BY BRIAN HAMILTON
KINGSPORT – Jefferson County traveled to face Dobyns-Bennett on Friday night and came away with their first ever win in Kingsport, besting the Tribe 35-21 and keeping their unbeaten region record intact at 3-0.
“It’s a great win for our kids,” Jefferson County head coach Spencer Riley said. “I think we put East Tennessee on notice that Jefferson County is here to play some football this year.”
Jefferson County scored first on a 13-yard run by Omarian Mills, giving the Patriots a 7-0 lead with 8:52 left in the first quarter.
A Dobyns-Bennett fumble would help Jefferson County increase its lead to 14-0 with 6:05 left in the first on a 4-yard scamper by Mills. The Patriots would go in front 21-0 early in the second quarter when Izaiah Hall found Kade Parker for a 19-yard score.
The Tribe would get on the board on the ensuing possession, as quarterback Noah Blankenship threw a 39-yard touchdown to Colt Wynegar, cutting the Patriots’ lead to 21-7 with 7:53 remaining until halftime.
Jefferson County would answer on the next drive, as Hall tossed another touchdown to Parker — this time for 68 yards — giving the Patriots a 28-7 with 5:50 left in the second quarter.
Blankenship threw his second touchdown of the night with just over 30 seconds left in the first half, hitting Jonavan Gillespie for a 20-yard score and trimming the Dobyns-Bennett deficit to 28-14 at the half.
The Tribe would inch closer midway through the third quarter when Gillespie caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Blankenship, cutting the Patriots’ lead to 28-21 with 5:06 left in the third.
Jefferson County would strike with what appeared to be a dagger with 8:16 left in the fourth quarter, as Hall found Colin Young for an 11-yard touchdown pass and a 35-21 lead.
Dobyns-Bennett was unable to counter, as the Patriots went on to win 35-21 — their first ever win at Kingsport.
“Obviously, I didn’t do a good enough job this week of getting our kids ready to play,” Dobyns-Bennett head coach Joey Christian said. “They’re a very good football team and should be unbeaten, really. I’m not one bit surprised they came in here and played so well. The Hall kid can really throw it and I knew what kind of speed the had on the edge.”
Jefferson County (4-2, 2-0 Class 6A Region 1) will host winless Hardin Valley (0-6, 0-3) on Friday, as the Patriots look to improve their region record to 4-0. Dobyns-Bennett (5-2, 2-1 Class 6A Region 1) will have the week off to recover from back-to-back losses before traveling to William Blount on October 15.