DEMOPOLIS — In a game that came down to the last possession, Jasper fell on the road at Demopolis 13-7 Friday night.
Penalties at key moments hurt the Vikings throughout the game, including on a final drive late in the fourth quarter.
“We haven’t had a problem with penalties this year, but we did tonight on both sides of the ball,” Jasper Coach Philip Bailey said. “When you’re playing a good team like that, you can’t put yourself behind the chains. We did that tonight all night.”
Demopolis, the No. 9-ranked team in Class 5A, moves to 6-0 on the season with the win. Jasper drops to 1-4.
The Tigers scored on the first possession of the game. It was an 8-play drive that took five minutes off the clock, capped by a 3-yard touchdown by Hayes Atkins. The point after failed, but Demopolis carried the 6-0 lead through the end of the first quarter. Two plays into the second quarter, Tyler Drake connected with Price Smith on a 55-yard touchdown pass to increase the Tigers’ lead to 13-0.
Jasper got on the board with a little over seven minutes left in the second quarter when Kevon Samuels scored on a 20-yard run. Preston Reed’s point after was good to cut the Demopolis lead to 13-7 at halftime.
Neither team scored in the second half. Jasper blocked a Demopolis field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, but the Vikings could not move the ball to get within striking distance of the Tigers’ goal line.
Jasper’s defense played strong on the night with three players finishing with double digits in tackles. Conner Whitley led the team with 12 tackles. Jody Hester and Mayson Slaughter each had 10 tackles. Slaughter added a sack. Lee Walker had eight tackles. Aubrey Jones had an interception. On special teams, Hayden Yerby had a fumble recovery.
The Vikings’ offense struggled on the night, finishing with less than 150 yards total offense. Samuels led the way with 40 yards and the touchdown on 13 carries.
Jasper will now travel to Adamsville next Friday to face Minor in a Class 6A, Region 6 game. Minor is 3-2 overall and 1-2 in region play. “We are going to keep working and get ready for Minor,” Bailey said. “Our guys fought as hard as possible tonight. The defense played as well as we could ask. The offense struggled, but we’ve got to find ways to score. This team won’t quit. They will keep working.”