carries. Lakendric Thomas and Tevin Moore scored on runs of five and 23 yards for the Tigers.

In addition to the two blocked punts, the West Alabama defense forced Mississippi College to turn the ball over on downs three times, giving the Tigers seven fourth-down stops in eight attempts this season.

“It’s always good when you can make those fourth-down stops,” cornerback Tevin Madison said. “We want to kill a fly with a sledgehammer, just keep beating folks down.”

Harry Satterwhite and Donta Armstrong hooked up for the third time in the last two games, this one a 34-yard scoring toss to make the score 21-7 with 2:14 left in the half.

“Anytime you can get Donta Armstrong one-on-one he will make the play,” Satterwhite said. “He just beat the guy deep and I hit him.”

Satterwhite finished 29-for-35 for 215 yards and the TD. Armstrong had eight receptions for 83 yards and a score, followed by Broc Malcom with six catches for 43 yards. Qua Boyd and Lee both had four receptions for UWA.

Ken Hibbler and Madison combined for 27 tackles. Madison had 13 stops while forcing and recovered a fumble. Ten of Hibbler’s 14 stops were solo. Terry Samuel chipped in nine tackles for UWA, who had five tackles for loss.

The Tigers limited Mississippi College to just 106 yards rushing.

“Those kind of games come from playing within the system and executing fundamentals,” Hibbler said. “You just read your keys and get to the football.”

Jobe completed 18-of-29 passes for 256 yards. Ja’Moz Mark caught six passes for 59 yards and Tiberias Lampkin had 36 yards rushing on 14 carries for the Choctaws.

West Alabama hits the road for the third time in the first four weeks of the season, traveling to North Alabama on Saturday. Mississippi College is host to Florida Tech.

Demopolis dumps Marbury in overwhelming fashion

MARBURY – Demopolis left very little to question Friday night on its way to a 53-6 smashing of Class 5A, Region 3 foe Marbury. The Tigers saw a 44-yard touchdown run by A.J. Jackson wiped off the board by a holding penalty on the first drive of the game but rebounded on their second possession by going 61 yards in only four plays. Andrew Patterson hits DeDe Davis on a screen pass for a 15-yard touchdown to put Demopolis on top 6-0. Alexander Besteder added the conversion run to push it to 8-0.

After a botched punt attempt from Marbury left Demopolis at the Bulldog 7, Antonio Besteder ran it in from 7 yards out to extend the lead with 7:10 to go in the first quarter.

“I thought we did a good job up front. I thought our defensive line did a good job establishing the line of scrimmage. The same way on offense. I thought we finally took control of the game. It starts up front with those guys,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said.

Demopolis struck again early in the second quarter when it traveled 76 yards in five plays, highlighted by a pair of Davis catches totaling 64 yards. The senior slot receiver took the latter reception 31 yards for a score and the 21-0 lead.

A.J. Jackson added a touchdown run of one yard in the second quarter and another of 10 yards in the fourth. Antonio Besteder had scoring runs of seven yards and one yard in the third.

“I think we got a little lax. That’s something we challenged our kids at halftime to just come out there and play the second half. Just to play with a sense of urgency. Don’t get caught up in the scoreboard. We had too many procedure calls, some mental breakdowns,” Seymore said. “We had a busted coverage. I think we kind of regrouped at halftime and got back on the same playing field. We understand that we can’t look at the scoreboard. We’ve got to take care of ourselves. Every play means something. We got back to doing the little things right and I think it showed in the second half.”

Demopolis added two safeties at the end of the game, including one by Tyler Hale when he tackled a Marbury ball carrier in the end zone.

Marbury’s lone touchdown came on a 63-yard strike from Andrew Hurst to Orlando Smith with 7:33 to play in the game.

Jackson finished the night with 128 yards on 17 carries. Besteder added 88 yards on 14 carries. Davis caught seven passes for 135 yards. Russ Logan intercepted a pass for the Demopolis defense.

The Tigers amassed 472 yards of total offense while limiting Marbury to 156 yards in the contest.

Demopolis (3-1, 2-0) is set to host Calera (3-1, 2-0) next Friday night in a key Class 5A, Region 3 contest.

“This could very well decide our region championship. I’m not afraid to say that. I think our kids understand that,” Seymore said of his team’s Homecoming week contest with Calera. “I think they’re a good football team. I think we’re a good football team. We’ve got to go out next week, make sure we focus, pay attention to detail, and limit distraction as much as we can. I want our kids to enjoy homecoming. It’s a great opportunity for our school and our community. The most important thing for us is to find a way to win that football game next Friday night.”

Demopolis ground attack grounds Falcons

Demopolis’ A.J. Jackson (4) turns upfield in Friday’s home matchup with Central. Jackson ended the night with 133 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Demopolis utilized its running back duo of A.J. Jackson and Antonio Besteder early and often Friday night as it piled up rushing yards on the way to a 47-6 Class 5A, Region 3 win over Central-Tuscaloosa.

