The Indians won 10 or more games the first five years of the decade and added two more before it was done.
Playoff runs were also commonplace in the early part of the new century. D-B reached the quarterfinals four times in three years with two semifinal appearances.
The Indians endured one of the toughest losses in school history in 2000, a 21-13 semifinal setback in a torrential downpour against eventual state champion Red Bank.
D-B won 98 games in the 2000s, setting a school record and eclipsing the mark of 96 set the previous decade.
THE BIG SEVEN
OL — Daniel Kilgore
QB — Duran Ferguson
RB — Adonis Johnson
WR — Lamon Williams
DL — Thomas Anderson
LB — Brandon Thompson
DB — Coty Sensabaugh
OL — Patrick Hansen
LB — Tyler Nottingham
CB — Gerald Sensabaugh
WR — Chris Henry
LB — Zack Fleming
FS — Jacob McMillan
FB — B.J. Clendenin
FS — Jesse Alley
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
Jamaar Sensabaugh, Ashlon Adams
Entrenched at center for three seasons, Kilgore was the first player in Indians’ history to use the shotgun snap on every down in the early 2000s. He has played for nine years in the NFL with San Francisco and Miami.
Lighting it up nearly every Friday night in 2003-04, Ferguson racked up over 5,000 yards passing. He went on to play baseball at the University of Kentucky.
He rushed for 1,808 yards and 31 touchdowns during his senior season in 2000. In his career, Johnson totaled 3,648 yards with 58 touchdowns.
With the Indians putting the ball in the air more, Williams was the beneficiary. He became the first D-B receiver to top 50 receptions and 1,000 yards in a season in 2004.
A two-year starter, Anderson capped his standout early 2000s career by participating in the Tennessee-Kentucky All-Star game.
Try to guess which coach said this about Thompson: “He made more big hits than Elvis.” Thompson, who was nicknamed “Boomer,” racked up big-time tackle numbers for the Indians in 2005-06.
Not only was Sensabaugh a shutdown cornerback, but he also caught the longest pass in Dobyns-Bennett history, a 99 1/2-yard strike in the mid 2000s. He has enjoyed an eight-year NFL career, including four seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
Hansen was known as a guy who squeezed every second out of his ability in the late part of the decade. “He played until the whistle blew,” one coach said. …
Setting Nottingham apart was his way-above-average toughness that helped the Indians in the middle of their 10-plus-win seasons in the early 2000s. …
A lockdown corner, Gerald Sensabaugh also had 37 receptions his senior season in 2000. He went on to an eight-year NFL career with Jacksonville and Dallas. …
Henry cut loose for 45 receptions and 10 touchdowns during his senior year in 2000 …
Fleming stood out at four positions during his mid-2000s career: linebacker, defensive end, fullback and offensive line. …
McMillan was a two-way star at free safety and running back in the early 2000s. …
For three seasons, Clendenin was a mainstay at the fullback position. He was also a two-year starter at linebacker in 1999-2000. …
Alley started for only one season (2005), but made it count by earning an all-state selection. …
With great hands and ferocious blocking skills, Jamaar Sensabaugh started at tight end in 1999 as a sophomore. Included in his accomplishments that season was handling his own — and then some — against Elizabethton’s defense, which featured future NFL star Jason Witten. D-B won the game, 31-19, which was the Cyclones’ only loss before the state semifinals. Unfortunately, Sensabaugh’s career ended prematurely when he passed away from illness in March of 2000. …
Adams spent only one season (2008) in the maroon and gray, but it was a standout effort. One coach called him an amazing receiver.