Troup hits road for opener
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Troup Tigers will leap into a new season with a challenging road test.
Troup, coming off a 9-3 season that ended in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs, will visit Ridgeland today in its season opener.
Ridgeland opened its season with a 45-21 loss to Calhoun last week.
While Calhoun won the Class AAA state championship last season, Ridgeland went 11-1 and reached the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs.
The game was tied 14-14 at the half, but Calhoun scored 38 unanswered points in the second half to win going away.
Despite that, Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said Ridgeland will be a formidable opponent.
“People up in north Georgia know how good they are,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said of Ridgeland. “People down here haven’t heard a whole lot about them, but they’re a great football team.”
One of Ridgeland’s top play-makers is running back Jordan Blackwell, who had two touchdowns against Calhoun.
Blackwell had a 42-yard scoring run, and he caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Hill.
Hill also threw a 60-yard scoring strike to Stephon Walker.
Blackwell ran for 142 yards on 14 attempts, and Walker had five catches for 104 yards.
Hill completed 12-of-25 passes for 175 yards.
Ridgeland ran step-for-step with Calhoun in the first half before things spiraled out of control in the final two quarters.
While Troup hasn’t played a regular-season game, it did have a preseason game against Northside-Columbus on Aug. 10.
It was an impressive effort for the Tigers, who rolled to a 36-2 victory.
Kobe Hudson, who has taken over as quarterback following the graduation of Montez Crowe, threw for more than 200 yards in the first half with a pair of touchdowns.
Hudson threw two long completions to senior Jamari Thrash, who had nearly 1,500 receiving yards with two touchdowns last year.
Junior Trey Williams carried most of the rushing load, and he had a pair of touchdown runs.
Troup’s veteran defense, meanwhile, shut down Northside.
Still, Glisson gives Ridgeland the edge when it comes to experience.
“The most experience we have this year is a scrimmage game with about a quarter and a half with our starters against Northside,” Wiggins said. “And they just played the AAA state champions. So, it’s going to be interesting to see how much of a factor that is Friday. It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out.”
WHEN: Today, 7:30 p.m.
LAST YEAR: Troup went 9-3 and reached the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs; Ridgeland went 11-1 and reached the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs
COACHES: Troup – Tanner Glisson (18-15 in three seasons at Troup); Ridgelan