Tigers continue playoff push

By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

October 23, 2013

The Troup Tigers were on their way to a gut-wrenching road loss, or at least that’s how it appeared.

After taking a 20-6 lead at the half of last year’s game against Fayette County, everything came apart in the second half, and the Tigers found themselves trailing 37-20 early in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers had given up 31 consecutive points, and a turnaround appeared unlikely.

The odds didn’t matter to the Tigers, though.

Beginning with a touchdown run by Lemonta Truitt, the Tigers ripped off 27 straight points in barely nine minutes to win 47-37.

Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said the lesson from that game is that, no matter the score, the game isn’t over until the scoreboard clock reaches zero.

“Whichever side you’re on, it can change quick,” Kendall said. “It’s not over until it’s over.”

Kendall is hopeful his team won’t have to stage another miracle comeback when it hosts Fayette County on Friday in a Region 5-AAAA game.

It’s a key game for the Tigers (3-4 overall), who are 2-2 in the region and very much in the playoff picture.

Fayette County, meanwhile, has struggled to a 1-6 record this season, and it is 1-3 in the region after falling to LaGrange 36-20 last week.

Nonetheless, Kendall said “they’re going to be ready to play. It should be a good ballgame.”

Fayette County scored three touchdowns against LaGrange, and a couple of those scores came on plays that looked like they were going nowhere.

Kendall said Fayette County has the kind of athletes who can make something out of nothing.

“They’re very dangerous,” he said. “They can make something happen with a broken play.”

Fayette County uses two quarterbacks, and Kendall said they’re capable players.

“That’s a concern to make sure we have containment and pressure, to go along with coverage,” Kendall said. “They can do some damage to you if they get loose.”

Troup is looking to build on its 49-6 victory over Columbus last week.

The Tigers, who were coming off a brutal two-game stretch against Sandy Creek and Carrollton, used their powerful running game to dispatch the Blue Devils with ease.

The Tigers ran for more than 600 yards, and a bunch of running backs shared in the success.

Daryl Dunlap did his usual thing with three touchdowns, including a 55-yard run in the fourth quarter, and Devonte Swanson exploded for touchdown runs of 80 and 79 yards.

Mess Bonner added a 72-yard touchdown run, and Dexter Shealey had a 15-yard run from his quarterback position.

Troup’s defense, meanwhile, limited the Blue Devils to 29 rushing yards on 27 carries, and quarterback Dale Williams completed just 5-of-21 passes for 113 yards, with 77 of those yards coming on one play.

If the Tigers can win tonight, they’ll move above .500 in the region, setting up a huge game against the rival LaGrange Grangers next week.

“This is another step in the process of what our goals are,” Kendall said. “They’re going to be ready to play, and we expect them to be. It should be a good ballgame.”