Epic night for Tigers

Published 1:18 am Saturday, September 30, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry


LAGRANGE – That was a clinic.

The Troup Tigers, with quarterback Montez Crowe delivering a memorable and electrifying performance, overwhelmed the Sandy Creek Patriots 71-16 on Friday night before an appreciative home crowd at Callaway Stadium.

Crowe had an extraordinary night, throwing for eight touchdown passes as the Tigers improved to 6-0 overall, and 2-0 in Region 5-AAAA.

“We feel like we have a really good football team,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “We prepared hard, and to be frank with you, there was a lot of noise about us not playing anybody. And our guys were just ready to play. We’re proud. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. We’ve got to clean a lot of things up. But it was a good night to be a Tiger.”

It was a good night to be Montez Crowe for sure.

Crowe completed 20-of-29 passes for 525 yards, and he averaged 26 yards per completion.

Crowe, the 6-foot-5 senior, now has 24 touchdown passes in six games, and he has already thrown for more than 2,000 yards.

In Friday’s game, five different receivers found the end zone, including sensational sophomore Kobe Hudson, who had four touchdown passes.

Mark-Anthony Dixon, Jamari Thrash, Ja’Rell Smith and Kenly Bridwell also had scoring catches, and Tyree Carlisle and Trey Williams each had a touchdown run.

While Crowe may not have predicted an eight-touchdown, 71-point performance, he had a feeling the offense was going to have a big night.

“I kind of knew during the week,” Crowe said. “Our guys seemed focused, and the communication got better day by day. We knew it was going to be something special.”

Crowe’s favorite target was Hudson, who has nine touchdown catches this season, and 18 in his first two seasons of high-school football.

“We execute in practice,” Hudson said. “We execute every day, and we work hard every day.”

Paving the way was an offensive line that, as has been the case all year, gave Crowe plenty of time to throw.

“We’ve been talking about it since Monday, that if our offensive plays like it’s supposed to, we’ll have the best game we had all season,” said Seth Adams, Troup’s outstanding center.

Troup’s defense came to play as well.

Sandy Creek was unable to get its vaunted running game going, and defensive lineman King Mwikuta said that was the idea.

“That’s all we wanted to do was stop the run, stop the run, because we knew they weren’t going to pass it,” Mwikuta said. “They’re not a passing team.”

After Sandy Creek went three-and-out on its first possession, Troup’s offense went to work.

A defensive penalty moved the ball into Sandy Creek territory, and Crowe threw a screen pass to Dixon, and the sophomore speedster turned that into a 45-yard touchdown.

Later in the first quarter, after Mwikuta recovered a fumble, Hudson caught the first of his four touchdown passes, this one covering 33 yards, and Troup led 14-0.

Sandy Creek answered with a touchdown, but Troup came right back, with Hudson catching a 25-yard scoring pass, and the lead was 21-7 with 2:31 to play in the opening quarter.

After a Sandy Creek punt, Troup struck again moments into the second quarter, with Carlisle scoring on a 3-yard run to extend the lead to 27-7.

On Sandy Creek’s ensuing possession, its punter was tackled in the end zone for a safety, and Troup led 29-7.

The Tigers fumbled the free kick, but the Patriots could only manage a field goal, and they still trailed 29-10.

The Patriots got the ball right back on an interception, but once again the Tiger defense stood tall and forced a field-goal attempt that was missed

The Tigers then went 80 yards for another touchdown, with Crowe capping the drive with a 14-yard scoring pass to Thrash.

Sandy Creek went three-and-out, and Troup capped the first-half scoring with a Williams 1-yard scoring run.

That score was set up by a 47-yard completion from Crowe to Hudson, and Troup led 43-10 at the half.

The halftime break did nothing to slow the Tigers.

On the second play of the second half, Hudson caught a slant pass from Crowe and went 67 yards for the touchdown, and Troup led 50-10.

Following a Sandy Creek fumble, it was Hudson again, this time with a 39-yard scoring pass from Crowe, and Troup was up 57-10.

Later in the third quarter, after Sandy Creek scored to make it a 57-16 game, Troup found the end zone once again, this time on a 44-yard pass from Crowe to Smith with 2:14 left in the third quarter.

Troup capped the scoring early in the fourth quarter, with Crowe finding his tight end, Bridwell, for a 5-yard touchdown pass.

Troup is off next week, and it will play LaGrange on Oct. 13.