Troup makes home debut
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a complete effort.
The Troup Tigers opened the season with a 32-0 victory over the Ridgeland Panthers, and the score told the story.
Troup’s offense, with junior quarterback Kobe Hudson leading the way, moved the ball at will and put the ball in the end zone four times.
Defensively, Troup held a potent Ridgeland team to zero points and barely 100 yards of offense.
“Right now, our defense complements our offense really well,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “We’re playing an aggressive, attacking style of defense right now. And that’s kind of what we do offensively. So it’s been pretty good to us so far.”
Troup will look to keep it going when it hosts Columbus today, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Columbus began its season with an impressive 42-6 victory over Spencer on Aug. 17, and it didn’t play last week.
Columbus quarterback Donovan Carter had a big night, completing 18-of-21 passes for 183 yards with touchdown passes to Darius Hill and Caleb Bailey.
“If you watch Columbus play, they have tremendous skill people,” Glisson said. “They just don’t have quality depth.”
Glisson expects Ridgeland and Columbus to be among the top teams in their respective regions, so it’s a challenging two-game stretch to begin the season.
Ridgeland and Columbus are also both Class AAAA schools, so win in those games could help Troup win a Region 5-AAAA tie-breaker down the road.
“We wanted to make sure we played a couple of AAAA teams in case we got into a tie-breaker in the region,” Glisson said. “With this region, you could have a three-way, a four-way tie for something.”
As for Ridgeland and Columbus, Glisson said “I would be shocked if both of them are not playoff quality teams. That’s good for us to play that caliber of competition.”
The Ridgeland game featured a pair of teams that combined for 20 wins a year ago.
Ridgeland went 11-1 last season, and it came into the season with high expectations.
Ridgeland was overmatched against Troup, though.
Hudson threw for 191 yards with a pair of touchdowns, and he also had 81 rushing yards with a score.
Troup had one of the state’s best quarterbacks a year ago in Montez Crowe, who was primarily a pocket passer. Hudson gives defenses the challenge of stopping someone who can make all the throws, but also take off at any point.
“He can make those throws, make those runs,” Glisson said. “He’s so explosive. So we’re in a good situation.”
Jamari Thrash and Trea Mitchell both had touchdown catches, and Tyree Carlisle had a scoring run.
While the offense was as good as advertised, a veteran defense was suffocating.
Linebacker Kevin Martin led the way with 11 tackles, and defensive back Alonzo Ogletree had a pair of interceptions.
“To shut people out in this day and age where so much is geared toward the offense, and the way the game is refereed, that’s hard to do,” Glisson said. “So it was good for us.”
Troup will go on the road against Harris County on Sept. 7 before a highly-anticipated county showdown with Callaway on Sept. 14.
Troup begins its six-game region schedule on Sept. 21 against Chapel Hill, and that will be homecoming.
TROUP VS. COLUMBUS
WHEN: Today, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Callaway Stadium
RECORDS: Troup (1-0); Columbus (1-0)