BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. – Peyton Greene had a birthday to remember.
Pigeon Forge didn’t allow it to end well.
Freshman Aidan Howard ran for 81 yards and scored three touchdowns, including in one each of the two overtimes, and Pigeon Forge held off Sullivan Central to defeat the Cougars 36-28 on a muggy Friday night at Bernie Webb Field.
“It shows a lot of guts by my kids,” Pigeon Forge head coach Scott Meadows said. “We gave up one [touchdown] late and credit to them, they did a good job. My guys continued to fight. My coaching staff did great, my players did a great job. We came out really, really flat early, but we picked it up and did a good job.”
Greene, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Friday, scored on touchdown passes of 46, 50 and 63 yards – the final score was a catch and run with 1:12 left in regulation – and also had an interception on the final play of regulation.
He finished with four receptions for 177 yards.
We have known he is capable of that,” Sullivan Central head coach Chris Steger said. “We believe in him too. He is a good football player.”
ullivan Central (2-1), which was looking for its first 3-0 start since 1986, led 12-7 at the break, but fell behind 13-12 on a 4-yard run by Howard with 9:03 to play in the third quarter.
The Cougars had the ball for 16 plays on its next possession, reaching the Pigeon Forge 4-yard line with four downs to score, but went backwards instead, eventually turning the ball over on downs at the 28.
Both teams were hampered by penalties, which ended with 192 yards between the two clubs.
“We can hash that out for a while. There is a lot going on both ways on that,” Steger said. “For some reason, it was just really unevenly called, not side wise, but it just felt like we would get a run of penalties and nothing is happening again. It was both ways, the same thing happened to those guys.”
Pigeon Forge (2-0) built its lead to 20-12, converting a pair of fourth down plays in the fourth quarter, including a Mason Stutts pass to Bryson King, who lateraled it to Bryce Effler for 34 yards and a first down.
That 16-play drive was capped off on a 4th and 9 from the 25 with Effler dashing through the hole and scoring for a 20-12 lead, with the Scott Scholler-led offensive line taking control after the break.
“They played really well. My two offensive line coaches have worked tremendously hard with them,” Meadows said. “They did a really job good, I am really proud of them.”
Greene, who caught his first touchdown in the end zone and took the other one to the end zone with a move against a defender, did it again late in the fourth, taking a pass over the middle from Will Nottingham and ran 63 yards to paydirt. Nottingham followed by connecting with Preston Staubus to tie the score at 20-20.
Sullivan Central scored first in overtime on a 1-yard plunge by Nottingham, but the Tigers went to Howard in the first extra period for a score, and did it again on their next possession. Effler ran for 147 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions in overtime.
“[Howard] is a pretty good for a freshman,” said Meadows, who was missing three starters. “I started two freshmen in the backfield tonight, but 34 [Howard], he is a special player. 7 [Effler] is a great player. I am real proud of all of them.”
The Cougars lost five yards to a penalty and had four incomplete passes to end the game. Nottingham threw for 202 yards and three scores.
“You play with fire, you get burnt,” Steger said. “You get into that situation with a Winged-T team, 10-yard fight, they are built for that…
“They churned a lot of clock, cut down our possessions, good game plan, great for them. They are good coaches. I told everybody that all week. I knew they would have a good game plan, they cut down our possessions and if you play with fire, you get burned.”
Pigeon Forge overcame an early 6-0 lead to go up 7-6 on an 8-yard second quarter run by Caleb Hughes. The Nottingham to Greene combination put the Cougars up 12-7 at the break.
“I think this team has to learn the fact of the matter is what we do, whether good or bad, whatever you want to call it, execution is even at a more premium…,” said Steger, whose Cougars host Sullivan South on Friday. We are going to have to be more patient with the offense. We may have to lock in on a few things there.”
email@example.com | Twitter: BHCWoodson | (276) 645-2543
Pigeon Forge 7 0 6 7 8 8 - 36
Sullivan Central 6 6 0 8 8 0 - 28
SC-Greene 46 pass from Nottingham (kick failed)
PF-Hughes 8 run (kick good)
SC-Greene 50 pass from Nottingham (run failed)
PF-Howard 4 run (run failed)
PF-Effler 25 run (kick good)
SC-Greene 63 pass from Nottingham (Staubus pass from Nottingham)
SC-Nottingham 1 run (Staubus pass from Nottingham)
PF-Howard 4 run (Effler run)
PF-Howard 1 run (Effler run)
First downs: PF15; SC 12. Rush-yards: PF 42-229; SC 20-33. Pass yards: PF 43; SC 184. Comp-Att-Int: PF 2-9-1; SC 9-24-0. Fumbles-lost: PF 2-0; SC 0-0. Penalty-yards: PF 15-127; SC 9-65. Punts-Avg: PF 3-32.0; SC 3-33.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!