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Bulldogs dominate Sulligent on road

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The Daily Mountain Eagle
Published September 27, 2003 2:51 AM CDT

SULLIGENT -- Defense and power.

The fourth-ranked Dora Bulldogs used both to dominate the Sulligent Blue Devils on the road Friday night winning easily 27-7. The stop troops for the Bulldogs held Sulligent to a woeful 11 yards total offense, while the running game amassed 331 yards behind the tandem of Derrick Gardner and Jason Rouse.

Coach Johnny Wright agrees.

"Our defense played great all night. We made some adjustments on the offensive line at halftime and had a great second half."

Stepping outside of the region this week, Dora (5-0) started a little slow. While moving the ball inside Blue Devil territory on each of their first three drives, the Bulldogs shot themselves in the foot with a couple of turnovers.

On the first play of the second quarter, Sulligent's RaShad Johnson picked off an errant pass and returned it 65 yards for the Blue Devils' only score of the night. The kick was good and Sulligent led the Bulldogs 7-0.

After a Dora fumble, Sulligent (2-3) looked to be gaining momentum driving to the Bulldogs nine-yard line. Dora's Eric Woods came up with two big tackles for losses, moving the Blue Devils back to the 31-yard line. Sulligent missed its field goal attempt and Dora took over. The half ended with the Bulldogs moving the ball. Sulligent led 7-0.

For Dora, the second half was about capitalizing on Blue Devil mistakes. Sulligent fumbled the kick off and the Bulldog's Jorge Williams recovered it.

Dora went to work -- Gardner outside, Rouse inside.

Gardner picked up 27 of his game-high 126 yards on the eight-play drive. Rouse powered in from the three to put Dora on the scoreboard. Bennie Long's kick was good and the score was knotted at 7.

Sulligent went three and out when things got interesting. Dora's drive stalled and the resulting punt was called back because of a procedure penalty. On the second try, Sulligent fumbled the punt and Dora's Jake Martin jumped on the ball to give the Bulldogs new life.

Dora made the most of it.

Three plays later, sophomore Eric Woods took the pitch and scampered 22 yards to pay dirt. Long's kick was good and the Bulldogs never looked back.

The fourth quarter saw Dora driving once more. Senior Eian Landis started the Bulldogs off with a 28-yard run to cross midfield. Rouse finished off the time-consuming 10-play scoring drive by powering in from the seven-yard line for his second touchdown of the night. The extra point was no good and Dora led 20-7.

Sulligent fumbled the kick-off and the Bulldogs' Jake Snow fell on it. Dora wasted no time taking advantage of it. On the fourth play, Rouse took the hand-off at the 20-yard line, broke three tackles and lumbered in for the final score of the night. The back-up fullback ended the game with 120 yards on 22 rushes and three touchdowns.

"I'm glad we had to play tough two weeks in a row. I'm very pleased with the kid's effort in the second half. We've just got to figure out how to start the same way," said Wright.

Dora returns to region play next week traveling to Locust Fork.

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