Big-time challenge for Troup
Published 9:50 pm Wednesday, October 2, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
There wasn’t any suspense through the first two weeks of the season.
Facing Ridgeland and Columbus, who were drastically overmatched, the Troup Tigers won their first two games by a combined score of 127-37.
Since then, things have been quite a bit different for the Tigers.
After a hard-fought 27-21 win over Harris County, Troup lost to Callaway 56-45 after trailing 40-10 at the half.
Then last week, Troup was in another close game, and it outlasted Chapel Hill 21-14 in its Region 5-AAAA opener.
After three straight games that went down to the wire, Troup faces another tough test this week.
Sandy Creek (4-0), which unlike Troup hasn’t been tested, is playing its first region game after taking last week off.
“The good thing for us is, the Harris County win, the Chapel Hill win, we had to grind those wins out,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “Those are games we easily could have lost.
“But,” Glisson added, “our guys know how to win. Even Callaway, we made a heck of a run to get right there. So we’re battle-tested. We’ll come out and play well, and we’ll see.”
In last week’s game while the Tigers didn’t put up the video game-like numbers they did earlier in the season, they found the end zone three times against a stout defense.
Troup’s first touchdown came with quarterback Nick Schweizer in the game in relief of Kobe Hudson.
Schweizer did a terrific job leading the offense on that drive, and he scored on a 7-yard run.
That touchdown came at a critical juncture in the game, with Chapel Hill leading 7-0 midway through the second quarter.
“We were shut out up until that point,” Glisson said. “We were down 7-0. (Schweizer) takes us 70 yards down the field and hits a lot of great reads in the run game and throwing. And then he scores that touchdown and gave us a really good boost. Without that, I don’t know what happens, because they were really good, and they were real physical. We couldn’t just maul them up front. Chapel Hill, in the box, was real good.”
Early in the second quarter, Troup showed off its big-play ability, with Hudson throwing a 68-yard touchdown pass to Mark-Anthony Dixon.
Running back Trey Williams, who is having a huge senior season, added a 30-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, and he also had the two-point conversion run to give Troup a 21-7 lead.
Williams finished the game with 78 tough yards on 15 carries, and he has 723 yards and eight touchdowns for the season.
Chapel Hill returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and had the ball in the closing moments, but Troup’s defense came through with a fourth-down stop to end it.
Troup has a chance to improve to 2-0 in the region this week, but it won’t be easy.
Sandy Creek is a veteran team, and it has future college-football players all over the field.
“Their offensive line is all seniors, and they’ve got a wide receiver going to Alabama, and a wide receiver going to Stanford,” Glisson said. “They’re very well-coached. Their defense is really good. There aren’t a lot of weaknesses. So we’ll have to play extremely well.”
After the Sandy Creek game, Troup will take a week off before playing LaGrange on Oct. 18.
“We are beat up,” Glisson said. “You go all the way back to the Harris County game that took so much out of us emotionally. Callaway was so physical, and we made that run to get back in it.
“Last week was the most physical game we’ve been in. And we’re about to go into another one, so we need (the off week) bad.”
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Callaway Stadium
RECORDS: Troup (4-1, 1-0 in Region 5-AAAA); Sandy Creek (4-0, 0-0 in Region 5-AA)
LAST YEAR: Troup beat Sandy Creek 35-21