Troup defense ready for challenge
by By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
The Callaway Cavaliers had their way with the Heard County Braves in the season opener.
With their option offense running at peak efficiency, the Cavaliers moved up and down the field with ease.
Quarterback Tez Parks ran for three touchdowns, and when the game was over, the senior walked off the field with a clean uniform after rarely getting hit.
Troup senior defensive lineman Dikembe Billingslea has watched the game film, and he knows how dangerous the Cavaliers are offensively.
Billingslea said it will take a lot discipline, and a healthy dose of gang tackling, to slow down the Cavaliers.
“You need to be keying on what they’re doing, the quarterback and the running backs,” Billingslea said. “We have to make sure we pursue, we swarm, and work as a team. Just focus on doing your job.”
Troup’s defense did its job awfully well in the season opener against Redan in a 46-0 victory.
Redan’s offense never had a chance.
The running game was non-existent, and when the Redan quarterback tried to throw the ball, he was seemingly hit by a bunch of Tigers as soon as he touched the ball.
A lot of the credit for Troup’s dominance goes to the defensive line, which overpowered Redan’s offensive line.
On the interior, Billingslea and Devin Power did a terrific job of caving things in, and defensive ends Devonte Cofield and R.J. Hairston got it done with a combination of power and speed.
The game, Billingslea said. “was a big confidence booster.”
“It let us feel like we can do something this year,” he added. “We’ll continue to build on what we’ve been doing, and hopefully we’ll have plenty of more games like that.”
Billingslea, a three-year starter, said he and the other defensive linemen have put in a lot of hard work, and he’s hoping that’ll pay off this season.
“We push our line hard,” Billingslea said. “We work hard every day.”
Chris Mitchem, Troup’s defensive coordinator, said the defensive linemen and everyone on the defensive side of the football is “buying in, they’re working hard.”
Mitchem said a key focus of the coaches is trying to get the players to not just get by on “athletic ability”.
“You have to be fundamentally correct,” Mitchem said. “Stop trying to rely on athletic ability. That’s really how it is with the Sandy Creeks, the Carrolltons, Washington County, the Bufords, We’re trying to get to that aspect of it. Be more fundamentally sound, focus on what you’re supposed to do. Rely on being in the right formation, and doing your job.”
Billingslea was a starter on the 2011 team that won nine games and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
Last year, the Tigers took a big step back and finished 3-7, and Billingslea is hopeful the 2013 season will be a lot more like 2011 than 2012.
“Right now, we’re just taking it one game at a time. We’re excited about playing,” Billingslea said. “I feel like this season is going to be very exciting for us.”
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Local Gas Prices