BY BRIAN HAMILTON
GATLINBURG – Coosa Christian made the five hour trek from Gadsden, Alabama to Gatlinburg on Friday and got sent back south with a 56-7 loss to the Highlanders on homecoming.
Gatlinburg-Pittman jumped on the Conquerors early with touchdown runs by Levi Hill and freshman Teagan Avera, whose 41-yard score gave the Highlanders a 14-0 lead.
Avera ran for 178 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries, averaging over 20 yards per carry in the game.
The Highlanders led 21-0 after the first quarter and went ahead 28-0 midway through the second quarter on a 43-yard touchdown run by Avera.
Brady Hammonds tossed a touchdown to Reese Cole later in the first half, giving Gatlinburg-Pittman a 35-0 lead.
The Highlanders attempted a field goal just before halftime, but Aiden Jeanette’s attempt was blocked, but Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Cayde Simpson scooped up the ball and ran it in for a score, giving the Highlanders a 41-0 lead at intermission, only giving up one first down in the first half.
Gatlinburg-Pittman went ahead 50-0 before Coosa Christian got on the board in the fourth quarter. The Highlanders went on to win 56-7.
“Pretty much everything clicked on offense,” Gatlinburg-Pittman head coach Brad Waggoner said. “We had a lot of success running the ball, but we just need to continue getting better.”
Gatlinburg-Pittman will have two weeks to get better, however, as the Highlanders will have the week off before taking on undefeated Hampton (4-0). Coosa Christian (3-3) will also have the week off before traveling to the Alabama-Georgia state-line to take on Valley Head (2-4).