It’s fall break, Dobyns-Bennett is playing two hours away from home, and the Indians are a heavy road favorite.
That odd combination means the William Blount football stands likely won’t be packed with D-B fans.
“There’s not going to be a big caravan of Indians’ fans headed down there,” D-B head coach Joey Christian said. “They’re going to want to read about the results in the Kingsport Times-News on Saturday morning. The players will have to bring their own juice and figure out what makes you want to play football.”
Kickoff for the Region 1-6A contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Dobyns-Bennett (5-2 overall) enters with a region record of 2-1 while Blount is 0-3. But it’s still an important game for D-B in terms of title hopes.
“We’ve preached it to them,” Christian said of his players. “They know our backs are against the wall in the region. If we want to host in the playoffs or win the region, we have to go out and play and win.”
Dobyns-Bennett had injury woes heading into the Jefferson County game, and it showed in a 35-21 loss.
The bye week helped, and things are much better now. Quarterback Jake Carson is ready to rock and defensive standout Levi Evans is back in the mix.
“We needed the week off,” Christian said. “We were so beat up and banged up.”
William Blount has a good passing game, headed by 6-foot-5 junior quarterback Matthew Clemmer.
Against Science Hill, he threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns — although two of those scores came late in the game against Hilltoppers’ backups. Clemmer threw for 172 yards in the Oct. 1 loss to West Ridge.
With D-B’s run defense being so stout, Christian said he won’t be surprised if the Governors lean on the air attack.
“I would think they would want to throw it against us, especially after Jefferson County,” said Christian, whose team gave up 249 passing yards and three scores against the Patriots. “We need to keep Clemmer in the pocket. That kid can throw it, and he’s very athletic.”
The Indians have been good at getting pressure on the quarterback this season, totaling 20 sacks in seven games.
“We’ve done it with our down four,” Christian said. “We’ve brought five or six occasionally, but I’ve been pleased with how we’ve put pressure on the quarterback.”
A BETTER START
The Indians found themselves down 21-0 to Jefferson County early in the second quarter.
“We can’t go three and out and turn it over like we did against Jeff County,” Christian said. “We need to have something positive offensively. The last two games we’ve been stagnate offensively. We need to control the game from the start.”