Tigers capture critical region win
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
With their season on the line, the Troup Tigers delivered a knockout performance on a chilly Friday evening at Callaway Stadium.
Facing a Central-Carroll team that also needed a win to stay in the playoff race, Troup dominated the action in every area on the way to a 37-14 victory.
The Tigers (5-3 overall) improved to 3-2 in Region 5-AAAA and took a huge step toward securing one of the region’s four playoff spots.
Troup, which is tied with Cedartown for third place in the region, completes the regular season with a home game against Cartersville next Friday.
“To put it all together feels really, really good,” said Troup head coach Tanner Glisson. “That was a good win. That was a good, solid football team that we went and beat, and they had to win, too. They were still alive. So it was good, and all three phases did it. All the way around, this was a good win.”
Offensively, senior running back Trey Williams had a big night for Troup with a pair of 50-yard touchdown runs, and he surpassed 1,000 yards for the season.
Quarterback Kobe Hudson added a 48-yard scoring run of his own, and he threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Nick Schweizer.
Troup’s defense also put some points on the board.
Xavier Clarke had an interception return for a touchdown, and Troup had a safety in the third quarter for two more points.
Troup got the job done on special teams as well.
Cody Bray made all five of his extra-point attempts and did a nice job punting, and Marquavious Kelley completed a pass to Devon Hill for a first down on a fake punt that helped Troup take some valuable time off the clock in the second half.
“We had a great week of practice,” Williams said. “We practiced hard every day. We were ready.”
It was a scoreless game late in the first quarter when Williams beat the Central-Carroll defense for a 50-yard touchdown run, and Bray made the first of his five extra points to give Troup a 7-0 lead.
Moments later, Troup scored again, this time with the defense doing the damage.
Central quarterback Kashif Taylor was under duress when he let the ball go, and it went right into the hands of Clarke, who made the catch and raced 10 yards into the end zone for the touchdown, and Troup led 14-0 with 42 seconds left in the first quarter.
After a Central three-and-out, Troup’s offense went back to work.
Hudson got the ball to midfield with a 30-yard run, and Williams did the rest, sprinting 50 yards to the end zone for his second touchdown of the game, and Troup was on top 21-0 with 10:20 remaining in the first half.
Central’s ensuing possession ended quickly, and Troup promptly went 68 yards for its fourth touchdown in less than six minutes.
Hudson took the snap and went through the heart of the Central defense for a 48-yard touchdown, and the lead was 28-0 with 6:43 to play in the opening half.
Central-Carroll got a big play of its own when Shane Bruce picked off a Hudson pass and made it to the end zone for the pick six, cutting Troup’s lead to 28-7, which was the score at the half.
Midway through the third quarter, Taylor was under pressure when he was called for intentional grounding, and since he was in the end zone it was a safety, and Troup led 30-7.
Early in the fourth quarter, Taylor got loose for a 54-yard touchdown run, and Troup’s lead was down to 30-14 with 10:15 to play.
That’s the way it remained until, with 4:12 remaining, Hudson threw a pass to the corner of the end zone, and Schweizer made a terrific, stretching catch on the sideline while keeping two feet inbounds.
Bray’s extra-point attempt was true to cap the scoring.
“This is who we thought we were. We went out tonight and executed,” Glisson said. “This is what we’ve done at practice for the last two, three four weeks. We did it on a bigger stage, in front of people. This is how we’ve been practicing.”
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