The Cumberland Gap Panthers began their 2016 season with a win over Hancock County but had the daunting task of welcoming a good Gatlinburg-Pittman team into Panther territory Sept. 2.
Former head coach and once again current head coach DeLynn Cline has taken over the team and with his proven style of football intends to get his Panthers back into the playoff picture. To take that first big step Cline and team needs a signature win and to get one over an always good Highlanders team would be a great pick-me-up for the Panthers who are still fighting to change the culture.
The Highlanders scored early and often, quickly running the score to 35-0. The single bright spot in scoring for the Panthers was a touchdown from Tyler Thompson late in the fourth quarter. The final was 41-6.
Now, the 1-1 Panthers will practice for the annual rivalry meeting with cross-river nemesis Claiborne. The Bulldogs are also 1-1 with a loss to Chuckey-Doak and a win over Union County.
The game will kickoff 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Claiborne High School.
Game notes and photos provided by Jamie Lake. Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-4588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.