CORDOVA — New year, same old Dora.
By Jonathan Bentley
- Story from The Daily Mountain Eagle
The Bulldogs speedy offensive attack totaled more than 500 yards as Dora opened the season with a 45-6 victory over Cordova at Hudson-Kirby Field Thursday night.
Dora built a three-touchdown lead in the first quarter and never looked back, opening the second Johnny Wright era with a big victory.
Dora specialty on Thursday night — the big play. Of the Bulldogs’ seven touchdowns five went on plays of at least 30 yards. Dora’s shortest touchdown was a 16-yard run.
Kai Thomas led the Bulldogs with 229 rushing yards and three touchdowns on eight carries. He had touchdown runs of 59, 92 and 37 yards. Quarterback Caleb May followed suit with 102 yards and a touchdown (31 yards) on four carries. May also threw a 25-yard touchdown pass.
“Offensively we were explosive, which I thought we might be. We’ve got speed and we used it,” Wright said. “Overall it was a good night for an opening game. I was pleased with our effort as a team.”
Dora opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game. May went 40 yards on the second play from scrimmage and DeMarcus Kirk went into the end zone from 16 yards out two plays later for a 6-0 lead at the 10:16 mark.
The Bulldogs (1-0) needed five plays to score on its next drive. May connected with Kenton Petties for a 18-yard strike to get the ball into Cordova territory. May then outran Cordova defenders down the sideline for a 31-yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs on top 12-0 with 4:53 left in the opening quarter. Dora’s Thomas wasted no time on the Bulldogs’ following possession, bursting through the line for a 59-yard break-away touchdown run at the 1:10 mark of the first.
Dora’s final score of the first half came after a 90-yard, five-minute, 24-second drive. May capped the drive with a 25-yard touchdown strike to Kenton Petties with 24 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs’ defense had its way with Cordova, holding the Blue Devils to just 29 first-half yards.
Dora added a touchdown in the third quarter. The Bulldogs didn’t need a drive this time. Thomas took the handoff at the Dora 8-yard line and weaved his way through Blue Devils defenders and hit the sideline for a 92-yard score to give the Bulldogs a 31-0 lead with 3:02 left in the third.
The Bulldogs added another quick-strike score in the fourth quarter with Thomas going 37-yards for a touchdown on the first play of the quarter for a 39-0 lead.
Cordova finally got into the end zone following a 17-play drive that ate 9:38 off the clock. Jamaal Cooper did the honors, going in from eight yards out to make the score 38-6.
Dora struck back on the ensuing play with Kijuana Babbs breaking free for a 57-yard score with 1:46 left.
For Cordova, which has 20 players who are either sophomores or freshmen, Garrett Woods had 89 yards on 21 carries. Cooper added 44 yards on 11 attempts.
Defensively for Dora, Blake Boshell had four tackles, one sack and one tackle with a loss. Joel Parrish and Kirk each had two tackles for loss. Christian Hogg had two tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss. DeAngelo Pendleton added an interception. Offensively, Petties also caught two passes for 42 yards and a score.
Cordova’s Andrew Minor led the Blue Devils with seven tackles and Jeffre Wingo recovered a fumble.
“I thought Cordova played hard. Coach (Woody) Smothers had a bunch of young kids. We just outsized them and overpowered them a little bit,”added Wright, who is now 7-0 career against the Blue Devils.
Both teams open region play next week. Cordova hosts defending region champ Hamilton next week while Dora hosts Calera.
Read more: Daily Mountain Eagle - Dora runs past Cordova in season opener