“We knew they had a big, tall, physical receiver. We knew he might be a matchup problem,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “Everybody settled down. I think we started settling down and playing team defense. The way our offense kept the pressure on them, I think that was the difference.”

Demopolis regained the lead on a 6-yard touchdown run from Antonio Besteder and never looked back. Andrew Patterson hit Tyler Jones for a 34-yard touchdown strike on the last play of the first quarter for the 19-6 advantage.

The Tigers added to the lead in the second quarter when Patterson found DeDe Davis for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Jackson added a 12-yard scoring run for the 33-6 halftime lead.

Demopolis continued the pounding in the second half with a 2-yard touchdown run from Jackson and another from Besteder to cap the scoring.

“They’re both our one-two punch,” Seymore said of his tailback tandem. “We want to balance them out and get them equal carries. I think they’re really both hard-working kids. They both run the ball extremely physical. It starts up front with our offensive line.”

Demopolis amassed 406 yards of total offense while limiting Central to 160 yards. Jackson ran for 133 yards and three touchdowns while Besteder had 120 yards and two touchdowns on 20 rushes. Davis added 95 yards receiving on six catches. Javonta’ Leatherwood paced the Falcons with 63 yards on 19 carries.

Demopolis (2-1, 1-0) travels to Marbury next week while Central (0-3, 0-1) hosts Calera.

9-1-17 Demopolis HS vs Greensboro HS Football (gallery)

Demopolis defense stifles Raiders

9-1-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ A.J. Jackson pulls away from a Raiders defender during the Tigers’ home opener against Greensboro.

Demopolis throttled Greensboro at every turn Friday night while holding the Raiders to 73 yards of total offense in a shutout victory. The Tigers picked up the first win of the Brian Seymore era with a 34-0 win in their home opener.

“Defense is communication, guys working together and everybody doing their job. When we do that, I think we’ve got a chance to be successful,” Seymroe said. “I felt like, y’know, they tested our perimeter defense early and I think our guys made some plays. We got off the field and got the ball back to the offense.”

9-1-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Brandon Simmons scores after picking up a fumble and diving into the end zone during the Tigers’ home opener against Greensboro.

Demopolis’s stingy defense also generated its fair share of turnovers on the night with three passes intercepted. C.J. Williams picked off a pair of Raider throws while Chance McVay intercepted another. Russ Logan and Jordyn Smith each recored a sack in the game.

The offense wasted little time getting going on a night in which it snapped the ball 79 times and amassed 466 yards. Demopolis scored on its first drive of the game when Andrew Patterson hit Brandon Simmons on a screen pass and watched the senior wideout carry it 31 yards for a touchdown. Malaki Simpson added the extra point for the 7-0 lead.

Antonio Besteder added to the advantage on an 18-yard touchdown run with 3:36 to go in the first quarter to move the lead to 13-0.

9-1-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Keionte Whitfield (right) is the first to wrap up a Raider runner on a fourth-and-goal during the Tigers’ home opener against Greensboro.

“Coming off last week, the way we played was disappointing. I told the kids you feel responsible. I think everybody last week showed up. The band showed up. The cheerleaders showed up. The community showed up. The student body showed up, but we didn’t. So, we let a lot of people down,” Seymore said, harkening back to the Tigers’ 29-18 game one loss to Thomasville. “So I challenged our guys and our coaches to go get a good game plan, stick to it, motivate our kids. They came out focused. I think our seniors really stepped up and showed a little leadership. I think they rallied our troops and I think we did what we were supposed to do. We came out there and we got a victory.

Simmons picked up another touchdown in the second quarter when he scooped up a fumble an stepped across the goal line from a yard out with 6:25 until half for the 20-0 lead. Besteder added a 2-yard touchdown run with 2.5 seconds left in the third quarter to make it 27-0. A.J. Jackson finished the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Jackson ran 27 times for 112 yards while Besteder had toted 17 times for 114 yards. DeDe Davis caught six passes for 74 yards in the contest.

Demopolis (1-1) is set to host Central-Tuscaloosa next Friday to open Class 5A, Region 3 play.

9-1-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ C.J. Williams stops a Raiders drive by picking off a pass at the 10-yard line during the Tigers’ home opener against Greensboro.

UWA rolls over Lenoir Rhyne in season opener

HICKORY, N.C. – West Alabama amassed 481 yards of total offense while limiting Lenoir-Rhyne to just 184 on the way to a 46-7 college football win in the season opener for both teams Thursday at Moretz Stadium.

“We are 1-0 and that feels good,” UWA head coach Brett Gilliland said. “Anytime you can start with a region win after an eight-hour bus trip that says a lot about your football team.

“We started fast, especially on defense,” Gilliland said. “We caused turnovers and we were ready to play, ready to hit somebody else after fall camp.”

