In a Region 5-AAAA showdown at Callaway Stadium, the Tigers scored 10 straight points to get within seven late in the second quarter, but the Patriots scored the game’s final 31 points to pull away for a 48-10 victory.
Troup (1-4) falls to 1-1 in the region heading into another difficult game next week at Carrollton.
“We’re in the region schedule right now, so it’s bang, bang, bang,” Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said. “We’ve got to play ball. The first thing we’ll do is, we’ll look at ourselves and evaluate ourselves, and then we’ll start breaking down the opposition.”
The Tigers fell into a 14-0 hole within the first seven minutes Friday night after an Eric Swinney long touchdown run and a scoring pass from Cole Garvin to Kyle Wilson.
After Mitchell McMillin made a 27-yard field goal with 10:52 left in the half to cap a 64-yard drive, the Patriots were up 17-0.
The Tigers needed to find a spark, and they got it on their ensuing possession.
On a third-down play from deep in Troup territory, quarterback Will Smith threw a 12-yard strike to Malcolm Tatum to move the chains.
Four plays later, Kendall decided to go for it and fourth-and-short, and Bruce Danford bulled his way for a 2-yard gain to pick up the first down.
After two short gainers, running back Ricky Frazier took a pitch from Smith, and he threw the ball deep down the field to Tatum, who caught it for a 33-yard completion to the Sandy Creek 21-yard line.
On third down from the 15, Smith threw a fade pass into the right corner of the end zone, and Tatum brought it in over his defender for the touchdown.
Will Bates converted the extra point, and Sandy Creek’s lead was 17-7 with 4:13 left in the half.
When the Patriots got the ball back, Lemonta Truitt came through with an interception on second down, and he returned it to the Sandy Creek 5-yard line.
A penalty moved the ball back five yards, and the Tigers ended up settling for a 21-yard field goal by Bates, and it was a 17-10 game with 1:07 showing on the clock.
The Patriots quickly swung momentum back their way.
After a long kickoff return, Garvin threw a jump ball toward the left side of the field where Truitt and Sandy Creek’s Demarre Kitt battled for the ball.
Both players had a hand on it, but Kitt was awarded possession at the 9-yard line after a 22-yard catch.
“It was well-covered,” Kendall said. “The ball thrown an inch one way or another, and we probably pick it off. Lemonta’s down there covering and doing his job, and they make a play.”
Fullback Antonio Williams capped the quick drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, and the Patriots took a 24-10 lead at the half.
In the second half, it was all Sandy Creek.
Delvin Weems started the scoring with a third-quarter touchdown run, and a field goal pushed the lead to 34-10 by the close of the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Sandy Creek got a scoring run from Williams, and a 30-yard touchdown run from Maceo Brown.
“I think our depth caught up with us tonight,” Kendall said. “Not taking anything away from Sandy Creek by no means, but our depth caught up with us, and we started picking up a few injuries.”
Still, even though things got one-sided in the second half, Kendall said the strong play in the second quarter is “something to build on, something to look at. We’ll come back in here Saturday morning and start preparing for Carrollton.”