It was only a dress rehearsal, but it felt like Dobyns-Bennett was still streaking.
The Indians defeated Science Hill 7-0 with a late TD run during their introduction to Science Hill’s Kermit Tipton Stadium at the Big Eight Conference jamboree Thursday night.
DeVaun Swafford took a toss sweep to the left and cut it up inside containment some five yards from the sideline for a 1-yard game-winning – make that quarter-winning – touchdown run with 18 seconds remaining.
D-B’s triumph meant nothing in the record books, where it has beaten the Hilltoppers 17 straight times during a span of 16 years, but you wouldn’t have known it judging by the hitting going on.
“Probably juiced it up a little bit,” D-B coach Graham Clark said, “but I’m still a fan of the old Freddie Fender song ‘Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.’ That’s what jamboree football’s about.
“We did get a short practice in today – and yeah, it does juice it up a little bit any time you see Dobyns-Bennett and Science Hill. The first time on this field, and I thought both teams competed very hard.”
D-B’s decisive drive covered 65 yards in 4:25. Fullback Paul Slaughter had several key runs on the march, including a 10-yard run to the Science Hill 5-yard line with 1:42 left.
Swafford’s run came on 3rd-and-goal.
“They’ve got a good football team, but playing that triple option and haven’t had any time to prepare – I guess we’re alright,” Science Hill second-year coach Stacy Carter said. “It’s something that you’ve got to work on. For one day (of preparation), I thought they (the Hilltoppers) did okay.
“Their fullback’s hard to bring down, and we’ve got some strong kids, too. But a lot of popping on both sides of the ball, I thought.”
Science Hill had drives of 30 and 46 yards thanks primarily to the running of brothers Jahmar and Will Adams. But each drive stalled when senior quarterback Justin Snyder was dropped behind the line of scrimmage.
D-B drove 32 yards to Science Hill's 28-yard line on its initial possession, but that ended abruptly when 295-pound defensive tackle Tyler Miles hit quarterback Chris Cook when he was releasing a pass. Safety Bradley Fulbright intercepted the underthrown ball and returned it a short distance to the Science Hill 19 with 8:07 left.
Science Hill was without defensive tackle Isaiah "Big Cat" Stephens (ankle). Carter said he hopes Stephens will be ready when the Hilltoppers open at defending state champion Greeneville next Friday.
Daniel Boone, Tennessee High and Sullivan South were also victorious at the jamboree.
Boone beat Washington County rival David Crockett convincingly in a 12-0 victory.
Landon Jenkins caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Littleton on a 2nd-and-2 play-action pass with 9:09 remaining. Cliff Sanders ran two times for 21 yards to set up the score after Quinton Hoogkamp gave the Trailblazers possession by recovering a fumble at the Crockett 43-yard line.
Sanders added a 37-yard touchdown run with four minutes remaining for the final touchdown. Sanders had an impressive 57-yard TD run called back because of a holding penalty.
Sanders is explosive and elusive, as is backfield mate Austin McLemore.
Littleton also had a TD called back. He scrambled for a would-be 39-yard score that was nullified by an obvious clip after he’d already made a considerable gain.
Boone’s Braxton Johnson had two carries for 23 yards on the final series.
Anthony Campbell had a 50-yard run for the Pioneers, who were stymied by four false start penalties. Devin Walker caught a 21-yard reception from Devaun Miller.
Boone opens at Elizabethton next Friday while Crockett hosts Sullivan East.
Tennessee High looked impressive in its first game under new head coach Shane Boggs. The Vikings defeated Volunteer 21-0.
Running back Treyvond Delaney rushed for a 6-yard TD with 7:54 left and quarterback Austin Delph raced inside the right pylon for a 3-yard score with 2:45 left. The Vikings added another TD on Peyton Henley’s 86-yard pass to Joel Kreiss with 59 seconds left.
Sullivan South defeated Sullivan Central 19-0 in the opening quarter. Mitchell Crowe caught two touchdown passes – a 43-yarder from Alex Rogers and a 51-yarder from Charlie Moore – and Rogers returned an interception 30 yards for a score on the final play.
Mitchell Carter had two sacks for the Cougars.