State Football Playoffs: Dora gets tough draw in opener

Cordova plays at No. 7 Wilson in first round

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 11/9/17

Dora is back in the playoff for the first time in three years.

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State Football Playoffs: Dora gets tough draw in opener

Cordova plays at No. 7 Wilson in first round

Posted

Dora is back in the playoff for the first time in three years.

The Bulldogs’ reward — perennial state contender Deshler. Dora hosts the Tigers tonight in their Class 4A first-round matchup at Horace Roberts Field.

Deshler, under former Haleyville head coach Bo Culver, is back in the playoffs after missing the postseason for the first time since 1983 last year.

Dora (8-2) finished second in Class 4A, Region 6 behind Fayette County while Deshler took third in 4A, Region 8 behind Rogers and Wilson.

“They are 7-3 and I think they are the best team in the region. When they played Rogers and Wilson and lost, they had injuries at quarterback and running back. They’ve got those two back,” Dora coach Bart Lockhart said. “They are as solid as any team we’ve played. They are probably the best team we’ve played. We will really have to play our best to have a chance.”

Dora closed out the season with a pair of wins after an upset loss to Haleyville. In the regular-season finale against rival Jasper, the Bulldogs controlled the Vikings from start to finish in a 30-7 win.

“That’s the best game we played since the Cordova game. We hadn’t played with that kind of intensity and haven’t had that much fun since (Cordova). It was good to get back on track. Hopefully, that will propel us going into the playoffs,” Lockhart said.

Dora and Deshler last played in the first round of the playoffs in 2006 with the Bulldogs earning a 21-14 win.

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Holy Spirit (4-6) at No. 5 Lynn (10-0)

The Bears bring an undefeated record into the playoffs for the first time since 2000 tonight with a home game against Holy Spirit.

Lynn, which had last week off, has been led by a dominant defense this season. The Bears, the Class 1A, Region 7 champs, are allowing just 12.2 points a game and haven’t allowed more than 20 points in a game.

Offensively, Lynn does its damage on the ground led by running backs Jordan Davis, Ethan Delay, Cameron Baldy and quarterback Noah Jackson.

Holy Spirit is in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Saints finished fourth in Class 1A, Region 5.

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Cordova (4-6) at No. 7 Wilson (9-1)

Cordova’s back in the playoffs for the fourth straight season under head coach Jimmy Gay.

The Blue Devils face one of the top Class 4A teams in the state tonight.

Wilson, located in Lauderdale County — close to the Tennessee state line —dropped its only game of the season two weeks ago to Rogers. The Warriors boast one of the top defenses in 4A, allowing just 12.3 points per game.

Cordova has won a first-round playoff game each of the last three seasons and is 2-0 all time against Wilson, including a 38-35 road victory in the opening round of the 2014 playoffs.

The Blue Devils are led by a pair of seniors — Auburn commitment Kolbi Fuqua, who lined up at quarterback in last week’s loss to Munford, and Demetrius Kirk.

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Meek (7-3) at No. 6 Pickens County (8-2)

Meek makes the trip to Reform tonight to take on the Class 1A state runner up Pickens County Tornadoes.

The Tigers enjoyed a successful season under first-year coach David Norwood, placing fourth in Class 1, Region 7.

Meek’s offense is led by senior running back John Mark Abercrombie, who rushed for more than 1,600 yards this season. Abercrombie helped send the Tigers to the playoffs, rushing for 254 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-21 win over Sumiton Christian that decided the fourth seed in the region.

Abercrombie also returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in the win.

Meek is looking for its first playoff win since 2003.