By: By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
August 28, 2013
The Troup Tigers boarded the bus a year ago feeling like they’d lost a game they should have won.
In the season opener in Stone Mountain, the Tigers had a chance to win the game at the end, but a potential game-winning touchdown pass was ruled an incomplete pass by the officials, and Redan walked away with a 15-12 victory.
“I thought we left that game out on the field last year,” Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said. “I’m not taking anything away from them. They did what they had to do to win. But I thought that was a game where we hurt ourselves, and they took advantage of it.”
Today at Callaway Stadium, the two teams will meet again, and Troup is hoping the script is a different one this time around.
“They came to play (last year), and I expect them to come to play Thursday night,” Kendall said of Redan.
The game features two teams hoping to rebound from disappointing seasons.
After beating Troup, Redan lost eight consecutive games before finishing the regular season with a 24-18 win over South Atlanta.
Redan is under the direction of second-year head coach Willie Griffieth.
Troup, meanwhile, started the season 0-3 en route to a 3-7 record.
A new season brings new-found optimism, though, and Troup heads into the opener after a strong performance against Auburn in last week’s preseason game.
During the first half when the starters were on the field, Troup led 7-3, and its reserves hung tough in the second half as Auburn won 17-14.
Troup got a touchdown run from Dre Towns in the first half, and Michael Bowers returned an interception for a score in the second half.
It was an impressive showing against an Auburn team ranked in the top 10 in Alabama’s highest classification.
“We got after them good, and they got after us,” Kendall said. “It’s been a pretty fun thing playing Auburn. They have tons of depth, they have good players, and they have a lot of class, too. It’s really great playing programs like that. They rolled in their third teams, and they seem like they’re 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5. That’s a good program.”
Kendall said the team has had a couple of solid days of practice after what he described as a “sluggish” Monday.
Kendall also said the team is nursing a few injuries suffered in the preseason game and practices.
“We got some guys banged up. Even in practice we had some guys banged up,” Kendall said. “I’m still trying to walk the fine line between how physical you need to be. With the style of offense we have, it’s a physical-type deal. It’s not one of those things where you totally shy away from it. You have to bang around a little bit. I think we’re doing a good job of working smarter.”