Dobyns-Bennett's Caleb Cook hauls in a Josh Holt pass to convert a third-and-long while scrimmaging Science Hill in Thursday's Big 7 Jamboree.
JOHNSON CITY — Most football coaches try not to let any cats out of the bag during a preseason jamboree.
In Thursday night’s Big 7 Jamboree at Science Hill’s Kermit Tipton Stadium, Tennessee High didn’t let any out that weren’t already out.
Quarterback Peyton Henley and wide receiver Adam Mitchell are as impressive under new head coach Mike Mays as they were under former coach Shane Boggs.
Henley threw two touchdown passes and added a third on a 15-yard scoring run as the Vikings prevailed 21-7 over Volunteer in a 12-minute scrimmage.
Mitchell reeled in scoring receptions of 27 and 41 yards.
“It feels good to get back out here and kind of pick up on some stuff we did last year after improving a little bit in the off-season,” said Mitchell.
The Falcons weren’t without an offensive answer. Volunteer showcased one of its fastest athletes when Malik Carpenter put the spurs to it for a 70-yard scoring run.
“We had some bright spots. Malik had a good run, our fullback Tyler Carter had a nice block and our line came off the ball. When we do those things, we’ve got a chance to move the football," said Volunteer coach Scott Rider.
Simplified jamboree scripts intentionally make it tough to get a good read on participants. But Tennessee High’s overall cohesion stood out.
Not that the Vikings were flawless. While they made good on three third-and-long situations several bonehead penalties postponed paydirt, including a flag that called back a 21-yard scoring run by spectacularly-named running back Sir Shuff.
“I didn’t like the penalties we had. Some of them were stupid,” said Mays. “We’ll get better.”
The jamboree opened with a hotly-anticipated scrimmage between Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett that ended in a 7-7 tie that wasn’t as anticlimactic as the score suggests.
The Hilltoppers’ final threatening possession wasn’t thwarted until a fourth-and-long sack by D-B defensive lineman Eddie Cwirko as time expired.
“Normally jamborees are about as exciting as going to embalming school, but when you line up against Science Hill and Science Hill lines up against Dobyns-Bennett, there is going to be some emotions going,” said Indians coach Graham Clark.
Science Hill initiated scoring with Tucker McPherson’s 61-yard scoring strike to junior phenom Malik McGue, who’ll show up at quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback this season.
“I think he’s the best player around here. He can run it. He can throw it. He can do it all. And I’m going to let him do it,” said Hilltoppers coach Stacy Carter.
Dobyns-Bennett quarterback Josh Holt got himself out of some tight situations with his feet, ultimately tying things up with a 40-yard TD pass to D.J. Jones.
“He’s athletic. That’s why he’s back there,” Clark said.
In the nightcap, a surprisingly physical David Crockett got a 2-yard scoring run from T.K. Hill to prevail 6-0 in a 12-minute scrimmage with rival Daniel Boone.
“We’ve knocked the rust off the pads at the school. That Lev Sled is starting to be their best friend and worst enemy. We have a mud pit. That’s what they practice in,” said new Pioneers head coach Jeremy Bosken.