Dora traveled to West Blocton Friday night looking to snap their two game losing streak in the regular season finale. The Bulldogs would do just that as they would use a excellent second half performance to move past the West Blocton Tigers 15-7.
West Blocton would get the ball first and drive 80 yards on 10 plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Tigers wingback Austin Battles would break a run for 30 yards for the first score of the game. Unfortunately for the Tigers, this would be their only score of the game. Dora’s defense would hold West Blocton to 87 yards of offense the rest of the game after the first drive.
Dora’s offense on the other hand, struggled to find any rhythm in the first half. The Bulldogs offense had several key mistakes early in the game that kept them from capitalizing on opportunities including a Garrett Hogland pass that would bounce off of receiver Mason Stewart and land in the arms of West Blocton’s Markell O’Neill. Dora’s offense would fail to score a touchdown in a half for the third game in a row.
Fortunately for the Bulldogs, the offense was able to rely on a stingy and opportunistic defense combined with some nifty punting from Brennan Davis to flip field position. This would become a factor in the second quarter as a West Blocton punt would go over the punter’s head. The Tigers punter would pick up the ball only to be swarmed by several Dora defenders. This would be the Bulldogs only points of the first half as they would trail at halftime 7-2.
The second half would create possibly the biggest adversity Dora has faced this season as starting quarterback Garrett Hogland would go down with an injury. The Bulldogs would be forced to answer the adversity as backup quarterback Kesean Pryor would lead the offense.
Pryor has been the ultimate teammate all year serving as the backup quarterback and also working as a tight end for the Bulldogs offense. Pryor would take advantage of his opportunity as he would make his mark early by converting a key 3rd and long on his first drive and ultimately would get in the end zone on a power run from 3 yards out. The two point conversion was no good but the Bulldogs would take the lead 8-7.
Pryor would continue his game changing ways in the fourth quarter as he would make several key plays that would ultimately set up a 26 yard touchdown run from Jamarcus Goodmon to extend the Bulldogs lead to 15-7. Starting quarterback Garrett Hogland would come back in the game to be the holder for Brayden Williamson’s successful extra point attempt.
West Blocton would have one more good opportunity to try to tie the game but their lack of a passing game would be their ultimate downfall. The Tigers would try a halfback pass that would be intercepted by Cole Chapman to end any threat of West Blocton coming back to tie the game. Pryor and the offense would come back on the field and ice the rest of the clock away sealing a 15-7 victory for the Bulldogs!
Kesean Pryor would finish the game 5/5 passing for 126 yards and a rushing touchdown. The win guarantees that Dora will finish with a winning record for the first time since 2017. The Bulldogs finished 9-3 that year and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
Dora will travel to Killen next week to face the undefeated region 8 champions, the Brooks Lions. The Lions boast an explosive offense averaging 33 points per game and a defense allowing only 14 points per game. Dora does lead the all time series against the Lions 1-0. The two teams last battled in the first round of the state playoffs in 2011. Dora traveled to Killen that year as an underdog and pulled out a 34-14 win. Tickets for the Brooks game may be purchased through GoFan.