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Demopolis storms back, outlasts Citronelle 31-14


CITRONELLE | Demopolis overcame a halftime deficit Friday night to beat Citronelle 31-14 in the Class 5A, Region 3 opener for both teams.

Demopolis (2-0) opened the game with a surprise onside kick 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.

After pitching a three-and-out, the Tigers were poised to score again when Jeffrey Snow stepped in front of a Demopolis pass at the 4-yard line and took it all the way to the Tiger 36.

Snow later hauled 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.

"He's a tremendous athlete — just a junior," Citronelle Coach Barry Gibson said. "It seems like when we need a big play, Jeffrey goes out and makes a big play. He had a great night. Tristan threw the ball well. You've got to have somebody that can get the ball to him, and I thought Tristan threw the ball well."

With 4:33 to go in the second quarter, Torious Fells capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. The Joey Raider kick put Citronelle up 14-7 going into intermission.

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 Citronelle (1-1) punt attempt. Demopolis took over possession at the Wildcat 17.

Two plays later, Drew Jones pounded the ball in on a 9-yard touchdown run to give Demopolis its first lead since the game's opening quarter.

Citronelle's attempt to answer led the 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.

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 last 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," Gibson said. "We can build on this, absolutely. We're still trying to rebuild this program. I'm extremely proud of our kids."

"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," Demopolis coach Tom 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 Causey's career.

"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.

Demopolis travels to Saraland next week, while Citronelle visits Selma.