Elizabethton, Dobyns-Bennett set to renew long-time rivalry

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023


There was a time not too long ago when the Dobyns-Bennett and Elizabethton football game was a conference rivalry; however, with reclassifications from the TSSAA, the two teams haven’t lined up opposite one another in varsity action for around 15 years.

That all changes on Friday night when the Cyclones invade the Model City for a 7 pm showdown with the Tribe in a non-conference showdown.

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The Indians play in Class 6-A, while the Cyclones are in Class 4-A.

This is a game that Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten is looking forward to, especially since the Cyclones lost their contest with Daniel Boone due to a scheduling conflict with the Blazers and Witten knows his team needs to have this type of competition as they head toward the end of the season and into the playoffs.

“This is a good non-conference contest for us, especially since we lost the Boone game,” said Witten. “The Indians are a well-coached and very physical team that leans more toward running than passing. They have good linemen and great backs made for playing Class 6-A football. It’s a great challenge for us as we really were only battle-tested in our first two games.”

Witten added that his team has done what it was supposed to do in taking care of business against Cherokee, Grainger Co., and Sullivan East.

“This is a pivotal game for us,” said Witten. “It was about this time last year against Anderson Co. that we really got rolling and I hope this game will get us rolling to help in our game against Greeneville and as we head into the playoffs.”

According to Witten, the Indians have a very efficient quarterback and have dynamic playmakers with the strength being in the line and at the linebacker position.

“It’s going to be a great environment for our kids to play in,” said Witten. “This is our sixth straight road game and I believe that we have been battle tested. The fans will bring a lot of energy for each team and that will make for a great environment to play in.”

The Cyclone coach, in his 17th season, said that the Indians remind him of Morristown West with their size.

Kickoff time will be at 7 pm.