Anniston’s Troymaine Pope and Dora’s Cody Staten have combined for more than 3,700 rushing yards and 52 touchdowns on the season heading into their second-round playoff game.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Dora’s Horace-Roberts Field.
Pope has rushed for a staggering 1,949 and 26 touchdowns on 176 carries (an average of 11 yards per carry). Staten is no slouch, coming in with 1,767 yards and 26 touchdowns on 182 caries (an average of 9.7 yards per carry).
Staten nabbed Player of the Week honors across the state last week with a 377-yard, five-touchdown performance in Dora’s 34-14 victory over Brooks.
Pope wasn’t far behind, rushing for 269 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries after being benched in the first quarter in Anniston’s 41-0 win over Cherokee County.
“They have a good football team. We are going to have our hands full,” Dora coach Dusty Goode said. “Holt is a great running back and Anniston is very athletic. They have weapons at every spot. They can score on any down.”
Anniston, which defeated Dora 54-8 in a first-round playoff meeting last year, matches up against a stingy defense that allows just 10.5 points per game. Dora (9-2) has given up just 16 points in its last three games.
Anniston (7-4) lost four games this season, but still won their second straight 4A, Region 6 title.
“Anniston’s record is very deceiving. They lost to 5A teams Briarwood and Center Point. Those teams are still in it,” he said.
Goode hopes the Bulldogs cut down on miscues Friday night. In Dora’s two losses (Fayette County and Midfield), the team combined for 10 turnovers.
The team had two fumbles last week as well.
“We are going to have to secure the ball and cut down on mistakes. It’s playoff time. Anybody can lose to anybody,” Goode said.
Though the Bulldogs won by 20 points last week, Goode feels Dora hasn’t played to its full capabilities yet.
“I don’t think we’ve played our best game. I still think our best game is still out there. Against Walker we made a lot of mistakes and we turned the ball over twice last week,” Goode said.
“Our defense has been outstanding and our coaches have done a great job on both sides of the ball,” Goode said. “It should be a good atmosphere Friday. It’s always better to be at home and not have to travel.”
Dora is playing its first home playoff game since a third-round loss to Alexandria in 2006. The Bulldogs have won eight of their last nine games and are 5-4 all time in the second round of the playoffs. Anniston has won five of its last six and is 8-4 all time in the 2nd-round. Dora is 5-0 at home this year while Anniston is 3-2 on the road.