Surging Tigers take week off

Published 12:03 am Saturday, October 7, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

Perhaps the only thing that can slow down the red-hot Troup Tigers is an off week.

Troup, which improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 5-AAAA a 71-16 trouncing of Sandy Creek on Sept. 29, was off last week as it prepares for the home stretch of the regular season.

Troup will be at Callaway Stadium for three of its final four regular-season games, beginning with a showdown with LaGrange on Friday.

Troup will be at Cedartown on Oct. 20 for its final road game of the regular season before finishing with home games against Central-Carroll and Cartersville.

Troup and Cartersville could end up playing for the region championship for the second straight year.

Troup sent a thunderous statement to the rest of the region, and to the state, with the one-sided win over Sandy Creek.

Sandy Creek came into the game with a 3-1 record and a state ranking, but it was overwhelmed by Troup.

Quarterback Montez Crowe, the state’s leading passer, had one of the best games in the history of the state.

Crowe completed 20-of-29 passes for 525 yards with eight touchdowns, and Kobe Hudson caught six of those passes for 239 yards with four touchdowns.

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

Crowe is having a remarkable season.

The 6-foot-5 senior has completed 102-of-152 passes for 2,205 yards with 24 touchdowns, and no one in the state has thrown for more yards or touchdowns than Crowe.

Troup is averaging 47 points per game, and it has scored 119 points in its two region games.

Perhaps scarily for opposing defenses, Crowe doesn’t feel Troup’s offense has peaked.

“The best thing about it is, I don’t even think this is our best game,” Crowe said. “We know we’re good, and as long as we communicate and execute what we’ve got to do, we’ll do our best.”

Troup’s defense has been up to the challenge as well, limiting its previous opponents to 52 points after allowing 28 points in the season opener.

As well as the Tigers have been playing, defensive lineman King Mwikuta said no one is satisfied.

“We can play better,” Mwikuta said. “That’s a good step for us to get to the top of the mountain, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

Troup has some challenging games remaining before it gets to Cartersville.

While LaGrange has struggled this season, it is a rivalry game, and Cedartown is 5-1 and ranked in the top 10.

Central-Carroll, after going winless a year ago, is 3-3 this season.

If Troup can win its next three games, it would take a 9-0 record into the Cartersville game on Nov. 3.

With those games in mind, the Tigers weren’t doing a whole lot of celebrating following the Sandy Creek game.

“We just had a good game, and we’ve got to keep working,” Bridwell said. “This doesn’t mean anything yet.”