After being forced to punt on its first two possessions, West Alabama got on the scoreboard first on a 32-yard field goal by Colin Douglas, the first of four field goals by Douglas. He also connected from 20, 30 and 33 yards.

Three plays after Douglas’ first field goal, Ken Hibbler intercepted Bears quarterback Jarrod Keller to give the Tigers the ball on the Lenoir-Rhyne 45-yard line. Harry Satterwhite connected with Qua Davis for 34 yards on the first play after the interception and then with Corey Davis for 11 yards and a touchdown on the next play to give UWA a 10-0 lead at 5:01 in the first quarter.

After picking up a handful of spot starts over the last two seasons, Satterwhite completed 26-of-40 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. He also rushed for 17 yards and a TD on six carries.

“In the beginning, I was playing a little too fast, but by about the third drive I began to feel comfortable,” Satterwhite said. “We have so many weapons that I just need to get the ball to the guys quickly. The running backs had a good night, but thanks to the offensive line nobody was touching them until about three or four yards past the line of scrimmage, then they broke tackles.”

Tevin Madison recovered a Bear fumble to set up the Tigers second touchdown. Lakendric Thomas capped a five-play, 38-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run, lifting the Tigers to a 17-0 lead with 13 seconds left in the first period.

West Alabama stretched the lead to 24-0 when Satterwhite scrambled for a 3-yard touchdown with just over nine minutes left in the first half. The score capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive for the Tigers.

“Harry had a solid game and the receiver caught it well, but the story was the defense,” Gilliland said. “The defense pursued, hit people and drove them backwards. That’s what you want to see.”

Terry Samuel and Madison led the Tiger defense with eight and seven tackles, respectively. Madison broke up three passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble as the Tiger defense allowed just 11 first downs.

Rashaad Lee got into the scoring column with a 1-yard TD run with 2:59 left in the first half. The point after touchdown snap was botched and West Alabama led 30-0. Lee’s score capped a seven-play, 46-yard drive.

Lee finished with 98 yards on 14 carries, all in the first half, to lead UWA rushers. He also caught five passes for 14 yards. Qua Boyd had four receptions for 66 yards. Donta Armstrong, Corey Davis and Tyler Rogers each caught three passes. Rogers also ran for 70 yards on 11 carries.

“This was a pretty good way to start my last go-around,” Lee, the senior from Pensacola, Florida said. “The execution of the offensive line was good all night.”

Douglas drilled a 20-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to send West Alabama to the intermission with a 33-0 lead.

Lenoir-Rhyne got on the board with 2:17 left in the third quarter when Grayson Willingham connected with Sam Camargo for an 11-yard touchdown pass to cap a three-play, 10-yard drive after the Bears blocked a Tiger punt.

“I was praying for the shutout, but this isn’t a bad way to start,” Madison said. “We still have a lot to fix, though.”

Douglas nailed his fourth field goal from 33 yards with 6:54 left to play, capping a 15-play, 76-yard drive that drained 5:02 off the fourth-quarter clock.

Robert Myers capped West Alabama scoring with a 1-yard plunge with 3:08 left to play. Douglas’ PAT made it 46-7 West Alabama. The scoring drive was set up when Jordan Bennett recovered a Bear fumble on the kickoff following Douglas’ fourth field goal.

Nelson Brown had 76 yards on 22 carries to lead Lenoir-Rhyne. Two Bear quarterbacks combined to complete 11-of-28 for 68 yards. Sherrod Williams had 10 tackles for the Bears.

West Alabama remains on the road next week, visiting FCS member Samford in Birmingham. Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home, hosting North Greenville on Saturday, Sept. 9.

Demopolis High broadcast students release hype video

The Demopolis High School broadcasting program, DCS Tiger Tv, dropped a hype video Wednesday ahead of the football team’s first home game of the 2017 season. The video features snippets of the cheerleading squad and the River City Blue Marching Band in addition to the Tiger football team.


Davis earns Player of the Week

DeDe Davis, Demopolis head coach Brian Seymore, and ESPN1049’s Sean Parker

The game certainly did not turn out the way Demopolis would have liked in a 29-18 loss to rival Thomasville to open the 2017 season. Still, a rare 100-yard receiving game from a Demopolis player merited the proverbial tip of the cap.

Davis, who has specialized as a defensive back throughout his varsity career, showed up and showed out as a slot receiver Friday night. The favorite target of Demopolis quarterback Andrew Patterson, Davis hauled in nine passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in the effort.

Demopolis will look to get off the deck Friday night against Greensboro. Davis will look to build on his early returns.

For his part, the Tiger senior earned ESPN1049 Player of the Week honors. Davis received a commemorative T-shirt Friday night and joined the network’s Coaches Show on air during its weekly live broadcast from Batter Up in Demopolis.