KINGSPORT — The most noteworthy single-opponent gridiron winning streak in Northeast Tennessee finally bit the dust Friday night at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
Science Hill quarterback Malik McGue passed for a touchdown and rushed for two more in a fourth-quarter comeback that lifted the Hilltoppers to a 35-24 win over Dobyns-Bennett.
With the victory, Science Hill (8-2, 6-0) collected the Big 7 Conference championship and earned its first win over the Tribe since 1994.
D-B (6-4, 5-1) had beaten Science Hill for 18 consecutive seasons, 19 straight victories, including one postseason meeting.
McGue passed for 126 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown toss to Elijah Mathes to initiate scoring in the first quarter. He ignited the trailing ’Toppers with his 26-yard scoring strike to Mikey White midway through the fourth quarter. Alex Rinella, who hit all five Science Hill extra points, trimmed the Tribe’s lead to 24-21 with his PAT boot at 5:17 remaining in the game.
The Hilltoppers' junior signal-caller put Science Hill in the driver’s seat with a 27-yard scoring scramble with 1:50 remaining on the clock. His TD run was preceded by a 29-yard completion to Marcus Patton on third down.
McGue stuck a dagger in the Indians with a 19-yard scoring run with 1:19 left to play.
Chance Pierce rushed for 125 yards for Science Hill, including a 4-yard TD run in the third quarter. His score was preceded by McGue’s drive-saving 22-yard completion to White on an across-the-body throw under heavy pursuit.
Running back Zach Casey had a phenomenal night for D-B, rushing for 152 yards on 27 carries. Quarterback Josh Holt had a 1-yard scoring sneak and threw a 71-yard TD pas to D.J. Jones. Tribe QB Skylar East also added a 1-yard scoring run.
For an expanded version of this article, please see Saturday’s print edition or our expanded electronic edition.