Special season ends for Tigers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
ROSWELL — Troup’s memorable season has come to an end.
Troup’s road ended with a 51-35 loss to Blessed Trinity on Friday night in the semifinals of the Class AAAA state playoffs.
It was a heck of a ride for the Tigers (12-2), who set a school record for wins in a season while making it to the semifinals for the second time in school history.
It was the final game for a group of seniors who helped lead the program to great heights after the team struggled through a 1-9 season in 2015.
“You think about that senior class, and they went from being 1-9 to playing in the semifinals,” said Tanner Glisson, Troup’s head coach since 2015. “That’s unheard of. The turnaround that they’ve provided this community, and this school is really impressive. Because of them, we’re built for future success, and we’ll be back.”
Blessed Trinity only had a touchdown advantage over Troup early in the second quarter before breaking out and scoring three more times before halftime to increase its lead to 34-12 at the break.
Troup got within 10 in the second half before Blessed Trinity pulled away, with senior running back Steele Chambers leading the way.
“We just got out of our run fits,” Glisson said. “That’s a good running back. He’s going to Ohio State. He’s a good player, and we had trouble tackling him. Then, when we tried to bring an extra man down in the box, they hit some play action. They’re a very-well coached team. There’s a reason why they won the state championship last year, and have now won 14 in a row this year. Hats off to them, they did a great job.”
The Tigers would not let the season come to an end without a fight, however.
After scoring on a touchdown pass from Kobe Hudson to Jamari Thrash with seven seconds remaining in the first half, King Mwikuta blocked a Blessed Trinity punt, and the Tigers began their second drive of the third quarter on the Titans’ 25-yard line.
On the next offensive play, Hudson scored on a 26-yard run, and Blessed Trinity’s lead was 34-20 after a successful two-point attempt.
After Blessed Trinity kicked a field goal to go up by 17, Troup answered with another touchdown, with Hudson scoring on a 10-yard run.
As the final quarter began it was a competitive ballgame, with Blessed Trinity clinging to a 37-27 lead.
“They fought hard,” Glisson said. “They came out, and they gave everything.”
Blessed Trinity scored another touchdown to open up the fourth quarter to push its lead to 44-27.
After Troup’s next possession ended with an unsuccessful fourth-down play, Blessed Trinity scored again to go up 51-27 with 8:34 remaining.
Troup kept fighting, with Hudson throwing a touchdown pass to Joko Willis with 5:34 remaining, and the two-point conversion capped the scoring.
In the first half, Troup was down 14-0 early before Hudson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Thrash to make it a 14-6 game.
Blessed Trinity scored the next 20 points to take a 34-6 lead before Troup scored right before the half to take some momentum into the locker room.