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Toros overcome early deficit, oust Demopolis


Spanish Fort’s Thomas Johnston (42) grabs for Demopolis’ Demetrius Kemp during the first half of Friday night’s Class 5A playoff game at Spanish Fort. (Photo by Michael Chang | Mobile Press-Register)


 

SPANISH FORT | Demopolis lost its starting quarterback early and managed only 135 yards on the night en route to a 38-14 second-round Class 5A playoff loss to Spanish Fort on Friday night.

“They competed all year long. I’m proud of the way they competed, but we came up short,” Demopolis coach Tom Causey said. “Our goal every year is to win a state championship and we fell short of that. There’s a lot of things that we can get better at in the offseason to get closer to that goal. We’ll go to work doing that.”

The Tigers (9-3) opened strong when Tyler Merriweather recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Five plays later, quarterback Tucker Jones went over left guard on an option keeper to put Demopolis on top with an early touchdown lead.

The Tigers appeared to have forced a three-and-out when a personal foul penalty on a punt gave the Toros new life. Spanish Fort needed only one play to score when Joel Poe hit Devonte Patrick on a 62-yard touchdown pass. Alexander Theodore added the extra point to tie the game and Spanish Fort never looked back.

With Jones on the sidelines following the Tigers’ second offensive series, Demopolis managed only 23 yards of offense over a 22-minute stretch as Spanish Fort continued to hit big plays.

Sammy Tolbert added to the Spanish Fort lead on a 10-yard touchdown run with 5:18 to go in the first quarter.

Tolbert later added a 7-yard scoring run while Blain Crain caught the two-point conversion pass to stretch it to 21-7.

Spanish Fort added one more score in the second quarter when Tolbert punched it in again on a 2-yard run to take a 28-7 lead to the half.

Demopolis finished the game’s opening two quarters without Jones and starting wide receiver Rodney Harper, who both went down to injury.

“It affects you, but we’ve got players that go on this field that get coached up every day and they’re prepared to play,” Causey said of the injuries. “Give Spanish Fort credit. Their guys made the plays at the times when they needed to make them. That’s the difference in the ballgame.”

Demopolis appeared ready to make a game of it in the third quarter when Roderick Davis scored on a 3-yard run, cutting the deficit to 28-14.

Spanish Fort later added to its lead on a 36-yard touchdown pass to Crain. Theodore added a 22-yard field goal with 5:51 to go to ice the win.