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Heavyweights meet: GHS vs. Demopolis

Demopolis tailback Demarcus James, top, humbled the Greenville defense with 279 yards and three touchdowns during a 26-18 win over the Tigers in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs in 2009. Fernandez Grey, right, and Greenville will be seeking some redemption against the defending state champs when GHS travels to play Demopolis in a key region game on Friday night.

Hide your kids. Hide your wife.

Demopolis (4-2) hosts Greenville (5-1) in a Class 5A region game will more than likely decide the regional championship. Both sets of Tigers still have to play Selma, currently third in the region (Greenville next week, Demopolis the week after that), but Friday’s game is a match-up of the region’s top two teams. Greenville is defending region champs, but Demopolis is defending state champs, having knocked off the Tigers in the second round last season.

“We know we didn’t play up to our expectations last year,” said GHS head coach Ben Blackmon about that game, a 26-18 Demopolis victory. “I told our guys this is where we were last year.”

Greenville beat Demopolis in the regular season last year 28-7. But running back Demarcus James, held in check that game, ran over, around, and through the Greenville defense in the return match-up enroute to a three touchdown night.

James is one of the top running backs in the state as a senior this year.

James led Demopolis down the field last week for a 21-17 win over Paul Bryant.

Two years ago, in Demopolis, both teams engaged in a classic shootout, with Demopolis winning 48-41 after Greenville surrendered a 34-19 lead after halftime.

The game could come down to whichever team has the ball last: GHS’s defense allowed just eight points per game last year through six games. They’re averaging giving up 19 points thus far this year.

Demopolis is giving up 17 points per game.

“They’re a lot like us in that they lost a lot of starters on defense and we lost a lot of starters on defense,” said Blackmon. “It’s going to be a challenge for our kids.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.