Tigers are flying high

Published 4:25 pm Thursday, August 31, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry


LAGRANGE – Kelby Holt is having a lot of fun.

Holt is the offensive coordinator for the Troup football team, and he’s calling the shots for an offense that has been unstoppable so far with quarterback Montez Crowe putting up huge numbers.

Including the preseason game against Harris County, the Tigers (2-0) have scored 108 points in three games.

That number would be higher  if the starters hadn’t sat out the second half of Saturday’s blowout victory over Kendrick. Troup led 36-0 at the half.

Holt said he appreciates having a head coach in Tanner Glisson who has enough confidence in him to let him run the offense as he sees fit.

“He doesn’t call any plays,” Holt said. “He says do what y’all do, and it’s fun. You don’t know when a fast read is going to go to the house, or a bubble screen will go (for a big play), or Crowe’s going to make a throw to one of those big-time receivers. It’s fun.”

How much confidence Glisson has in the offense was evident in the regular-season opener against Hardaway.

The Tigers had the ball late nursing a three-point lead, and rather than run the ball three times, they stayed aggressive.

On third down, Crowe completed a first-down pass to Jamari Thrash that put the game away.

“It’s early in the season, and you don’t know,” Holt said. “Coach Glisson came over there, and I looked at him like can we throw the ball? And he said let’s do what we do.”

Troup beat Harris County 41-38 in the preseason game, and it followed that up with a 31-28 victory over Hardaway.

Against Kendrick, Troup led 36-0 at the half, and it won 36-8.

Mark-Anthony Dixon returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and the Tigers were off and running.

On its first offensive possession, Troup was backed up to its own 5-yard line when Crowe showed off his arm strength as well as his accuracy.

Crowe threw the ball about 50 yards downfield in Dixon’s direction, and the receiver caught the ball without breaking stride on the way to a 95-yard touchdown reception.

The Tigers continued to batter away at the Cherokees’ defense after that.

Crowe threw another touchdown pass to Jamari Thrash, and Tyree Carlisle and Trey Williams both had scoring runs.

Troup’s fast-break, pass-oriented offense has left opposing defenses helpless so far.

“We want to be great at what we do,” Holt said. “That’s what we’re working to, trying to get better every day.”

Troup’s defense, which had its issues in the Hardaway game, delivered a strong performance against Kendrick.

The first-team defense didn’t allow any points, and the backup players fared well in the second half.

Glisson said the defense has continued to improve this week.

“Defensively, we’ve had our best practices in a long, long time,” Glisson said. “They really started flying around, we’ve really started getting our run fits good. We’ve been putting people on the ground and tackling better. So we really feel good about our run fits and what we’ve been doing this week.”

Troup will look to keep the good times going on Friday when it visits Bowdon (0-1), which began its season with a 30-6 loss to Bremen last week.

A year ago, Troup beat Bowdon 28-27 in dramatic fashion after trailing by 13 points late.

It was a big moment for a team that went on to finish 8-3 after managing just one win the previous year.

“We were down two touchdowns with five minutes left,” Glisson said. “I got the offense together and told them look at all these people that are leaving.

“I told them they’re going to miss one heck of a comeback. Then we went back out and the offense scored, the defense made a stop to get the ball back, and the offense scored to win the game.”

Glisson expects another tough game from Bowdon, which is led by third-year head coach Robert Andrews.

“I just remember how well-coached they were,” Glisson said. “They weren’t as talented as we were, and they won’t be again this year, but they are very well-coached. Teams like that have so much pride because of the tradition and the community and stuff. So they’ll be ready to go.”