The only stat that matters is the score, though, and Troup came up on the short end in that department, with Redan hanging on for a 15-12 victory in DeKalb County.
The Tigers charged back from a 15-6 deficit in the fourth quarter to get within three, and they nearly won the game, but what would have been the game-winning touchdown reception was ruled a no-catch by the officials.
The receiver who caught the ball was ruled out of bounds in the end zone, and Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said the team had no choice but to live with the call.
“It was close. It was a bang-bang play,” Kendall said. “We were ruled incomplete. We’re talking about literally inches. It was close. To their credit, they had two officials right on the play. There was no one out of position. They had it bracketed. They were in the right place.”
Kendall said the players “executed the play.”
“It was just a little bit out of bounds,” he said. “But we shouldn’t have been in that situation to start off with.”
Now, Troup turns its attention to county rival Callaway, with the two teams set to play for the fifth time Friday night at Callaway Stadium.
Callaway began its season with a 43-37 loss to Heard County.
“We’ll play an outstanding team this week that‘s well-coached,” Kendall said. “They’re coming off a tough loss also. I know they’ve been working hard to get better, just like everybody. We expect a good game.”
The Tigers got back to work on Saturday after Friday’s tough loss.
The highlight was the effort of the Troup defense, which was dominant, giving up just six points, but some special-teams breakdowns proved costly.
Troup had two botched punt attempts, with one resulting in a Redan touchdown, and the other in a safety.
After the safety, Troup was down by nine points in the fourth quarter, but Kendall told the players not to get despondent.
“In a tight game, momentum will shift,” Kendall said. “And it got down there to the end, and we had a shot at it.”
The Tigers got a touchdown run from Lemonta Truitt to get within three, and they made it to the Redan 10-yard line to set up the game’s final play.
Troup also got a touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Will Smith to Daryl Dunlap in the first half.
In the end, though, Troup was unable to get it done, and Kendall said the players have been working hard to improve in the areas that proved costly against Redan.
“We’ll continue working and do what we need to get done to prepare for the next week,” Kendall said.
Callaway presents a stern challenge, particularly on the offensive end where it has a host of playmakers.
In the Heard game, the Cavaliers put up huge numbers, with quarterback Tez Parks leading the way.
“They have a lot of weapons offensively and defensively,” Kendall said. “They have good solid special teams. They’re a good football team, and always have been.”
Kendall, who coached at Callaway before joining the Troup staff eight years ago, said this game is “great for our community.”
“The players know each other. They all grew up in the county,” Kendall said. “And I’ve coached with several of their coaches. There’s a lot of closeness when we play these rival teams. Of course you want to get out there and beat them. When it comes time to kick the ball off, everybody will be getting after each other like they’re supposed to.”