Pigeon Forge comes up a point short at Chuckey-Doak

Oct. 12, 2013 @ 01:06 AM

 Pigeon Forge was finally going to win a close one.

The Tigers were driving against Chuckey-Doak on Friday night, down by a point.

Back-to-back completions from Tanner Sharp to Kolby Black put Pigeon Forge at the Black Knights’ 35-yard line with less than a minute to play.

“After the second completion to Kolby, I thought we were going to win this game,” Sharp said. “They blitzed two times in a row. I had to throw one away. The other one, they got me, and it was an underthrow.

“I thought we had it, though.”

Rodney Greene’s interception clinched a 28-27 Chuckey-Doak win, ensuring heartbreak for a Pigeon Forge team that has lost games by three points, two points and now a point.

“It’s very difficult to swallow,” said Tyler Watts, who recovered a first-half fumble. “I’m not real happy about it at all.”

The Tigers (3-4) fell despite 210 yards on the ground and another 112 off the arm of Sharp. A game that was tied at 14-14 after three quarters quickly became a shootout in the fourth. The teams combined for four touchdowns on consecutive drives. The scoring difference came after the first score, a 1-yard Sharp run. Pigeon Forge committed a snap infraction on the extra point, forcing it to march back and leading to a miss.

Chuckey-Doak (5-3) got touchdown runs of 41 and 27 yards from Nick Sandstrom on its next two drives, both opportunities for the Tigers to hold on with a stop.

“We bit in too much and he just busted them outside,” Sharp said.

Sandstrom had 93 of his 135 yards in the second half, mostly on those two plays. Tyler Coe added 134 yards and two touchdowns.

The Tigers led 14-7 at the half after a Noah Whaley four-yard scoring rush and 16-yard touchdown pass from Sharp to Chris Rasberry. Coe scored on the Knights’ opening drive of the third quarter to tie the game, setting up the fourth-quarter fireworks.

“We’re mostly a second-half team,” Sandstrom said. “We get in here. We pump each other up. We get ready to go, especially whenever it’s a close game like that, gets us fired up.”

Pigeon Forge has three games left in the regular season, starting with a district battle at Austin-East next Thursday. The Tigers return home for games with Claiborne and rival Gatlinburg-Pittman.

“We played hard,” said Chase Effler, who had a fourth-quarter touchdown. “I guess they just wanted it more than we did.”