If nothing else, the Sandy Creek Patriots knew that they’d been in a fight.
When the dust cleared Friday night, the Patriots were on the right side of the scoreboard, which is nothing new.
The Patriots rarely lose, and since the first game of the 2009 season, they haven’t lost at all in the regular season.
Friday night at their home stadium, the Patriots beat the Troup Tigers 21-0, but it was anything but easy.
The Sandy Creek offense, which has marched up and down the field with hardly any opposition this season, had to fight for every yard against Troup.
The Patriots’ first few possessions yielded almost nothing, and they didn’t find the end zone until well into the second quarter.
The Patriots added another touchdown to go up 14-0 at the half, but they only managed one other touchdown in the second half.
While Troup lost the game, it can take some satisfaction that its defense made life exceedingly difficult on Sandy Creek.
The Patriots tied Plant, Fla. 27-27 in their season opener, but they’d scored at least 54 points in each of their games against teams from Georgia.
With big-time college recruits all over the field, the Patriots are accustomed to doing whatever they want to on offense.
Credit Troup’s defense for stepping to the plate and standing toe-to-toe with that star-studded offense.
As good as Troup’s defense was, Sandy Creek’s defense was better.
The Tigers did some nice things on offense, but they were kept off the scoreboard by a Patriots’ defense that had given up a lot of points this season.
Despite the disappointment of not scoring, it was still an encouraging night for the Tigers.
They played the state’s top-ranked team, and they were right there.
If some of those drives the Tigers had would have yielded points, things would have been awfully interesting late.
Now, Troup will try to build on that performance as it prepares for another juggernaut, the Carrollton Trojans.
The Tigers know they can compete with a championship-caliber team.
The next step is to beat one of those teams, and they’ll give it their best shot Thursday night at Callaway Stadium.
While points were at a premium at Sandy Creek, the scoreboard operators were kept busy by the LaGrange Grangers and Callaway Cavaliers Friday night.
The Cavaliers put on an offensive clinic in a 45-13 victory over Chapel Hill.
In a game that was over early, Callaway had all of its offensive weapons working.
Quarterback Tez Parks delivered two touchdown passes to Terry Godwin, and Parks, Eddie Culpepper, Devon Rosser and Cedric Maynard each had scoring runs.
When Callaway’s offense is operating at that level, it is so difficult to stop.
The Cavaliers have so many play-makers on offense, and they have a senior quarterback in Parks who has become a brilliant all-around player.
He’s always been a dynamic runner, but he has become more and more comfortable throwing the ball, and it helps to have an electrifying player like Godwin to toss the ball to.
And not to be left out, Callaway’s defense did its part with four interceptions, two by Michael Moss, and one each by Dre Martin and Godwin.
It was a dominant performance by the Cavaliers, who continued to be the class of their region as they chase a second straight Region 4-AAA title.
At Callaway Stadium Friday night, the LaGrange Grangers figured to make easy work of the Columbus Blue Devils, and they did.
The Blue Devils are better than they were a year ago when they went 0-10, but they had no shot against the Grangers.
The Grangers were up 25-0 after the first quarter, and they led 46-0 at the half.
In the second half, if you were wearing a LaGrange uniform, you most likely got to play, and the young guys held their own as the Grangers won 58-7.
Running back Benny Gray had a big night with two touchdown runs, as well as a touchdown catch on a pass from Gus Golden on a fake punt.
Wide receiver Tavone Rivers showed he can get it done in the running game with a pair of scoring runs, and running back Mon Denson scored on an 85-yard catch on a screen pass from Wynton Heard.
In the second half, backup quarterback Ahmad Ogletree got into the act with a touchdown run, and sophomore running back Kimani Barnes capped the scoring with a 28-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
The Grangers did a fantastic job of taking control of the game early, and never letting up.
Hats off to the Cavaliers and Grangers for taking care of business, and to the Tigers for putting up one heck of a fight against a great football team.