Being the only unbeaten Class 3A team left doesn’t give Dora head coach Johnny Wright any added confidence.
“I didn’t even realize we were the only undefeated team left until somebody mentioned it this morning,” Wright said Tuesday afternoon. “I hate to use the same cliche all the time, but we’ve just taken each game, one at a time, and everything has fallen into place.”
Dora is preparing for a quarterfinal round playoff game against the Litchfield Eagles Friday night. It will be Dora’s first road trip of the playoffs as they travel to Gadsden’s Murphee Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Wright said playing on the road isn’t a concern.
“We’ve played pretty good on the road this season,” Wright said. “Our guys like playing in their white uniforms for some reason. Our team is focused and they don’t have a lot of outside distractions. They are just going about this in a workman-like way.”
The trip to Gadsden doesn’t concern Wright, but the team his Bulldogs are facing is a huge concern. Litchfield lost its first game of the season to Emma Sansom, but since then the Eagles have reeled off 11 straight wins. Tailback Anthony Ash is on the verge of his second-straight 2,000-yard season and was named as a finalist for the Class 3A Back of the Year this week for also the second-straight year.
“Ash is a great running back,” Wright said. “He is the total package. He is big, strong, fast and he is a smart player. He is a guy that can break a long run for a score at any time. They aren’t lacking any talent in their skill positions.”
Ash isn’t the only star on a team that dresses out 70 players. The senior tailback runs behind an offensive line that averages 280 pounds, quarterback Martiuan Hughley has his choice of several big play receivers and tight end/linebacker Jazz Johnson is a Class 3A Lineman of the Year finalist.
“Offensively, they are a very good football team,” Wright said. “We know that we need to control the clock and make each of our possessions count. We’ve got to have positive possessions every time. Whether it is driving the field and pinning them deep or its scoring a touchdown, we’ve got to take care of business.”
Dora will rely on its stable of backs, which has amassed more than 3200 yards this season. Steven Harrison rushed for a career-high 204 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries last week in Dora’s 43-21 win over Central-Florence. The Bulldogs will also have tailback Chase Pierce back for the quarterfinals, but he will be playing with a cast on his arm.
“We’ve just got to continue doing what we’ve done all season,” Wright said. “Our entire coaching staff has worked hard to make sure our guys are ready to play, and our players have done a good job of going out and putting our plan together on the field. We are only two games from playing in Birmingham and that’s where we want to be.”
The past couple of weeks the Dora High School Band performed their half time show “Jazz after Dark” at the State playoff games.
Last week Friday Nov, 8 2002 we honored a 10th grade varsity cheerleader & homecoming princess Ms. Courtney Ellis in memory of her death by wearing ribbons.
Thursday Nov,14 2002,The Dora First Baptist Church hosted a Spaghetti dinner for our hard work this season.
Friday the 15th the bulldogs won their game .Next week we will be headed to Gadsden for another playoff game .
“` Faith Pruden“`