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Demopolis hands homecoming crowd a big win

Demopolis put its demons to bed Friday night, scoring on the first play from scrimmage and never looking back on its way to a 55-20 homecoming win over Selma.

“We needed a fresh start,” junior Anthony Hardy said.

Selma (4-2) found the end zone three times against a struggling Demopolis football team, but it wasn’t enough.

Jamarius Strong caught a 9-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Keaton Spears to cut the Demopolis lead to 48-6 in the third quarter.

The Saints found the end zone twice more in the fourth quarter to further cut into the Tigers’ lead.

Eddie Johnson ran for a 5-yard touchdown, and Strong hauled in his second touchdown reception on a 35-yard catch from Darion Alexander to cut the lead to 48-20.

But Demopolis’ lead was too great to overcome

Hardy caught a pass from senior quarterback Rick Boone on the first offensive play of the game and took it the distance for a 62-yard touchdown play.

Demopolis (2-4) followed the possession by kicking and recovering an onside kick. That set up a 9-play, 40-yard drive that concluded with a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore DaMarcus James.

After a brief Selma drive that ended on a Greg Irvin sack, Demopolis constructed a 7-play drive that covered 80 yards and ended on a 3-yard touchdown run by Hardy.

On the next Demopolis possession, Boone and Hardy hooked up again on first down. This time the play went for 59 yards and a touchdown and featured an acrobatic catch in which Hardy reached around the trailing Saint defender to pull in the pass.

On the next kickoff, Deonte Washington forced a fumble that Alan Brooker recovered at the Selma 33-yard line.

The Tigers then assembled a 4-play drive that ended on a 13-yard touchdown run by Hardy. The play was his fourth trip to the end zone on the night.

The ugliness continued for Selma on the following kickoff when Demopolis’ Tremaine Sanders force a fumble that Irvin scooped up at the Saint 15.

Two plays later, Boone took it the distance himself for a 15-yard scoring run.

On their final possession of the opening half, the Tigers marched 38 yards on six plays to push the lead to 48-0 on an eight-yard touchdown run by DaMarcus James and bonus point kick by Tyler Brooker.

“We just did the same things we did in practice,” Boone said. “We went hard in practice, tried to be perfect in practice. It just carried over.”

Selma opened the second half with vigor, constructing a nine-play drive that covered 72 yards and cut the DHS lead to 48-6. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

Demopolis answered back on its next drive when it took the ball 67 yards. James’ five-yard touchdown run capped the possession. The extra-point kick rounded out the DHS scoring for the night and left the lead at 55-6.

Selma then managed two touchdowns against the Tigers’ second-team defense to cut the deficit to 35.

Hardy finished the night with 121 yards receiving. Boone put together an 8-for-13 night with 212 yards through the air.

James led the team in rushing with 167 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries.

After being held to 66 yards in the first half, Selma finished the night with 287 total yards of offense. Demopolis countered with 423 yards of its own.