It was an instant classic in Roan Mountain.
Cloudland came out top in the Battle of the Highlanders with a thrilling 46-40 overtime victory over Gatlinburg-Pittman on Friday night at Orr Field.
Jordan Coffey was the cog in the Cloudland machine as he carried the ball 28 times for 304 yards. It was the program’s first victory over Gatlinburg-Pittman.
CHS set the tone early with the rushing attack.
Cloudland saw Coffey and Josh Blair find running room behind the offensive line on a lengthy drive that saw CHS take an 8-0 lead on a 23-yard touchdown by Coffey.
After the Cloudland defense forced GP off the field on fourth down, Coffey pushed the CHS lead to 14-0 on the first play of the second quarter. Malachi Benfield hit Hayden Houston for the conversion as CHS took a 16-0 lead.
goner stopped the next GP drive with an interception,but the ‘Landers were unable to take advantage as a fumble into the end zone found its way into GP’s hands.
Gatlinburg-Pittman got on the board with a 32-yard pass.
Benfield, however, answered with a 57-yard run to give CHS a 22-7 with 4:10 to play in the second quarter.
After GP added another passing touchdown, Cloudland took a 22-13 lead into the locker room at half.
The third quarter saw neither team able to take advantage of their opening offensive possession. GP got on the board with a touchdown pass to close within two, and then a scoop and score gave Gatlinburg-Pittman their first lead of the night with 2:04 to play in the third.
Coffey and company, however, answered quickly as Coffey scored on a 37-yard run to regain a 28-26 CHS lead going into the fourth.
Cloudland pushed the advantage to 34-26 early in the fourth with a Coffey score, but GP scored back-to-back scores to take a 40-34 lead. CHS battled back as Coffey broke free for a 63-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 40-40.
GP moved deep into CHS territory in the closing minutes, but a Triston Lacey interception secured overtime.
After GP missed a FG to open the extra period, Cloudland took two plays for Coffey to score and give CHS the thrilling victory.
Blair added 40 yards on the ground on 10 carries, while Benfield had 67 yards on four carries.