KINGSPORT — New quarterback. Same Indians.
Malik Foreman’s debut at the signal-caller position in relief of the injured Chris Cook was a smashing success. Foreman threw two long touchdown passes and totaled a staggering 377 total yards as Dobyns-Bennett rolled to a 56-21 victory over Daniel Boone in a Big Eight Conference contest Friday night at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
The battle of the unbeatens was a mismatch as D-B improved to 2-0, 5-0 and the Trailblazers fell to 1-1, 4-1.
There were extenuating circumstances for Boone, which lost two starting linebackers this week. Trevor Shropshire is out for the season with a neck condition, and Dustin Chandler was out with an ankle injury.
But D-B had an injury, too, and didn’t miss a beat. The Indians scored touchdowns on their first eight possessions and didn’t throw an incomplete pass until the fourth quarter.
Dobyns-Bennett’s first score came on a surprisingly well-thrown ball from Foreman to Devaun Swafford for a 52-yard touchdown.
“I wasn’t that nervous,” said Foreman of new role. “I just went out there and played. Devaun just gets open in crazy ways. I just throw it up and let him go get it.”
Foreman hadn’t played quarterback since his sophomore season, but it didn’t show. He final statistics were mind-boggling. He was 3 of 3 passing for 118 yards and two touchdowns, rushed five times for 133 yards and two touchdowns, caught two passes for 29 yards, returned a kickoff for 37 yards, and returned an interception 60 yards for another touchdown.
“I’m a real quarterback guru,” said Indians’ head coach Graham Clark with a laugh. “I think the good Lord had more to do with the way Malik played tonight. He’s an excellent player, and he did an excellent job.”
Boone head coach Jeremy Jenkins said, “He’s an unreal super talent. D-B might even be better than they were.”
On the Indians’ second possession, Foreman used his impressive field vision to race for a 55-yard score.
“I get great blocks from every single one of my teammates,” said Foreman. “They get lanes open, and I just find them.”
Said Clark, “I don’t know if he sees everything, but he makes cuts without losing speed.”
Still in the first quarter, Foreman found Swafford again behind the Boone defense. This one went for a 50-yard score and a 21-0 lead.
A 66-yard run by Seth Barger set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Swafford to make it 28-0 early in the second quarter.
Boone finally got on the board when Jake Littleton made a gutsy throw under pressure to hit Michael Osterman for a 20-yard touchdown on a fourth-down play.
However, Foreman added a 42-yard scoring run, and later Zach Casey pounded in from 13 yards out to make it 42-7 at halftime.
The Trailblazers had a nice drive to start the second half with Littleton connecting on a well-thrown ball to Ryan Gaitor for a 45-yard touchdown.
“We hit Gaitor on that corner route, and we had some nice runs in the second half,” said Jenkins.
D-B answered the score with Swafford’s third touchdown, a 29-yard run. Then Foreman authored his interception where he plucked the pass from the receiver’s hands and ran about 80 yards to go 60 for the score.
Boone got the final score with Grant Seeger racing 90 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
“We’re 4-1, which is right where we wanted to be,” said Jenkins. “We’ve got a week off, and then we hit the teeth of our schedule. We can’t dwell on this. We’ve got to pick up the pieces and go on.”
Cliff Sanders finished with 84 yards on 11 carries for Boone. Littleton was 11 of 23 passing for 148 yards. Gaitor had five catches for 83 yards.
D-B got 91 yards on five carries from Barger. Swafford had 49 yards rushing and 102 yards receiving.
Despite the continuously running clock in the second half, D-B finished with 509 total yards. Boone totaled 326.