Tigers overcome deficit for 31-14 win at Citronelle

Roderick Davis breaks free from the grasp of a Citronelle would-be tackler on his way to Demopolis' first touchdown.

Roderick Davis breaks free from the grasp of a Citronelle would-be tackler on his way to Demopolis’ first touchdown.

CITRONELLE — Demopolis (2-0, 1-0) battled through a lackluster first half to outscore Citronelle (1-1, 0-1) 24-0 in the game’s final to quarters for a 31-14 win Friday night.

Demopolis opened the game with a surprise onside kick off the foot of Michael Brooker that was recovered by Cal Logan. Two plays later, Roderick Davis hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Oates to stake Demopolis to a 7-0 lead.

“I felt like we needed something. I felt like if we could get a quick start, get a couple of quick scores, maybe we can get our guys on top fast. I knew they were much better than they had been last year, so I knew we had a ball game on our hands,” Demopolis coach Tom Causey said of the decision to open the game with the surprise onside kick.

After pitching a three-and-out, the Tigers were poised to score again when Jeffrey Snow stepped in front of a DHS pass at the four yard line and took it all the way to the Tiger 36.

Snow would later haul in a 25-yard pass to keep the Wildcat series alive before finishing what he started when he snagged a 21-yard heave from Tristan Patrick.

With 4:33 to go in the second quarter, Torious Fells capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run. The Joey Raider bonus kick put Citronelle up 14-7 going into intermission.

Peyton Pearson strips the ball from a Citronelle runner.

Peyton Pearson strips the ball from a Citronelle runner.

Demopolis announced its presence early in the third quarter, going 60 yards on seven plays to tie the game on a 13-yard touchdown run by Davis and an extra-point kick by Leif Midgorden.

A Tyler Merriweather sack three plays later set up a sequence that resulted in a mishandled snap on a CHS punt attempt. Demopolis took over possession at the Wildcat 17.

Two plays later, Drew Jones pounded the ball in on a nine-yard touchdown run to give Demopolis its first lead since the game’s opening quarter.

Citronelle’s attempt to answer led he Wildcats all the way to the Demopolis 37 before Cortez Lewis picked off a pass to halt the threat.

Demopolis turned the turnover into points when Midgorden connected on a 33-yard field goal to put the Tigers up 24-14.

Demetrius Kemp forced and recovered a fumble to set Demopolis up 32 yards from another score before Devonte Orso picked off a pass to give possession back to Citronelle.

Roderick Davis scores his second touchdown of the night against the Citronelle Wildcats.

Roderick Davis scores his second touchdown of the night against the Citronelle Wildcats.

But a Tim Bonner sack snuffed the Wildcats’ final scoring threat, forcing Citronelle to punt. Demopolis then covered 86 yards of real estate on a pair of Davis runs, the final of which came in the form of a 79-yard scoring scamper.

“They’re the No. 10 team in the state for a reason. And we played them toe-to-toe for a half and kind of let it slip away in the second half,” Citronelle coach Barry Gibson said.

“I credit our senior leadership for the second half. They came out and played their tails off. It’s 14-7 and we win the second half 24-0,” Causey said. “Third downs were the big key. In the first half we were third and 38 and they were converting third downs and keeping drives alive.”

The victory marked the 100th of Tom Causey’s career.

Drew Jones scores a touchdown in the third quarter of the Tigers' win over the Wildcats.

Drew Jones scores a touchdown in the third quarter of the Tigers’ win over the Wildcats.

“If I’m blessed enough to win another 100, I hope the 200th ain’t nothing like tonight,” Causey said of his milestone moment.

Davis finished his night with 243 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in addition to a 24-yard receiving score.

Snow paced Citronelle’s offense with 129 yards receiving on five catches.

Peyton Pearson led the Demopolis defense with 11 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Bonner finished his night with 1.5 sacks for the Tigers. Lane Hawkin and Rahmeel Cook were each also in on a sack. Merriweather had five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Cal Logan recovered the surprise onside kick to open the game for the Tigers.

Demopolis travels to Saraland next week while Citronelle visits Selma.

Ryan Schroeder breaks free for a long run in the fourth quarter.

Ryan Schroeder breaks free for a long run in the fourth quarter.