By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
KNOX CENTRAL — The rushing attack of Jonathan Gist and Jeffrey Canady turned out to be too much for Gatlinburg-Pittman to handle Friday, as the duo rushed for a combined 274 yards during Knox Central’s 34-6 win over the Highlanders.
“Gatlinburg Pittman has a very good team,” Knox Central coach Scottie Russell said. “I thought we came out flat against them, but that happens sometimes. I’m not going to fault my kids’ effort, though. They gave 110 percent out there and that’s all you can ask for,” he added.
Gist led all rushers with 148 yards on the ground, as he reached paydirt twice during the game while Jeffrey Canady finished the game with 126 yards on the ground along with a score.
“I thought we did a fantastic job running the ball,” Russell said. “They came out loading the box up, so we passed it some, but we just couldn’t block all of the players they had coming at us, so we ran the ball and did a good job doing it.
“Our offensive line blew some big holes open for us out there,” he added. “It’s great to have a one-two punch in the backfield like we do.”
Jeffrey’s brother, Hayden, also got into the scoring action, as he finished the game with a touchdown while leading the team with 12 tackles in the win.
Matthew Barger also scored a touchdown during the 28-point rout and finished the game with more than 100 yards receiving while Devon Evans had a fumble recovery and an interception for Knox Central.
Gatlinburg-Pittman flexed its muscles early and caught the Panthers by surprise by taking an early 7-0 lead, but Knox Central would respond in a big way.
The Panthers answered with 34 unanswered points and rushed for more than 300 yards during the win.
The 4-0 start is Knox Central’s first in school history and the Panthers will look to continue their winning ways Friday against Clinton County, Tenn. at home.
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
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