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3-0 Indians show they're title threat in region

Douglas Fritz • Sep 8, 2019 at 1:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Three weeks into football season, Dobyns-Bennett has left no doubt that last year was an aberration.

The Indians went on the road for their Region 1-6A opener Friday night and pounded Bearden 39-14, a result that seemed to elevate D-B to league title contender.

Coach Joey Christian said it wasn’t just the Bearden game that showed the Indians are a real threat.

“I think the way we played throughout these first three games says that,” Christian said Saturday. “I know there are people who want to minimize the first two wins. But Tennessee High had a running clock on its first 5A opponent (Daniel Boone), and Oak Ridge gets in 5A and had worse than a running clock against Campbell County. “

The Indians (3-0) had their way against the Bulldogs, dominating at the point of attack on both sides of the ball. D-B allowed just 3 yards rushing while its offense produced over 300 yards on the ground.

“I thought we were able to control both lines of scrimmage,” Christian said. “We have given up less than 13 yards rushing per game. When you do that, you put yourself in a position to be successful. To give up 3 yards rushing and have two 100-yard rushers, that’s pretty good.”

Making the start even more impressive is the way the Indians have overcome the offseason departure of several players.

“We lost a few kids from the program, but sometimes it is addition by subtraction,” Christian noted. “In high school football, you usually lose 40 percent of your roster every year. We lost some talented guys and some kids who could have come back. Some of them I dismissed, and all of this led to us coming together and being more of a team.”

And the desire to succeed is strong, Christian said.

“We have a bunch of kids where football is very important to them,” he said. “You look at the things we’ve been able to do, and you see how hard the guys go on offense, defense and special teams. They want to do something special, and they want to do it now.”

The Indians get a week off to enjoy the good start before diving back into region play on Sept. 20 against Hardin Valley. The Hawks, whipped 52-14 by Science Hill on Friday, will play defending Class 5A champion Knoxville Central on Sept. 13 before meeting the Indians.

“It’s a tough region,” Christian said. “It always has been. You can’t take any game lightly. You have to show up.”

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