Tribal rally… Dobyns-Bennett pulls out win over Cyclone JV in fourth quarter

Published 1:04 am Wednesday, September 4, 2019

KINGSPORT- The difference in Monday’s junior varsity game at Dobyns-Bennett came down to the depth that the Indians had on their sideline versus the Cyclones gut-check effort to hold off the Indians down the stretch on a scorching hot afternoon for football.
The depth won as D-B scored four times in the fourth quarter to overcome a 29-9 Cyclone lead as the Indians took a tough 35-29 win scoring the winning touchdown with just under a minute to play in the fourth quarter.
D-B took an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter after blocking a Cyclone punt with the conversion failing. The host Indians tacked on a 26-yard field goal from Titan Thomas to take a 9-0 lead with 9:35 left in the half.
The Cyclones then opened up the airways as quarterback Dalton Mitchell found Nate Stephens for a six-yard touchdown pass with Conner Blevins splitting the uprights on the point-after attempt to cut the lead to 9-7.
With under two minutes to play in the half, the Cyclone defense made a huge stand on fourth down to get the ball back.
Mitchell once again worked his magic finding Cade Russell on a 51-yard scoring pass to give the Cyclones their first lead of the contest 13-9 after the two-point conversion failed.
The Cyclones weren’t done there however as defensive lineman Alex Hurley lived a lineman’s dream by picking off a tipped ball for an interception with 37.1 seconds remaining before the half.
Mitchell would pick up the hat trick just before the half as he connected for his third scoring pass, a five-yard pass to Stephens with 5.6 seconds to play. Mitchell then found Russell for the two-point conversion as the Cyclones went into the locker room leading 21-9.
Elizabethton came back out of the locker room and picked up where they left off after getting the ball back after a defensive stand and quickly made short work on the offensive side as Mitchell found Russell for a 70-yard scoring toss as Russell turned on the afterburners down the D-B sidelines for the score.
Mitchell went back to Russell for the two-point conversion and the Cyclones led 29-9.
D-B was not ready to quit, however, as the Indians responded as Levi Evans pounded the pigskin over from two yards out and Ethan Stevens found Sam Ritz for the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 29-17 in the third quarter.
After the Cyclones gave the Indians a short field on a fourth-down attempt where the ball sailed over the top of Mitchell’s head from the center to give Dobyns-Bennett new life.
The Indians didn’t waste the red zone attempt as Nicholas Blackwell connected with Ritz for a nine-yard scoring strike to flip the scoreboard to 29-23 in favor of Elizabethton with 4:05 left to play after the conversion failed.
D-B pulled even with 1:38 to play when Evans plowed his way into the end zone from seven yards out to make it a 29-29 ballgame after the Cyclones blocked the point-after attempt.
The game appeared to be heading for overtime but after the Cyclones failed to move the football and the clock stopped on incomplete passes, the Indians got the football back and feeding off their momentum, scored the game-winner with 37.7 seconds remaining as Evans rumbled in from 20-yards away.
Elizabethton had an opportunity to tie or win but unfortunately couldn’t get the ball moving the right way as the Indians held on a fourth down and took a knee on the last play of the game.
“It’s a tale of a 6A school and a 4A school,” said Cyclone head coach Brian Jenkins. “Hats off to our kids because they played their tails off. We got a boost of energy there in the second quarter reeling points off with kids making plays and that might have been where all our gas went in those last two minutes.
“We scored two touchdowns there in the last two minutes and came out in the third quarter and scored first and as the game went on we just kind of started simmering down. 
“Credit to our kids though because we brought 29 kids over here and to be up and have a chance to win, you can’t ask for anything more.”
The Cyclone JV will be back on the field next Monday when they play host to Johnson County at 6 pm.

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