Pigeon Forge trying for milestone win

Sep. 06, 2013 @ 12:47 PM

One win down, now things will get tough for coach Scott Meadows and Pigeon Forge.

In marches Carter tonight, a team the Tigers haven’t beaten in recent memory or perhaps ever.

“That’s what I’ve been told,” Meadows said on Wednesday. “‘Pigeon Forge never beat Carter,’ so it’s going to be a big ball game for us.”

But Meadows came here trying to generate a lot of firsts with a team that wasn’t quite synonymous with winning. Since 2001, the Tigers (1-0) have had just one winning season and a lot of three and four-win seasons. After a 55-0 shutout of Cosby two weeks ago, Pigeon Forge may be starting to believe.

“Everybody’s working harder,” said running back Chris Rasberry. “Everybody’s working a lot harder to get better every day. I felt like we practiced a lot harder (in the offseason). We practiced harder and longer. We actually worked out. Everybody’s gotten a lot stronger than they were last year.”

Effort is the first step and that’s what Meadows is seeing from his Tigers. He said it’s been a good week of practice, but it’s also important not to be too confident.

“We’ve got to be sure of what we’re doing but not overconfident that it’s going to guarantee that it’s going to happen if we show up,” Meadows said. “I’m seeing guys carry themselves a little bit different in a good, positive way.”

Over the last decade, Carter has shut out the Tigers three times. The closest Pigeon Forge has come to a win was 27-24 loss in 2010. The Tigers have been outscored 77-10 since then.

The Hornets are 2-0 this season, putting huge numbers up in road wins over Gibbs (54-48) and Cocke County (33-0). Meadows said Carter has some awfully quick offensive weapons.

“We’ve got to be more ball control,” Meadows said. “We’ve got to keep their offense off the field.”

Keeping that ball in the right hands begins with quarterback Tanner Sharp, who transferred from Meadows’ last stop, Catholic. The junior said he believes Meadows can help him get to the next level. It’s up to the quarterback and his teammates to show the new coach can do the same thing for Pigeon Forge.

“We all want to win,” Sharp said. “We have the drive to do it. I know in years past, before I was here, that wasn’t here. ... Everybody’s here every day putting hard work in, giving it their all.”