The Bulldogs came one step closer to claiming the Class 4A, Region 4 title with a 27-25 road win over the Bibb County Choctaws(2-3,2-2).
The Dora offense wasted no time in putting the Bulldogs ahead on the first possession of the game less than a minute into the game. Dora faced a long third down but quarterback Caleb May rolled out of the pocket and connected with Devonta Gosha for an 80-yard touchdown strike.
Dora (5-1, 4-0) went out in front 7-0 after Austin Gordy’s PAT was good.
The Dora defense came out and had an equally impressive series as they forced the Choctaws to go three-and-out thanks in part to a Stonie Phillips tackle for loss. The Bulldog offense then came back on its next possession and put together a 10 play 80-yard drive that was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run from senior Kai Thomas on a fourth and goal situation.
Gordy added his second PAT of the night and Dora then led 14-0 with 5:26 left in the first quarter. Dora then once again forced a Bibb County punt after just three offensive plays as AJ Smoot dropped Choctaw quarterback Watson Fondren for a 13 yard loss.
Bibb County then responded with a big defensive play as Dikembe Aaron picked a May pass.
Dora’s defense once again rose to the occasion and came up with big plays when necessary.
The Choctaws faced a fourth and two on the Dora 45-yard line but DeMarcus Kirk came up with a big defensive play for the Bulldogs to force a turnover on down for Bibb County. The Choctaws were able to get on the board midway through the second quarter after a mistake by the Dora special teams.
Punter Stonie Phillips could not control a low snap and had to scramble for yardage only to be brought down by the Choctaws on his own 6-yard line.
It took two plays for Bibb County to score from the 6 as Steven Taylor ran it in from 5 yards away to chip the Dora lead in half as Shaun Smith added the PAT to make the score 14-7 with 5:06 left in the first half.
The Bulldog offense answered right back as they went 81-yards in 8 plays to increase the lead.
Thomas scored his second touchdown of the night; this one came from 39-yards out and Gordy converted his third PAT in as many tries to send Dora into the half with a 21-7 lead.
Dora ended the half with 379 yards of offense while the Choctaws had only 25 yards.
On the first possession of the second half the Dora defense forced its first turnover of the game as Deionte Smith intercepted Terry Lockett’s pass that would set the Bulldog offense up at their own 8-yard line.
The offense didn’t care as May connected with Smith for a 61-yard touchdown pass to make the score 27-7 after Gordy’s failed PAT with 5:16 left in the third. It seemed as if the Bulldogs were in control but the Choctaws had other plans.
Bibb County answered the Dora score with a scoring drive of its own. Aaron took the ball into the end zone from 7-yards out for the Choctaws.
Bibb County then tried a two-point conversion play but was unsuccessful which left the score at 27-13 with just over 2 minutes left in the third. The Choctaw defense then came on the field and forced the Bulldogs to a three-and-out which led to a punt.
Bibb County started on the Dora 39-yard line after a short punt by the Bulldogs.
The Choctaws had marched down to the Dora 15 yard line when the Dora defense forced its second turnover of the game when Bibb County’s Rance Gaddis fumbled the ball.
Once again Bibb County’s defense held the Dora offense to just three plays and forced another punt. It was another special teams miscue that hurt the Bulldogs as the snap was once again low and the Choctaws took over at the Dora 15 yard line.
It took two plays for Bibb County to punch it in as Aaron scored his second touchdown of the night by way of an 11-yard run. The Choctaws once again attempted a 2-point conversion but were unsuccessful.
The lead was cut to 27-19 for the Bulldogs with 6:32 left in the game.
The Dora offense then went back out onto the field hoping to find its rhythm from the first half and early in the second half. However the Choctaws once again forced a quick Dora punt. Gaddis then made up for his early mistake of fumbling the football as he took the punt 58-yards for the score.
Bibb County then had a chance to tie the game with a two-point conversion but Lockett’s pass sailed over his receiver’s head and the score remained 27-25.
Dora then got the ball back with about 4:40 left in the game. The Bulldogs were finally able to get a first down as they got two during the possession to earn a key region win over the Choctaws.
Taylor led the Choctaw offense with 38 rushing yards on 7 attempts while Gaddis added 31 yards and a touchdown. Bibb County only had 163 yards of total offense all of which came on the ground.
Dora quarterback Caleb May finished the night with 340 all-purpose yards as he threw for 291 yards and 2 touchdowns and also rushed 11 times for 49 yards.
Thomas was the Bulldogs’ leading rusher with 147 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns while Kirk added 54 yards on 13 carries.
Dora racked up a total of 546 yards of total offense with a balanced attack of 291 passing yards and 255 yards on the ground.
The Dora defense was lead by Stonie Phillips who had 4 solo tackles and Cade Stone who had 3 solo tackles. Thomas, Smith, and Deangelo Pendleton each had 2 solo tackles for the Bulldogs.
Dora will continue region play next week as they will host the 1-5 Oak Grove Tigers.