Troup’s stellar season comes to a close
LAGRANGE – A special season came to a heart-breaking conclusion for the Troup Tigers.
Troup, which went 8-2 in the regular season and finished second in Region 5-AAAA to earn the right to host a playoff game, took on West Hall Thursday night at Callaway Stadium.
In a hard-fought game, Troup was driving at the end trailing by three points, but it was West Hall’s Ashun Favorite coming through with an interception with moments remaining to secure the victory.
West Hall (7-4) ran one kneel-down play before the clock ran out, and Troup’s season ended with a 24-21 loss.
The Tigers had one of the state’s biggest turnarounds this season after winning just one game a year ago.
“I’m very proud of this team,” senior running back Camren Russell said. “We came a long way from 1-9 last season to go 8-3. It was a big 180 for us.”
Russell is a member of a senior class that has has overcome a lot over the past four years, but they persevered and were a part of a tremendous team in their final go-around.
“This senior class has become stronger as a unit,” Russell said. “We stayed together. We had a lot of heart.”
One of those seniors, Chanse Hill, broke up a pass on fourth down to give the ball to Troup’s offense at its own 23-yard line with 2:28 remaining trailing by three.
Troup made it all the way to the West Hall 16-yard line when Favorite picked off a pass in the end zone to end the suspense.
“8-3 is nothing to be ashamed of,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “I’m proud of our guys, and proud of how we competed. And kudos to them. We knew they were going to be tough. They played eight playoff teams.”
On a fourth-down play at the Troup 23-yard line, West Hall went for it on fourth down rather than attempt to field goal.
Hill jarred the ball loose from the intended receiver, and Troup took over.
Troup quarterback Montez Crowe found Ken Truitt for a 30-yard completion to put the ball on the West Hall 37-yard line.
Later, a pass-interference penalty move the ball to the 16-yard line, and on the next play, Crowe’s pass was intercepted.
“We tried to pull a rabbit out of our hat there at the end,” Glisson said. “I thought we were going to score. I thought we’d at least have a chance to kick a field goal.”
In a back-and-forth game, it was Troup striking first, with Crowe finding freshman Kobe Hudson for a 29-yard touchdown pass to cap a 70-yard drive, and Carson Wreyford’s extra point made it a 7-0 game with 8:11 left in the opening quarter.
West Hall notched its first points when Israel Lopez made a 20-yard field goal with 5:58 left in the first quarter, and Troup’s lead was 7-3.
Later in the first quarter, Troup took over at the West Hall 30-yard line following a fumble on a punt return.
On a third-down play, Crowe dropped a perfect over-the-shoulder pass into the hands of Hudson for a 30-yard touchdown.
Wreyford converted the extra point, and Troup led 14-3 with 2:48 left in the opening quarter.
Following a West Hall punt, Troup was driving and looking to extend its lead, but AJ Favorite came through with an interception.
West Hall turned that turnover into points.
Jacob Satterfield completed a 34-yard pass to Tanner Ahman on first down, and on the next play, Tyrese Osborne scored on a 10-yard run, and Troup’s lead was down to 14-10 with four seconds left in the first quarter.
Troup went back up by 11 with a touchdown on its next possession.
Crowe had a 37-yard run on first down, and Russell scored on a 20-yard run on the next play, and Wreyford’s extra point gave Troup a 21-10 lead with 8:41 remaining in the half.
West Hall answered with a 20-yard touchdown run from Satterfield with 90 seconds left in the half, and Troup’s lead was down to 21-17.
West Hall began that possession on its own 3-yard line after a Wreyford punt, and it drove 97 yards for the score.
Troup made it to the West Hall 21-yard line on its final possession of the half, but Ashun Favorite ended that threat with an interception.
West Hall took the lead late in the third quarter.
On its third possession of the second half, West Hall drove 69 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, and it was AJ Favorite scoring on a 6-yard run, and Troup trailed 24-21 with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.
Twice in the fourth quarter West Hall drove deep into Troup territory, but it couldn’t add to its lead.
West Hall was on the Troup 11-yard line when Truitt had an interception in the end zone.
Troup then drove to the West Hall 47-yard line before coming up short on a fourth-down play.
West Hall then made it to the Troup 23-yard line before Hill made the pass break-up on fourth down.
The Tigers, as they’d done consistently throughout the game, moved the ball, but another costly interception sealed their fate.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports