Tigers are feeling good
by By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
A year ago, the Troup Tigers headed into their showdown with the Callaway Cavaliers on the heels of a disappointing season-opening effort against Redan.
The feelings are a whole lot different this time around.
After losing to Redan 15-12 last season, Troup turned the tables and rolled to a 46-0 victory last week at Callaway Stadium.
The performance was every bit as impressive as the score indicated.
The Tigers moved the ball at will, with a host of running backs chewing up big chunks of yardage behind a physical offensive line, and the defense was every bit as impressive.
Now, Troup will try to avenge another one of its 2012 losses when it takes on Callaway Friday night at what should be a jam-packed Callaway Stadium.
The Cavaliers dominated last year’s game and won 28-7.
Friday’s game will be played at 7:30 p.m. at Callaway Stadium, and Troup will be the visiting team.
“They’re a good football team, a ranked football team,” Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said. “It’s good competition. They’re going to be ready, and so are we. They’ve got a lot of weapons. I’m looking forward to playing.”
The Tigers jumped all over Redan Friday night, driving 69 yards for a touchdown on their opening possession, and they never let up.
Daryl Dunlap, Dre Towns, Cameron Russell and quarterback Will Smith had touchdown runs for the Tigers, and Smith also threw a scoring pass to Quaydo Florence.
Defensively, Troup manhandled Redan.
A lot of the damage was done up front, with defensive linemen Dikembe Billingslea, R.J. Hairston, Devin Power and Devonte Cofield overpowering Redan’s offensive linemen.
“The defensive line played very, very well, and I thought our secondary got after it,” Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said. “And the offensive line did a good job. And all of the (running backs) ran hard, rather it was a starter, or a guy who doesn’t have much experience. When they got in the game, they were trying to execute. Our focus was good during the game. Our tempo was good.”
Troup now turns its attention to a much better opponent.
While Redan was a 2-8 team last season and is likely headed for another difficult season, Callaway went 10-2 last year and began this season with a 34-0 victory over Heard County.
“We’re excited about playing them,” Kendall said. “It’s another step, another opportunity to get better. That’s what I talked to them about today. Anytime we have an opportunity to play, we have to get better to reach the goals we want to reach.”
Kendall said the Tigers have had a tremendous week of practice, beginning with a morning practice on Labor Day.
“I was impressed with the kids on Monday, just the focus,” Kendall said. “Sometimes Monday, especially at the high-school level, isn’t your best practice for all kinds of reasons. This group right here, so far they’ve been very good on Mondays.”
Kendall said the practices on Tuesday and Wednesday were also exceptional and the team will hold a walk-through today to put the finishing touches on the preparations for Friday night.
“By the time you get to this point, and you walk off the field on Wednesday night, you’re ready to play ball,” Kendall said. “You’ve been working on it all week, and you’re ready to play.”
TICKET NOTE: Advance tickets for Friday’s game are available at Troup High and Callaway High. Tickets will also be sold at the stadium on Friday. The advance tickets are $7, while tickets will be $10 at the gate.
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