Grangers’ Ross runs strong
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
He refused to go down.
The LaGrange Grangers were trailing 14-0 in last week’s game against Troup, and they needed someone to step up and make a play.
LaGrange had the ball on Troup’s side of the field when junior running back Caleb Ross took a handoff from Charles Crawford, and it looked like the play was going to go for a minimal gain.
Ross, showing off his strength and tenacity, carried a host of Troup defenders for a 25-yard run to the LaGrange 20-yard line.
On the next play, Kale Gibbs scored on a 20-yard run, giving LaGrange its only touchdown of the game.
“I saw the hole, and I just kept my feet going,” said Ross, describing his mindset on his 25-yard run.
“I just kept moving, kept my head high, and kept fighting.”
That run was part of a successful night for Ross.
Ross had 14 carries for a team-high 64 yards, and he averaged 4.6 yards per carry.
Gibbs added 33 yards on nine attempts, and that included his 20-yard scoring run that got LaGrange back into the game.
Senior running back Andre Canty had LaGrange’s most explosive play of the night, a 40-yard run.
STAYING IN THE FIGHT: It was a tough night physically for LaGrange quarterback Charles Crawford, who was sacked more than 10 times and was hit numerous other times.
Crawford continued to get off the turf and lead the team, though, and he completed 7-of-13 passes for 95 yards.
Crawford’s favorite target was senior Sam Yates, who had three catches for 36 yards, and Andraka Martin had two receptions for 18 yards.
Dylan Norvell caught one pass for 22 yards, and Cole Crawford had one catch for 19 yards.
LEADING THE WAY: Freshman Valshawn Patterson had a breakout game for LaGrange against Troup.
Patterson, a linebacker, had seven tackles to help LaGrange hold Troup’s powerful offense in check.
Senior defensive lineman Jonathan Sutton, back after missing the previous game with an injury, anchored things up front with six tackles.
Senior Qua Bowles, LaGrange’s tackler this season, added five tackles during the Troup game.
Another senior, defensive back Charles Miller, had a first-half interception.
GETTING THE BALL BACK: Twice in the second half the Grangers attempted an onside kick, and they recovered them both.
The Grangers recovered an onside kick to start the second half, but they were unable to pick up a first down and had to punt.
In the fourth quarter after the Grangers scored their only touchdown they recovered a second onside kick.
Trailing 14-6, the Grangers made it all the way to the Tigers’ 2-yard line but were unable to put the ball in the end zone.
“It’s not necessarily that we planned (the onside kicks), but we were not going to let their skill guys return it on our freshmen,” Chuck Gibbs said. “We got those lucky breaks.”
COMING UP: LaGrange (2-4 overall, 0-4 in Region 5-AAAA will visit Sandy Creek (6-1, 2-1) on Friday night, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.