Troup bounces back with blowout win

Published 12:32 pm Saturday, October 28, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – They’re playoff-bound.

On homecoming night at Callaway Stadium, the Troup Tigers rolled to a 35-14 victory over Central-Carroll to secure one of Region 5-AAAA’s four playoff spots.

Troup (8-1 overall) improved to 4-1 in the region, and it will finish the regular season with a showdown against unbeaten Cartersville on Friday at Callaway Stadium.

The Tigers could capture the region title with a win, and even with a loss, they’d still have a chance to finish second and earn a home playoff game.

Troup was coming off a tough 21-18 road loss to Cedartown, but if there were any lingering effects from that game, it didn’t show.

Troup’s offense was in high gear, with quarterback Montez Crowe throwing four touchdown passes while surpassing 5,000 yards for his career.

Jamari Thrash had a pair of touchdown catches, while Kobe Hudson and Ja’Rell Smith had one apiece.

Tyree Carlisle had a touchdown run for Troup.

Central scored its touchdowns on a Landon Schulenburg pass to Omari Glenn, and a fumble return by Tyree Blocker.

Troup was a week removed from its first loss of the season against Cedartown, so the players were ready to get back on the field and make it a winning homecoming night.

“Coming off a loss, everybody was hungry,” said Crowe, who was crowned homecoming king at halftime. “This was something we really needed.

“We needed to come back and get a win. It was a good win. Central’s a good team.”

Troup dominated the game, and head coach Tanner Glisson started substituting liberally early in the fourth quarter with his team ahead 35-7.

“That wasn’t about the scoreboard,” Glisson said. “That was about us bouncing back, and being fundamentally sound.”

Glisson was particularly pleased with how the defense performed.

“We stopped the run better tonight than we had all year long,” Glisson said. “We got in our run fits, we got people on the ground. We moved some guys around. We moved Joko (Willis) down to defensive end. For the most part, I thought we did a good job. The only plays they made, they had a couple of deep balls where we got turned around.”

Central’s first possession ended with a punt, and Troup drove 67 yards for the touchdown to grab the early lead.

On the seventh play of the drive, Crowe found Thrash for a 15-yard touchdown pass, and Carson Wreyford made the extra point to give Troup a 7-0 lead.

After the Tigers forced another punt, they went 52 yards for the score, with Crowe finding Thrash for a 12-yard touchdown, and Wreyford’s extra point made it a 14-0 game.

The Lions fought back, with Schulenburg tossing a 17-yard scoring pass to McClendon to cap an 80-yard drive.

Back came the Tigers, who went 55 yards for a touchdown of their own, with Smith catching a 6-yard scoring pass from Crowe with 7:24 left in the first half.

The big play on that drive came when Kenly Bridwell raced 18 yards for a first down on a fake-punt attempt to put the ball on the Central 31-yard line.

Wreyford’s third extra point put Troup on top 21-7, which was the score at the half.

The Tigers kept it going on their first possession of the second half when they drove 80 yards in less than two minutes for the touchdown.

Carlisle completed the drive with a 13-yard run, and Claude Foster made the extra point to put Troup on top 28-7.

Troup began its final scoring drive from its own 18-yard line late in the third quarter.

Hudson made a leaping 30-yard catch to put the ball on the 18-yard line, and his number was called again one play later.

Crowe threw a jump ball into the end zone, and Hudson came down with the ball for the 18-yard touchdown, and Foster converted the extra point to give Troup a 35-7 lead with seven seconds left in the third quarter.

The final touchdown of the game came when Blocker picked up a ball around the Troup 30-yard line and went the distance for the touchdown.