New attitude at Dora

Bulldogs go after third straight win

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 9/16/16

Dora opened the 2016 football season just looking for a win.

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New attitude at Dora

Bulldogs go after third straight win

Posted

Dora opened the 2016 football season just looking for a win.

As the Bulldogs head toward the midway point of the season, coach Mike Cain’s squad is looking for much more.

“If we win this week, we are in the driver’s seat for the playoffs,” Cain said. “When we looked (at the schedule), we weren’t thinking we were going to get Fayette. Now that we’ve got that one, it makes this one even bigger.”

One week after beating Fayette County, the 2015 Class 4A state runner-up, Dora (2-1, 1-0) makes the trip to Hamilton for a key 4A, Region 6 battle tonight.

The Bulldogs ended a 13-game losing streak with a Week 2 victory over Carbon Hill. Following an off week, Dora earned its second straight win, riding its defense to an 18-7 victory over Fayette County. The Bulldogs sealed the victory when Davien Freeman picked off a pass in the end zone and went 104 yards the other way for a touchdown, ending the Tigers’ potential game-winning drive.

The win gave Dora its first back-to-back wins since the 2013 season.

“At the outset of the year, we talked about the season and that we wanted to put Dora football back on the map. It’s not been there the last few years. This was the type of game to put Dora back up there. I’m not doing a lot of coaching,” Cain said. “I just line them up and let them go.”

Hamilton has been a staple in the state playoffs, making the postseason each of the last 10 seasons, including a trip to the third round last season.  The Aggies (3-1, 1-1) enter the game coming off a 35-24 road win over Good Hope. This time last year, Dora was heading toward its first winless season since 2000.

Cain has noticed a shift in attitude with this year’s group.

“It’s a lot more positive. They get after it. It’s fun to watch them. They don’t quit,” Cain said. “We’ve have been outsized by everyone we’ve played. We’ve figured out that if we get quick and get after it, we can negate some of that size.”

Dora hasn’t played Hamilton since a second-round playoff game in 2004 — a game that saw the Aggies win 28-26 on a last-second hail-Mary.

A Dora victory tonight would most likely put the Bulldogs, who play in a seven-team region, one step away from the playoffs.

“Our goal was to make the playoffs and right now we are still at that point. We got a good jump on that by beating Fayette. If we get this one, we are feeling really good,” Cain added.

Dora is led by running back Caleb Danner, who has rushed for 432 yards and four touchdowns on the season. Davien Freeman is the team’s top receiver and defensive back.