State rematch for Troup
Published 7:39 pm Monday, November 11, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’s a familiar opponent for the Troup Tigers.
One year after facing off in a memorable showdown in the semifinals of the Class AAAA state playoffs, the Troup Tigers and Blessed Trinity Titans are preparing to meet again, this time in a first-round matchup.
Troup, the number four seed from Region 5-AAAA, will visit Region 7-AAAA-champion Blessed Trinity on Friday night in the opening round of the state playoffs.
A year ago, Blessed Trinity and Troup combined for 86 points and nearly 1,000 points in the semifinals.
Blessed Trinity, with current Ohio State running back Steele Chambers leading the way with 244 rushing yards and three touchdowns, outlasted Troup 51-35.
A week later, Blessed Trinity beat Cartersville 23-9 to put the wraps on a 15-0 season and win its second consecutive region championship.
That Troup was in the game as long as it was a year ago was thanks in large part to the effort of senior quarterback Kobe Hudson, who delivered an inspired, memorable performance.
Hudson not only threw for 234 yards with three touchdowns, but he also ran for 204 yards with two touchdowns.
Hudson will lead the Tigers against the Titans once again this year, and he heads into the game after putting on a show against the unbeaten Cartersville Purple Hurricanes in last week’s regular-season finale.
Hudson completed 7-of-13 passes for 108 yards with two touchdowns, and he also ran for 168 yards on 19 attempts with a touchdown.
Trey Williams, who has had a phenomenal senior season, added 153 rushing yards on 28 attempts with two touchdowns against Cartersville.
Williams finished the regular season with 1,415 yards on 210 carries, and he has 14 touchdowns.
Nick Schweizer, who has stepped up to become a key member of the wide receiver corps, had five catches for 74 yards with a touchdown, and Marquavious Kelley had a scoring catch.
It was an impressive offensive showing against a Cartersville defense that, outside of a 52-42 win over Sandy Creek, hadn’t given up more than 14 points in a game.
Cartersville was led by future Louisville Cardinal Tee Webb, who completed 18-of-32 passes for 221 yards with two touchdowns, and he also had a 53-yard scoring run.
While it was ultimately a losing night for the Tigers, it was an encouraging effort against a team they’ve struggled to be competitive with in recent years.
In the previous three games, all of which were for the region championship, Troup was outscored by Cartersville 163-23.
“I’m proud of the way we came out and fought,” said Andy Boykin, a senior defensive lineman for the Tigers. “We never had a game with Cartersville that close. I’m proud of my teammates and this senior class and how we fought all year through all the adversity.”
After winning at least eight games in each of the three previous regular seasons, the Tigers finished this regular season with a 6-4 record.
The Tigers are, however, playing their best football of the season at the moment.
After beating a solid Central-Carroll team 37-14, Troup turned around and put a scare into Cartersville before losing by 10 points.
Now, after that hard-fought game against Cartersville which required such a massive expenditure of energy, Troup has to regroup and face the two-time defending state champion.
“This was a tough one,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said following the Cartersville game. “It was physical, we’re beat up. We expected to win the game, and we didn’t, but there’s a reason they’re number one. They know how to win those games.”
Blessed Trinity also knows how to win this time of year as well.
Under head coach Tim McFarlin, the Titans have made it at least as far as the state quarterfinals every year since 2013, and they’ve won it all the past two years after finishing second in 2016.
If Troup beats Blessed Trinity, it would face another state-playoff rematch in the second round.
Cairo, which lost to Troup in the state quarterfinals last season, will host Baldwin in a first-round game.
The winner of the Cairo and Baldwin game will face either Troup or Blessed Trinity in the second round.