The Bulldogs held off Tallassee’s Notre Dame box offense by a single point in an overtime win in the second round. Last week, following a 145-mile trek to Troy, Dora defeated Charles Henderson — a team that had upset a ranked team in each of the first two rounds.
Now Dora faces its toughest test thus far Friday night with a state semifinal game at UMS-Wright.
The Bulldogs again have to take to the road. This time they travel 245 miles to Mobile with a spot in the state championship game on the line.
The game starts at 7 p.m. from Erwin S. Cooper Stadium. The winner advances to the Class 4A state title game set for 11 a.m. at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium on Dec. 7.
UMS-Wright is a program steeped in tradition.
The team has won four state titles since 2000 and has been to the playoffs a whopping 19 straight seasons. The last time UMS-Wright wasn’t in the postseason all of its current players weren’t born.
Of those 19 playoff appearances, UMS-Wright won a first-round playoff game 18 times and made the state semifinals eight times.
UMS-Wright went an incredible seven years (2000-06) without losing a region games.
How tough is UMS-Wright’s region? The team is trying to become the third straight region champion from 4A, Region 1. Jackson won the crown last year while Thomasville picked up the 4A title in 2010.
Dora (12-1) is in the state semifinals for the third time in school history (1985, 1988 and 2012).
Friday’s contest promises to be an offensive showcase. Both teams are among the highest scoring offenses in 4A. UMS-Wright averages 36.5 points per game while Dora comes in at 40.5 points per game.
Each team boasts offensive firepower.
Dora, which has scored 39 or more points in 10 games this season, is led by its ground attack of Kai Thomas, DeMarcus Kirk and Caleb May.
Thomas has rushed for more than 1,900 yards and 33 touchdowns on the season. Both Kirk and May have over 1,000 rushing yards as well.
May, Dora’s dual threat quarterback, has also passed for more than 1,000 yards and has accounted for 24 touchdowns on the season.
For UMS-Wright (11-2), which edged Beauregard 22-19 last week, quarterback Gunner Roach has thrown for 1,629 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Roach has saved his best for the playoffs, completing 39 of 58 passes for 659 yards and five touchdowns.
Tyron Dixon is his top receiver with 65 catches for 903 yards.
He has 21 catches for 357 yards in UMS-Wright’s three playoff games.
On the ground, Troy Dixon has rushed for 1,793 yards and 21 touchdowns on 254 carries.
He has nine games with at least 100 yards, but was held to a season low 42 yards in last week’s win over Beauregard.