Demopolis Avoids an Upset; Defeats Central Falcons 40-24
In what started as a defensive battle full of fumbles, the Demopolis Tigers (3-0, 1-0) took down the Central Falcons (1-2, 0-1) 40-24.
The Tigers had a rough first half, losing three of their four fumbles. Demopolis coach Brian Seymore helped his team turn that around in the second half with four touchdowns, three of which were unanswered in the fourth quarter.
“It comes down to execution, and in the first half we didn’t have it,” Seymore said. “It goes back to the top, and I need to do a better job with that.”
Demopolis senior quarterback Tad Drake put on an offensive show, going 24-for-34 with 297 passing yards and two touchdowns. In the second half, Drake stepped back and let senior quarterback Peyton Stevenson and senior quarterback Hayes Atkins take control. Stevenson passed for a single touchdown as a “wildcat” quarterback and caught one as a receiver, and Atkins rushed for two touchdowns.
Atkins was the "Player of the Game" due to two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Tigers.
On the other sideline, the Falcons struggled offensively. While junior quarterback Peyton Batchelor passed for 183 yards and two touchdowns, the running game fell apart. After being sacked several times, Batchelor lost the team 35 yards.
In addition, the Tigers’ defense held senior running back Markelious Furr to just 12 yards rushing.
In the second quarter, senior defensive lineman Edward Smith recovered a Tiger fumble and took it to the house for a 92-yard touchdown.
Continuing with non-offensive touchdowns, junior Stevenson Hodges returned a Tiger kickoff for a Falcon touchdown.
Regardless of the result, Falcons’ coach Rodney Bivens believes the team had a good effort.
“I think we played hard,” Bivens said. “We got back to some basics and fundamentals. We just need to find a way to finish.”
At the end of the first half, a Demopolis penalty that should have run out the clock turned into an untimed play for the Tigers. Central’s sideline was livid. During the play, a Demopolis dirty hit on senior defender Taquell Giles led to Falcons’ fans yelling for an ejection.
“Unfortunately the call was not in favor of us. In regards to the end results, we know that we have different rules in the game to protect players for targeting,” Bivens said. “Unfortunately the call did not go the way we wanted.”
Central, which has an open date next Friday, will look to fix their offensive scheme in preparation for a home region matchup against Marbury High School on Sept.18.
Demopolis will look to continue their unbeaten record with a region game at home next week against Sipsey Valley.