KINGSPORT (Oct. 23, 2014) – The ETSU football team was welcomed by beautiful weather and a large number of fans on Thursday night at Dobyns-Bennett High School, as the Buccaneers played their third of four scheduled Blue-Gold Scrimmages at the school’s J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
On a night when the Bucs honored former legendary head coach John Robert Bell’s family following his induction into the Dobyns-Bennett Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame earlier in the day, the Gold team outlasted the Blue squad 26-19. ETSU head coach Carl Torbush said he was pleased with what he saw throughout the evening.
“I want to say thank you to the people of Kingsport and the great crowd of supporters that came out tonight,” said Torbush, whose team will play its final Blue-Gold scrimmage of the fall season on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. as part of ETSU’s Homecoming weekend. “We’re excited about where we are right now as a team, and overall I thought it was another great scrimmage for us. We have a long way to go, but I think it’s obvious this team is getting better both mentally and physically.”
As for individual performances, former Dobyns-Bennett players like tailback Zach Casey (Kingsport), defensive back Seth Barger (Kingsport), and linebacker Trey Trammel (Kingsport) all enjoyed their return to the place where they played their prep football. Casey finished with a team-high 114 yards on 17 carries, while Barger topped the defensive statistics with six total tackles – including a team-best four solo stops – and Trammel added 3.5 total tackles.
While the offense produced a total of 45 points and 611 yards, the defense had its share of highlights thanks to three interceptions, one fumble recovery and three sacks.
On the scoring side, quarterback Hagen Owenby (Powell) started things with an impressive 29-yard scoring run in the first quarter. Fellow quarterback Jared Drake (Westerville, Ohio) then produced a 3-yard rush for a touchdown early in the second quarter to make it 14-0 in favor of the Gold team. The Blue answered with a 1-yard touchdown run by tailback Jajuan Stinson (Knoxville) as time expired in the first half to make it 14-7 at the break.
In the second half, wide out Dalton Ponchillia (Nashville) hauled in a 46-yard scoring pass from Owenby to make it 20-7 in favor of the Gold, accounting for the only score in the third quarter. The Blue team would rally in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Gold 12-6 in the fourth quarter thanks to a 43-yard run by quarterback Demetrius Anthony (Fountain Inn, S.C.) and a final 1-yard touchdown jaunt by tailback Cory Colder (Ashburn, Va.) as time expired in the game. The Gold’s only score of the fourth quarter came midway the period with another 1-yard scoring run from Stinson.
Through the air, Owenby led all quarterbacks, completing 4-of-8 passes for a team-high 75 yards and two touchdowns – one through the air and one on the ground. As for the wide receivers, Ponchillia had a team-best four catches for 66 yards on the night.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive backs Keanu James (Dacula, Ga.) and Jack Jones (Bristol), along with linebacker Austin Gatewood (Ooltewah) all had interceptions, while defensive back Cole West (Onieda) had a fumble recovery. Along with Barger’s team-high six total tackles, West and defensive back Denzell Boyd (Etowah) each had four solo tackles on the night. In addition, former Science Hill High School linebacker Gad Nagba (Johnson City) nearly matched Barger with 5.5 tackles.
For more on ETSU football throughout the 2014-15 school year, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football link.