Sandy Creek too much for Troup
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Sandy Creek Patriots, after dropping their three previous games to the Troup Tigers, flipped the script on Friday night at Callaway Stadium.
Sandy Creek built a 30-0 lead at the half, and it added two more touchdowns in the second half to claim a 44-7 victory in the Region 5-AAAA showdown.
Troup’s lone score came in the game’s closing moments when Nick Schweizer found Marquarious Kelley for the 60-yard touchdown.
It was a tough night for the Tigers, who were playing without star quarterback Kobe Hudson, who was suspended for the game by head coach Tanner Glisson.
Troup (4-2 overall) fell to 1-1 in the region, and it is off next week before playing LaGrange on Oct. 18.
“We knew coming in it was an uphill deal under the circumstances,” Glisson said. “It is what it is, and it’s on my shoulders to get this team better. We’ve got a bye week, and it comes at a great time. Hopefully we can make some corrections and we may have to start playing some guys on both sides of the ball. Hopefully the weather’s going to cool off. But hey, we’re 4-2, and it’s not the end of the world. We’re not dead yet.”
As for playing without Hudson, Glisson’s hope is that it will benefit the team long-term.
“Everybody in our program is held to a very high standard,” Glisson said. “We’ll come out of it stronger.”
Sandy Creek took control from the get-go, driving 66 yards on its opening possession for the touchdown, with Rashad Amos scoring on a 6-yard run.
Troup’s first possession ended with an interception, and on the next play, Matthew Williams threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brian Branch, pushing the lead to 14-0.
The Tigers began to find some offensive success when they got the ball back, with Schweizer finding Kelley for a 21-yard completion to put the ball near midfield.
The Tigers made it to the 20-yard line before a fourth-down play failed, but they got the ball right back after the defense forced a three-and-out.
Unfortunately for Troup, another interception, this one by Branch, gave the ball back to Sandy Creek.
Moments later, Williams and Branch hooked up for a 28-yard touchdown, and the lead was 21-0 with 4:57 left in the first half.
On Troup’s ensuing possession, a bad snap on a punt attempt resulted in a safety, giving Sandy Creek two more points.
After the free kick, Amos beat the Troup defense for a 28-yard scoring run, and Sandy Creek led 30-0.
The Patriots had the ball at the Tigers’ 12-yard line in the closing moments of the first half when Andy Boykin sacked Williams to keep it a 30-0 game.
Early in the third quarter, Branch showed why he is coveted by so many big-time college programs.
Branch, who has committed to Alabama, went up and made a remarkable one-handed catch in the end zone, and Sandy Creek led 37-0.
In the fourth quarter, Williams found Dealo Parson for a 9-yard touchdown to cap the scoring for the Patriots.
Troup avoided the shutout when Kelley got behind the Sandy Creek defense for the touchdown.
“Hats off to them,” Glisson said. “I think they’re a good football team. We had some matchup problems when you talk about three sophomores back there in the secondary against Division I receivers.
“You saw the catch the kid going to the University of Alabama made. They’ve got a good-looking team.”