Tigers keep rolling along

Published 6:36 pm Monday, September 4, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry


BOWDON – The game was still in doubt.

As the first half of Friday’s game wound down, the Troup Tigers held a 14-0 lead, but the Bowdon Red Devils had the ball with a chance to score and take some momentum into the break.

Bowdon threatened to do just that, driving deep into Troup territory.

On a fourth-down play, though, Troup’s defense made a stop, forcing a change of possession.

Troup’s quick-strike offense then went 84 yards in six plays for a touchdown to take a 21-0 lead into the break.

Troup (3-0) dominated the second half as well to take a 35-6 win, with Bowdon’s only points coming in the game’s closing moments against the second-team defense.

Troup started quickly, scoring a pair of first-half touchdowns to build a 14-0 lead, but things stalled a bit after that.

On one drive in particular, the Tigers were hit with a number of penalties that likely kept them from adding to their 14-point lead.

“Offensively, we came out smoking hot, and there were several penalties on one drive,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “We’d keep getting a first down, and then we’d get a penalty. We’d get a first down, and get a penalty.”

The Tigers rediscovered their offensive mojo at the close of the first half.

With 70 seconds left in the half, the Tigers had the ball at their own 15-yard line.

With senior quarterback Montez Crowe at the helm, that was plenty of time for the Tigers.

Crowe found Ja’Rell Smith for completions of 29 and 33 yards, and he also hooked up with Mark-Anthony Dixon for a 14-yard pass play.

Crowe capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jamari Thrash, and Carson Wreyford made his third extra point of the game to give the Tigers a 21-0 lead.

Troup’s first touchdown of the game was set up by a botched Bowdon punt attempt.

After a bad snap, Troup had the ball at the Bowdon 3-yard line.

On third down, Crowe scored on a short run, and Troup led 7-0 with 6:54 left in the first quarter.

Troup’s defense then forced a three-and-out, and the offense took over at the Bowdon 46-yard line after a short punt.

Crowe, showing off his running ability, took off on a 24-yard scamper to the Bowdon 27.

Tyree Carlisle capped the scoring drive with a 16-yard touchdown run, and Troup led 14-0 with 2:59 left in the opening quarter.

At the start of the second half, Troup took over at its own 41-yard line after forcing a punt.

The Tigers needed five plays to cover 59 yards and pad their lead.

It was Smith, who is having a big sophomore season, catching a 28-yard touchdown pass from Crowe to cap the drive, and Troup led 28-0 with 8:19 to play in the third quarter.

Bowdon found some offensive success on its ensuing possession, but Troup took over at its own 19-yard line after a fourth-down stop.

The offense went right back to work, going 81 yards in eight plays.

Dixon had a 49-yard catch from Crowe to put the ball near the goal line, and Macenta Stafford completed the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Wreyford’s fifth and final extra point gave Troup a 35-0 lead.

There was a running clock in the fourth quarter, and Bowdon put together an 88-yard scoring drive to avoid the shutout.

Kyle Franklin had a 4-yard touchdown run for Bowdon with 2:51 to play, and the two-point attempt failed.

Troup’s starting defense, which struggled in a preseason game against Harris County and the regular-season opener against Hardaway, delivered a second straight outstanding performance.

The first-team defense hasn’t allowed a point against Kendrick or Bowdon.

“I thought our defense had a good week of practice,” Glisson said. “We’re getting in our run fits, getting our pad level down. They played real well tonight. They didn’t give up a point. They ended up scoring in the fourth quarter off the young guys. So the defense played really well. It was good to see.”

Glisson added that “all in all, we played pretty well. We came out pretty healthy, so that was good.”