The 2021 season debut for the Dora Bulldogs was a tale of two stories. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 13-0 first quarter lead but failed to score again in the season opener at Cordova’s Hudson-Kerby Field. Cordova would eventually capitalize on several Dora mistakes and were bolstered by a bold performance by their quarterback, Cody Headrick to outscore Dora in the final three quarters, 20-0.
The Bulldogs wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as linebacker, Ronald Waldrop would intercept Cordova quarterback, Cody Headrick on the first play of the game and race 35 yards for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 6-0.
A stout Dora defense would control the pace of the game early as the defensive line would stalemate the Blue Devil offensive line to allow the Dora linebackers to make plays in the Cordova backfield throughout the first half. The Bulldogs offense would eventually reward the Bulldogs defense for their efforts by finding the end zone late in the first quarter in the form of a 4 yard run for touchdown by Jamarcus Goodmon. The touchdown would put Dora up 13-0 as the extra point was good with 1:43 left in the first quarter.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the scoring would be over for the night as the Dora offense looked out of sync the rest of the game. Dora would have several snap miscues and timing issues the rest of the game that allowed Cordova’s defense to gain confidence to allow them to stay in the game. This proved pivotal late in the second quarter as Cordova’s offense started to use run-pass option concepts in the passing game to success. Cordova would strike for the first time in the game with 4:05 left until halftime when quarterback, Cody Headrick would find tight end, Hayden Bates for a 14 yard touchdown. The Bulldogs still led 13-6 as the extra point was no good and the score would remain the same going in to halftime.
To begin the second half, Cordova’s special teams would make a blunder that would give Dora the ball at their own 40 yard line to start the second half. However, snap miscues would prevent the Bulldogs from being able to capitalize on the Blue Devil mistakes. In many ways, this exchange was a perfect explanation for this game. Both teams were very sloppy and committed several turnovers but unlike the Bulldogs, Cordova was able to capitalize on the mistakes made by Dora.
Dora’s defense was able to hang tough throughout most of the game but eventually the mistakes on offense and the inability to get off the field on third down and Cordova’s adjustments in the passing game would be the downfall for the Bulldogs. Cordova would take the lead for the first time in the game with 1:58 left in the third quarter when Cody Headrick would connect with Jalen Armistad on a beautiful pass that went 60 yards to the house. A special teams mistake on the extra point attempt would allow Cordova the opportunity to go for two and were successful. Cordova would never give up the lead as they led 14-13.
In the fourth quarter, Cordova would use the combination of Headrick to Armistad again to extend the lead to 20-13 with 8:46 left in the game. This would be the final score in the game. Dora’s offense would have a few opportunities to rally back to send the game to overtime but could never find the success of the first quarter. Cordova’s offense would continue to make plays when they had to on third down to keep the Bulldogs defense on the field as well. Cordova would ultimately ice the game away with a key conversion on third down as Headrick would find running back, I’Keylan Stewart on a wheel route out of the backfield to ice the game away for good. Cordova would get in victory formation and celebrate their 20-13 win over the Dora Bulldogs. The victory for Cordova snapped a four game winning streak for the Bulldogs over the Blue Devils.
The loss is a tough way to start the Chavis Williams era of Dora Bulldogs football but Dora will have another opportunity next Friday night at home against fellow class 4A foe, the Holt Ironmen in a non region contest. The Ironmen come into the game 0-1 as they dropped their season opener to Central of Tuscaloosa 58-0. The Bulldogs defeated Holt last season 21-7.