Dora rallies past Carver, earns region win 49-35
Story from The Daily Mountain Eagle written by Brian Hale
DORA — The Dora Bulldogs overcame a 20-0 first quarter deficit and outscored the Carver Rams 49-15 in the final three quarters to secure a 49-35 Class 6A, Region 5 victory on Friday at Horace Roberts Stadium in Dora.
Behind strong offensive line play, the Bulldogs rolled up 348 rushing yards on the night while the Dora defense was able to hold Carver to just 84 rushing yards.
Ki Babbs led the rushing attack in a sensational performance, carrying the ball 19 times for 218 yards with four touchdowns. Charles Clay and JaQuan Towns both added touchdowns, with Towns rushing for 68 yards on ten carries and Clay producing 67 yards on 14 rushes.
Defensively, Clay and A.J. Smoot were in the Rams’ backfield through the contest, each recording 6 tackles. Smoot sacked the quarterback four times, had four tackles for a loss, broke up three passes and forced two fumbles, while Clay had a sack and recorded two tackles for a loss.
Dora coach Johnny Wright was proud of his team’s composure in the adversity of being down by three scores and earning their first region win.
“We told out guys all week that they were going to see speed and that Carver was going to try to go vertical and run by us. We just didn’t do anything right defensively from the onset and it cost us. Offensively, we tried to do some new things, but our old gameplan ended up being more successful and we went back to that,” Wright said. “But we did a great job in overcome adversity. You never know how your team will do when your behind like we were, but we didn’t panic — we just did what we do the best. We also had some big plays on defense. It’s a big region win for us — we’ll be seeing the same kind of teams in the region week in and week out.”
Carver scored on all three possessions of the first quarter on drives of 75, 64 and 17 to mount a 20-0 advantage.
From there, the momentum of the game swung to Dora.
Babbs scored on a 28-yard run to end a 69-yard, 8-play drive to cut the lead to 20-7 following a successful point after kick by Jack Spradlin.
On the ensuing kickoff, Dora elected to try an onside kick. Spradlin was able to kick the ball over the surprised Carver players where it was picked up by Tristan Allred.
“We were trying to keep the momentum going — I’d watched film on Carver and saw that they take off early and play back deep. Jack kicked a perfect onside kick — the entire play was executed well and the kids really got after it,” Wright said.
Babbs concluded a three-play, 44 yard drive with a 33-yard run for his second touchdown of the night to pull the Bulldogs within a score, 20-14. On the following series, Carver was held to three and out and went back to punt. Allred broke through the line and blocked the kick, which was scooped up by Day Day Freeman and returned for a touchdown. Spradlin’s extra point kick allowed the Bulldogs to take the lead, 21-20.
The Rams were able to move the ball on the following series until Alex Russell stopped the drive by recovering a fumble. Six plays later, Towns took the ball in from nine-yards out to extend Dora’s lead to 28-20.
A fumble two plays into the Rams’ next possession gave the Bulldogs the ball at Carver’s 23-yard line. Four plays in the drive, Clay found the endzone after a five-yard run to give Dora a 35-20 lead at halftime.
After an exchange of possessions to begin the third quarter, Carver muffed a punt catch on their own five-yard line, which was picked up by Allred. Babbs ran the five yards to the endzone on the next play to give the Bulldogs a 42-20 advantage.
Following a score by Carver late in the third quarter shrink the lead to 42-27, Dora added to the scoreboard with a six-play, 70-yard drive in the fourth quarter. Babbs took the ball in on a 37-yard run for a 49-27 Bulldog lead.
Carver added a final touchdown late in the final minutes of the game to reach the 49-35 final.
Dora (2-1, 1-0) hosts the Ramsay Rams next week in another Region 5 showdown.
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