Now, the Tigers will have an opportunity to face Fayette and hopefully slow down that rushing attack as they travel to Fayetteville on Friday night for a critical region game.
Fayette County is coming off a 38-35 home win over LaGrange last week.
Troup is coming off a 34-20 win over Columbus at Callaway Stadium last Thursday and is looking to add its third win of the season.
Troup (2-5 overall) is 2-2 in Region 5-AAAA, while Fayette County has the exact same record overall and in the regoin.
After the Fayette County game, Troup has two more region games against LaGrange on Nov. 2 and the season finale against Shaw at Kinnett Stadium.
Troup will be looking to stifle Fayette’s ground game that had 293 yards against Columbus on Oct. 11 and was effective against LaGrange, mostly on dives and off-tackle runs.
Troup’s strength is also its run game, especially when Daryl Dunlap has the ball.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior running back had a monumental effort against Columbus last week, rushing for 313 yards and scoring four touchdowns.
“Daryl had a tremendous night,” head coach Lynn Kendall said. “He did a great job of running and breaking tackles. We had a nice contribution of several players at running back, but Daryl carried the load. It was just an awesome job, an awesome job. Probably one of the best night’s running I’ve seen over the years. He stepped up and became the workhorse and we kept feeding him the ball. He’s an unselfish type of ball player.”
Dunlap also had a 158-yard rushing game against Alexander and a 100-plus yard game against Newnan.
Kendall also credited running backs Bruce Danford at fullback, Jalen Hicks, Ricky Frazier and Malcolm Tatum for contributions they made during the game.
Dunlap has been a mainstay on the Troup defensive line as well this season.
“We’ve been going through a lot of changes,” Dunlap said. “The main thing is to learn from and adapt to it and get ready for the playoffs coming up. We’ll just take what life gives us.”
Dunlap said he and his teammates have watched a lot of game film on Fayette County, and he’s impressed with what he’s seen.
“I’m watching more and more film on them,” Dunlap said. “We really do need a win against them. We need to come out with a win on Friday.”
Troup’s offensive line will also have to be at the top of its game to protect sophomore quarterback Will Smith.
Kendall has been high on Smith, who he says has shown a lot of improvement and keeps a cool head in the heat of the moment.
“Will’s doing a great job this year,” Kendall praised. “As a sophomore quarterback, he has risen to and become one of the leaders. He has improved in every game this year. We’re just very proud of his development and attitude. Will is a player that understands the team concept and is unselfish. You can’t say enough about how he has matured as a quarterback. He has the type of demeanor that he stays calm regardless of what is going on around you. You want someone who is fiery but at the same time and being able to keep your wits about yourself goes a long way.”
Smith went about his business of preparing for the game on Wednesday as he and his teammates haven’t done anything special to get ready for Fayette County.
“It’s basically what we’re normally going to stay with, try to get the running game established first, then try to get the passes open” Smith said.
The 5-8, 145-pound signal caller admits he would have preferred some of those five losses this season go the other way, but said, “I guess we played as hard as we could and that’s how it happened.”
Kendall said he was impressed with Fayette County’s game against LaGrange.
“They had a really good running game,” Kendall said. “I thought they played a very good football game. They also got into that battle and stayed in the game when it started going back and forth.”
Kendall spoke about his team’s week of practice, which he called one of the best all year.
“That was the best Wednesday practice we’ve had might be for the whole season,” Kendall explained. “We spent a lot of team time working on defensive teams and offensive teams. I thought that was very productive today and of course trying to hone some of the things we’re trying to do this week and of course (today) we’ll try to polish things up. Just trying to improve on what we’re doing.”