Trojans fall to Demopolis

Published 10:57 pm Thursday, November 5, 2015

CHHS sophomore quarterback Noah Lowery, 17, fires a pass while offensive lineman Tomarcus Neal, 64, provides a block during Thursday’s game. (Messenger photo/Dan Smith)

CHHS sophomore quarterback Noah Lowery, 17, fires a pass while offensive lineman Tomarcus Neal, 64, provides a block during Thursday’s game. (Messenger photo/Dan Smith)

DEMOPOLIS – The Demopolis Tigers broke open an eight-point halftime lead with four second half touchdowns en route to a 48-13 win over Charles Henderson High School Thursday night in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

CHHS and Head Coach Brad McCoy knew Demopolis running back Jayjereian Craig could be the difference in the game, and the junior indeed was all that and more as he bulled his way for 230 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tigers.

“They certainly imposed their will in the second half,” said Coach McCoy. “We started having some guys get banged up that could not play in the second half, and the last couple of weeks we had four or five that we thought were back, and it did not take long for us to see we could not stay with the game plan due to injuries.

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“But Demopolis is a good football team. We knew that, and No. 6 (Craig) was a load to bring down, and we knew he was going to be a challenge to tackle for four quarters.

“They had good continuity, they played hard together, they played hard for each other, and we’re not exactly where we need to be from that standpoint, but we will.”

Demopolis, improving to 9-2 and ranked No. 9 in Class 5A, got on the scoreboard first when they took their first possession at their own 7-yard line and moved 93-yards in five plays, handing the ball off to Craig on every down. On second-and-six from their own 40, Craig blistered a 60-yard TD run, and the extra point by R.J. Cox was good for the 7-0 lead.

The Trojans responded with a 57-yard drive, with senior running back Jalante Smith taking it in from one-yard out, and the extra point by Baylor Barnes was good to tie the score at 7-7 with 2:57 remaining in the first quarter.

Demopolis went up 14-7 on the next possession, as Keishaun Scott scored from 3-yards out, but the Trojans answered with a drive from their 40 to the Demopolis 14, which ended in a 34-yard field goal by Barnes to make the score 14-10 with 7:57 remaining in the half.

Barnes added another field goal two minutes later, cutting the lead to 14-13 at the 5:46 mark.

Craig put the Tigers up 21-13 on a 6-yard TD carry, which held up for the halftime score.

The Tigers took the opening possession of the second half and moved 50 yards for a TD, as Jamarcus Ezell went in from 1-yard out, and Drew Jones went in from 2-yards out to open the fourth quarter, and Demopolis led 34-13.

William Wilkins broke a 23-yard touchdown run with 5:17 to play in the game, and the final touchdown for Demopolis came with 3:03 to go on a 17-yard carry by sophomore A.J. Jackson for the 48-13 final.

CHHS, 5-6, will see a strong nucleus of young players that saw valuable playing time returning for next season, and says goodbye to 12 seniors that contributed greatly.

“We’ve gotten a lot better this season,” McCoy said. “Our seniors provided great leadership, our young guys we have had to play unexpectedly have gotten better, and I think we have just got to develop our players so we are not relying so much on ninth graders. It just takes getting kids involved in the program and staying with the program. I think we are going to take this game with us and use it with a motivation for the future, and hopefully we will build from it.”