Sullivan North's Jacob Jasper (5) works for his yardage against Pigeon Forge on Friday night in Kingsport. (Photo by Jonathan McCoy)
KINGSPORT — Pigeon Forge came in looking for the first playoff win in school history Friday evening.
The Tigers found it with a 34-27 victory over Sullivan North in the first round of the TSSAA 3A playoffs.
Pigeon Forge used a strong ground game to not only roll up more than 400 yards rushing but also eat up huge amounts of clock, keeping the Golden Raiders’ offense on the sideline.
“Hats off to them. They have a good team and a good coach with a program that is on the upswing,” said North coach Robbie Norris.
While the Tigers dominated the stat sheet, the game was still close late in the fourth quarter.
A 26-yard run by Jacob Jasper — his third touchdown of the evening — pulled the Raiders to within 28-27 with 4:16 to go, but a failed extra-point kick left North trailing by one.
Pigeon Forge came right back, marching to the end zone for a 34-27 lead just two minutes. Noah Whaley capped the drive by scoring from 10 yards out.
North had a little more than two minutes to work with, but its final attempt at tying the game withered on a failed fourth-and-5 attempt at its own 49-yard line.
Pigeon Forge advanced to face Alcoa in the second round.
For an expanded version of this article, please see Saturday’s print edition or our expanded electronic edition.