Unbeaten Troup thumps Harris County
Published 1:05 am Saturday, September 8, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
HAMILTON – They had it all working.
The Troup Tigers made easy work of Harris County on Friday night, surging to a 39-6 halftime lead on the way to a 53-6 road win.
Troup improved to 3-0, and it has outscored its opponents by a combined score of 132-20.
Troup scored touchdowns on six of its seven first-half possessions, and the defense mostly had its way with a Harris County team that has some play-makers.
Harris County scored a touchdown in the closing moments of the first half to avoid the shutout.
Troup will take on Callaway next Friday in a showdown between two unbeaten teams.
“There were some things that got a little sloppy, especially when you’ve got a score like this,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said after watching his team thump Harris County. “Keeping your focus when you’ve got 14, 15, 16-year-old kids for four quarters, it’s a challenge. We’ve got to get better in those areas. But all in all, not bad. There are some things we’ve got to clean up.”
A trademark of Troup’s team is the ability of so many different men to make plays on offense, and that was the case against Harris.
Kobe Hudson, Troup’s outstanding junior quarterback, threw touchdown passes to Ja’Rell Smith, Mark-Anthony Dixon, Jamari Thrash and Luke Purnell.
Troup also got rushing touchdowns from Hudson, Trey Williams and Tyree Carlisle, and Smith returned a kickoff for a score to open the second half.
“We have a lot of good skill guys,” Dixon said. “When you have that many, you’re able to sub them in and sub them out. Our offense is best when it gives the ball to everybody, not just to one person.”
After Harris County’s opening possession ended with a punt, Troup’s offense went to work, going 81 yards in 13 plays for the score.
On fourth down, Harris County was called for pass interference when one of its players grabbed Thrash’s jersey in the end zone.
On the next play, Hudson’s 11-yard keeper gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead with 4:02 to play in the opening quarter.
Harris County went three-and-out and punted the ball back to Troup, which needed six plays to extend the lead.
Smith got behind the defense, and Hudson dropped the ball into his hands for a 52-yard touchdown.
The extra-point try was unsuccessful, and Troup led 12-0 with 14 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Defensive lineman Jeremiah Holston recovered a fumble moments later, and Troup had the ball back at the Harris County 31-yard line.
It took the Tigers one play to put more points on the board.
Dixon, one of the state’s top sprinters, found himself alone in the end zone, and he gathered in the Hudson pass for the 31-yard touchdown as time expired in the quarter.
Helsyn Martinez made the extra point, and Troup led 19-0.
Troup, looking to keep the hammer down, attempted and recovered an onside kick, but Harris County got the ball right back on an interception.
Harris County was unable to take advantage of that break, though, and it was forced to punt after Holston’s pressure forced an incomplete pass on third down.
Thrash returned the punt for a touchdown, but the score was negated because of a penalty, so Troup began the possession at the Harris County 42-yard line.
After three plays that netted at least 12 yards, Troup had the ball on the 1-yard line.
Williams, who nearly scored on the previous play with a 15-yard run, plunged into the end zone from one yard out, and Troup led 25-0.
Things continued to go south for the home team when Troup’s Devon Hill recovered a fumble at the Harris County 31-yard line.
Troup, in full take-no-prisoner mode, went for the touchdown.
Hudson threw the ball toward the end zone in the direction of Thrash, who was covered.
It didn’t matter.
Thrash went up and snatched the ball away from the defender, and he stepped into the end zone for the touchdown, and Martinez’s extra point put Harris County in a 32-0 hole with 5:32 to play in the half.
A few minutes later, Troup got the ball on the 22-yard line when the Harris County punter was tackled after he was unable to get a kick away following a bad snap.
Carlisle capped that short drive with a 7-yard touchdown run, and Troup led 39-0.
Harris County showed some fight and embarked on a touchdown drive that ended with Tailique Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run with three seconds left in the half.
After the halftime break, the Tigers delivered some special-teams fireworks.
Smith collected the second-half kickoff at the 20-yard line, and he showed off his speed and raced to the end zone for the 80-yard touchdown.
“I was impressed by the speed he showed going down the sidelines,” Glisson said. “He’s so quick. I haven’t seen him run that fast in a while. He ran track this year, and I know he got a lot faster. He turned on the jets.”
Troup capped the scoring with Hudson tossing a touchdown pass of about 20 yards to Purnell.
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