Dora went to Kin Logan Stadium in Ashville on Friday night looking to spoil the Ashville Bulldogs homecoming and clinch a playoff spot in the process. The Bulldogs would do just that as they were bolstered by a solid second half performance to beat Ashville 21-0.
The theme of the first half would be ball control and defense. Ashville executed their first half game plan of keeping Dora’s offense on the sideline. Ashville would run a single wing/Notre Dame Box hybrid offense and eat away as much of the play clock as possible between each play. The lone mistake in the first half for the Ashville offense came when quarterback Dylan Harris would drop back for a pass looking for a touchdown only to be intercepted by Dora’s Kolbe Walker on an amazing play. While Ashville did execute their first half plan, the lack of explosive plays would ultimately be their downfall. Ashville was able to run the ball well enough to keep the clock running but would not get close to scoring on Dora the rest of the night.
The Dora offense on the other hand continuously struggled throughout the first half to maintain consistency and had to rely on defense and special teams to keep the Bulldogs ahead on field position. Ashville limited Dora to 111 yards of offense and a turnover in the first half. Even with consistency issues, Dora still outgained Ashville on offense in the first half 111-85.
Despite the struggles of the first half, Dora would prove that they are becoming a second half team. The Bulldogs would score 21 unanswered points in the second half to prove that the offense can be explosive when it is dialed in. Dora would rely on the legs of Jamarcus Goodmon in the red zone in the second half as he would be responsible for two of the Bulldogs three second half touchdowns with runs from 11 yards and 3 yards out respectively. The other touchdown would come in the fourth quarter when Garrett Hogland would connect with Brennan Davis for a 14 yard touchdown pass.
Brennan Davis and Mason Stewart are both proving to be reliable receivers in the passing game and on jet sweep pop passes. Garrett Hogland also provided some additional running game support from the quarterback position. Hogland would finish the game with 128 yards passing and 53 yards rushing. The successful second half for the Dora offense gives them momentum and catapults them into the heart of the remaining region schedule.
The win locks up a playoff spot for the second year in a row. Dora has region games remaining against region leader Good Hope and preseason region favorite Etowah. They’re multiple scenarios that will determine where Dora finishes in the region but the Bulldogs at least control their own destiny to host a first round playoff game if they win the next two region games. The win also moves Dora to 5-2 on the season and 3-1 in class 4A region 6 play. The loss drops Ashville to 3-4 on the season and 0-4 in class 4A region 6 play. The Bulldogs have built a lot of momentum with three wins in a row and outscoring opponents 95-14 in that span. Dora travels to Good Hope next with an opportunity to cause chaos in the class 4A region 6 playoff picture.