Dora falls in heart-breaker

Saks scores game-winning touchdown in final minute

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 11/17/17

ANNISTON — The Dora Bulldogs’ season came to a close on Friday night, with the Saks Wildcats scoring the game-winning touchdown in the final minute of regulation to clinch a 31-24 victory at Jack Stewart Field in Anniston.

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Dora falls in heart-breaker

Saks scores game-winning touchdown in final minute

Posted

ANNISTON — The Dora Bulldogs’ season came to a close on Friday night, with the Saks Wildcats scoring the game-winning touchdown in the final minute of regulation to clinch a 31-24 victory at Jack Stewart Field in Anniston.

Despite committing four turnovers in the contest, the Bulldogs were able to stay within a touchdown of the Wildcats through key redzone stops on defense and crucial receptions on offense.

Tyler Goodwin threw for 233 yards on 17 of 30 passes with two touchdowns but four interceptions. Goodwin also ran for 39 yards on seven carries. Caleb Danner passed the 2,000-yard mark on the season with 59 yards on 18 carries. Danner also hauled in four passes for 42 yards with a touchdown. Achilya Dixon had seven rushes for 54 yards with a touchdown. Cole Hargrove led the team in receiving with four catches for 87 yards.

Hargrove led the defense with nine tackles, while Blaine Neil recorded eight tackles with a tackle for a loss and a fumble recovery.

Dora drove 36 yards on six plays to open the game, ending with a 38-yard field goal from Jack Spradlin for the 3-0 edge.

Following an exchange of possessions, Saks was awarded a safety when an errant snap sailed over Spradlin’s head and through the back of the endzone — cutting the lead to one point, 3-2.

Midway through the quarter, Goodwin connected with Danner, who raced 33 yards for the touchdown. Spradlin’s extra point kick put Dora further ahead, 10-2.

Saks answered with a 10-yard touchdown run and followed with a successful two-point conversion to tie the game at 10-10.

The Wildcats ended the first quarter with a 10-play, 74-yard drive to gain the 17-10 advantage.

The Bulldogs drove 73 yards on nine plays on the final possession of the first half, ending with a 20-yard touchdown strike to Zack Clayton. Spradlin’s extra point kick led to the 17-17 tie. A nine-yard scoring run by Saks to end the second quarter sent the Wildcats to halftime up 24-17.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, with the Wildcats driving within the Bulldogs’ 20-yard line only to be turned away on good defensive stands.

With under five minutes left in the game, Dora tied the game on a two-yard run by Dixon and a Spradlin extra point kick, 24-24.

Saks (12-0) constructed the final score of the game on the ensuing series — 80-yards on 10 plays, capped with a five-yard run for the 31-24 lead.

With less than a minute on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs were able to drive to the Wildcats’ 25-yard line before time expired, giving Saks the win.

Dora finishes a 9-3 record in head coach Bart Lockhart’s first season with the program.

The Bulldogs’ 2017 campaign saw its first second-round playoff appearance since 2012.