Gatlinburg-Pittman marches past Hampton

Published 10:36 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

GATLINBURG—Utilizing both passing and running, the Gatlinburg-Pittman Highlanders rolled past the Hampton Bulldogs, 45-20, Friday at G-Burg in nonconference action.
“They just have so many good athletes,” said Hampton head coach Michael Lunsford about the Highlanders. “They were just more athletic overall and older in the skill positions than us. You know, we have Hunter (Davenport) and Jason (Russell) who have the most the experience, but we are young across the board other than that.”
After forcing Hampton to punt during the first drive of the game, Gatlinburg-Pittman capitalized with an 11-play, 53-yard drive that ended with G-P’s Jacob Adesso punching in from 1-yard out. Highlander kicker Joey Renfro followed with the point-after attempt to give G-P a 7-0 lead with 5:59 left in the first.
A good kickoff return by Hampton’s Skyler Cole gave the Bulldogs the ball on their 44-yard line. Hampton embarked on a lengthy 10-play possession that saw alternating carries by Hampton seniors Hunter Davenport and Russell. The drive was capped by Davenport taking a toss and scooting around the left side for a 16-yard touchdown carry. Bulldog Gavin Hardin’s kick was true, and ‘Dogs tied things up 7-7 with 1:28 left in the first quarter.
The Highlanders, however, scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter with G-P’s QB J.D. Shults hitting receiver Andrew Gentry on a 34-yard touchdown and Highlander Collin Garza running in from 20 yards out. The final touchdown of the half came off a 9-yard touchdown pass from Shults to G-P’s Braeden Morris. With both all PATs good, the Highlanders led 28-7 at half time.
The third quarter saw G-Burg’s Adesso run one in from 1-yard out to push his team to a 28-7 lead before Hampton answered as Bulldogs QB Alex Hardin found Hampton’s Jonah Jones on a 20-yard TD pass. At the end of three, Hampton trailed 35-14.
With 8:50 left to play, Gatlinburg’s Renfro booted through a 40-yard field goal to make it a 38-14 ball game. The Highlanders scored again with 6:18 left as Garza rumbled in from nine yards out.
The Bulldogs recorded the final score of the night. On a drive that saw good carries from Hampton’s Cole, Davenport finished off the possession with a 2-yard touchdown to give the game its final total.
The Bulldogs (1-3, 0-1 conf.) will have a bye next week before traveling to David Crockett Friday, Sept. 22.
For more photos, box score, and a more in-depth look at Friday’s game pick up Tuesday’s Gridiron Weekly inside the Elizabethton Star.

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