Spradlin kicks Dora to win

Bulldogs get past Deshler, 29-20

By JAMES PHILLIPS, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 11/10/17

DORA — One player can sometimes be the difference in a game. In the Dora Bulldogs 29-20 playoff victory over Deshler Friday night, that player was senior Jack Spradlin.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Spradlin kicks Dora to win

Bulldogs get past Deshler, 29-20

Posted

DORA — One player can sometimes be the difference in a game. In the Dora Bulldogs 29-20 playoff victory over Deshler Friday night, that player was senior Jack Spradlin.

Spradlin, Dora’s place kicker and punter, connected on three field goals in the game and consistently boomed punts that pinned the Tigers deep in their own territory throughout game.

“Jack Spradlin had an unbelievable game kicking the ball,” Dora head coach Bart Lockhart said. “This was a hard fought game between two even teams, and our kicking game proved to be the difference tonight.”

Spradlin put the Bulldogs on top for good late in the fourth quarter with a 36-yard field goal. His 55-yard punt with only seconds left in the game forced Deshler to start on its 1-yard line, leading to an eventual fumble that was covered by Dora in the end zone.

“Before that last field goal, I did what I always do. I said a little prayer, took a breath and kicked it,” Spradlin said. “I may have kicked the ball well tonight, but it took my snapper, my holder and my blockers for any of the kicks to be good. I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m just glad that I was able to do my part to help us win. I didn’t want it (the season) to end.”

Dora improves to 9-2 with the win and will advance to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Bulldogs will travel next Friday night to Anniston to face Saks (11-0), a 42-21 winner over Westminster Christian in the first round.

Dora senior running back Caleb Danner continued racking up yardage with 200 yards and a touchdown on 39 carries. Danner now has 1,965 yards and 23 touchdowns on the season.

“It has been a while now since we’ve been able to get a playoff win,” Danner said. “I’m excited about this win, but I know we have a lot of work to do to get ready for the next round. We all have to enjoy this for the next day or so, but we’ve got to get back out here and practice as hard as we have all year if we are going to keep winning.”

Lockhart applauded his team’s effort throughout the game.

“As a team, we fought the entire game. That’s what you have to do in the playoffs,” Lockhart said. “The momentum is going to go up and down, and you have to play through it. Our guys did that tonight, and I’m proud of effort.”

The momentum favored Dora early in the game with the Bulldogs building a 17-0 lead by halfway through the second quarter. The Bulldogs first score came on a Danner 32-yard run on their first drive of the game. The second score came with 1:16 left in the first quarter when lineman Bubba Henderson scooped up a fumbled hold of a field goal and ran 25 yards for a touchdown. Spradlin hit is first field goal of the night, a 35-yarder, with 5:22 left in the second quarter to give Dora the 17-0 lead.

Deshler (7-4) scored seconds later when Channing Marmann connected with Hayden Stutts on an 80-yard touchdown pass and catch.

Spradlin increased the Dora lead to 20-6 with a 34-yard field goal late in the second quarter.

Marmann cut the deficit to 20-12 with only 24 seconds left in the first half when he scored on a 48-yard run. Marmann, who finished the night with 203 yards on the ground and 133 yards in the air, tied the game at 20 at the 7:33 mark after a 4-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion run.

Two long runs by Danner set up Spradlin’s 36-yard go-ahead field goal with 3:10 left in the game. The final score of the night came when Chance Thompson covered a failed Tigers’ lateral with no time left on the clock.

The game marked Dora’s first playoff win since 2012.