That mission was to win a 4A region 4 championship.
Dora accomplished just as the Bulldogs downed the Jemison Panthers on the road 39-8.
The Panthers received the ball to begin the game but the tenacious Dora defense forced a three and out. Brantley Whitlow came up with a big tackle for loss as the Panthers tried to convert on a third-and-one.
The Panthers were then forced to punt.
Dora’s offense then went to work. Quarterback Caleb May scored his first of two rushing touchdowns on the night. May snuck in from a yard out and Austin Gordy added the PAT to make the score 7-0. The score remained 7-0 after one quarter of play.
The Dora offense then struck again on the first play of the second quarter.
May connected with a wide open Deangelo Pendleton for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Gordy added another PAT to push the Bulldogs lead to 14-0.
The Bulldogs would add a couple more touchdowns before the half.
Kai Thomas scored from 7 yards out midway through the quarter. Another Gordy kick made the score 21-0.
After another big stop by the Dora defense, May scored his second rushing touchdown of the game. This time it was a 5-yard run with less than a minute left before the half. Dora led 28-0 at the break.
The Bulldog offense got the ball to start the second half but turned the ball over inside the red zone after eating about 5 minutes off the clock. The Dora defense forced another three-and-out for the Panthers. The punt sailed over the punters head and through the end zone resulting in a Bulldog safety to make the score 30-0. The score remained 30-0 after the third quarter. The Panthers were finally able to find the end zone early in the fourth quarter. Jacob Hatch hooked up with Kortlin Zeigler for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Hatch then found Zeigler on the 2-point conversion to make the score 30-8.
The Bulldogs wasted no time in answering back. Thomas scored his second touchdown of the night on the first play of the ensuing possession.
Thomas scampered 61-yards to put the Bulldogs out in front 37-8 with just under 9 minutes left in the game. The Dora offense once again turned the ball over in the red zone after another Jemison punt.
Dora’s Joel Parrish then recorded the Bulldogs second safety of the night as he tackled a Panther receiver in the end zone on a swing pass. This made the final score 39-8.
The Bulldogs were led by Thomas’ 165 yards on 20 carries and 2 touchdowns. Demarcus Kirk had 116 yards on 13 carries while May finished the night with 71 yards on 8 rushes and 2 touchdowns. May was also 4-of-8 passing for 44 yards. Jemison was led by Kevin King who had 50 yards on 12 carries while Keyshawn Jemison had 18 yards on 3 rushes. Quarterback Jacob Hatch was 12-of-21 passing with 139 yards and a touchdown.
The Bulldogs earned the 10th region/area championship in school history and the first since 2004.
Dora head coach Johnny Wright was very pleased with his team’s effort Friday night.
“We challenged the kids all week in practice and they stepped up tonight. They were focused all week and came ready to play tonight,” Wright said. He also spoke highly of his defense, “We told them all week that the defense was going to be the key to winning this game. We were able to shut them down and really limit the big plays,” he added.
Wright thought the offense was just as impressive.
“Kai Thomas and our other backs had an outstanding game, but you have to give a lot of credit to our offensive line as well.” He then had this to say about the region championship, “It is good for our kids and our community as well. Our community is so backing and they have shown great support all season long,” he said.
The Bulldogs look to finish the region portion of their schedule next week as they will host the winless Carbon Hill Bulldogs for homecoming at Horace-Roberts field.