Fulton's stars too much for Tigers
The Fulton Falcons proved to be as good as their billing in a 61-0 win over Pigeon Forge Friday night at Jim Whaley Field.
Fulton senior running back Daryl Rollins-Davis led the visitors’ charge, scoring four of his team’s nine touchdowns on the night. Three of the scoring runs were splash plays, going for more than 20 yards.
“That No. 5 (Rollins-Davis), he’s just absolutely amazing,” said Pigeon Forge coach Scott Meadows. “But, if you can take him out of the game, they’ve got a couple other amazing players.
“They’re just an unbelievable football team. They’re fast, they’re physical and coach (Rob) Black has done a very good job, because they’re a very disciplined team.”
Two of those other players include senior wide receiver Xavier Hawkins with three TDs in the win, and senior quarterback Penny Smith with several drive-extending scrambles and a 26-yard game-opening scoring toss to Hawkins.
But it wasn’t just the offensive stars who made Fulton so tough. The Falcon defense was a stout, disciplined unit that didn’t bite on misdirection.
“Whenever I thought I had them on something offensively, I’d counter them back, but there they were,” said Meadows. “They’re just a great team.”
Pigeon Forge did have several offensive plays that gained better-than-average yards, several good enough for first downs, but the Tigers had trouble maintaining drives all night because most of those positive plays were negated by flags.
Despite the final score, the Tigers grabbed the early momentum by surprising the Falcons with a game-opening onside kick that was recovered at the Fulton 39 by senior Colton Nugent.
But after a first down, the six-play drive stalled with a 4th-and-3 at the 20.
Meadows wanted to break the egg on the scoreboard first and sent senior kicker Devin Boyd on for a 37-yard attempt that missed just inches to the left, ultimately leading to a Pigeon Forge shutout.
Despite the miss, Meadows said it was the right decision.
“I wanted to get points on the board ... and give us a little momentum,” said Meadows. “I thought we moved the ball well on that first drive ... but we just pulled the kick a little bit.”
But as far as the Tigers are concerned, it’s all in the past now.
“We’ve got to forget about this game and go to the next one,” said Meadows. “It’s just like every play, you’ve got to forget about the last play and play the next play.
“You’ve got to forget about this one, but you’ve got to build on the things you did right and correct the things you did wrong.”
Based on the final score, the Tigers will have a lot of correcting to do this week in preparation for Chuckey-Doak.
But then again, small mistakes normally overlooked against regular opponents are magnified in a big way against a team like Fulton. One wrong step on an angle, or one block not maintained long enough, can make a team look bad when playing the Falcons.
“With them, you’ve got to cover the whole field,” said Meadows. “You can’t key on one guy.
“Our boys fought hard, we were just out-manned. But I was proud of them because they kept fighting.
“We made some stupid mistakes, and those are things we’ve got to correct heading into the next four games, but it’s very much magnified against Fulton.
“We’ll just get back to work and get ready for Chuckey-Doak on Monday.”