Troup looks for first win
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’s been a grind for the Troup Tigers, who have come up on the short end of the score in their first three games.
Head coach Tanner Glisson isn’t losing sight of the big picture, though.
While disappointed to be winless, Glisson has repeatedly talked about how much he likes this team, and he believes the success will come.
“We’re in a situation now where we’re trying to get better every week,” Glisson said on his radio show this week. “We had a great practice (on Monday). I’m really excited about our kids. Those guys are resilient, they’ll play. I think as we continue to move forward in this season, you’ll see a lot of improvement week to week.”
Troup, after opening with losses to Harris County and Callaway, began its Region 2-AAAA schedule last week against Hardaway.
Trailing by 15 points late, Troup put together a stirring late-game comeback to get within two, but Hardaway held on for a 28-26 victory.
Troup scored two touchdowns and recovered two onside kicks in the final two minutes to nearly pull off what would have been a miraculous comeback.
“This team keeps playing. That’s the biggest thing,” Glisson said. “They came back to practice (Monday), and you’re never happy losing obviously. We’re all in our feelings and we’re all frustrated. We’re not trying to prove everybody wrong. We’re just trying to prove ourselves right. These guys come to work, they’re ready to play. They know there’s a bigger picture. They’re not dwelling on week one, week two, week three. We’re just living I the moment and trying to push ourselves forward before we get to playoff time.”
Troup will try to get that elusive first win on Friday when it hosts Spencer at 7:30 p.m.
The season has also been a struggle for Spencer, which is 0-4 overall, and 0-2 in Region 2-AAAA.
Spencer has been outscored 177-22 in its four games combined.
Spencer was in a tight game last week against Jordan, but it lost 18-8 to remain winless.
For Troup, one of the big improvements against Hardaway was in the special-teams department after the team struggled in that area against Callaway.
The Tigers got a kickoff return for a touchdown from Anthony Ferguson, they blocked an extra-point attempt, Isaac Andrews averaged better than 40 yards per punt with no returns, and most notably they recovered the two onside kicks.
Cody Bray and Andrews delivered the onside kicks, and AJ Tucker and Qua Moss came up with the recoveries.
Andrews, despite injuring his ankle during the pre-game, was outstanding on his punts, and Glisson believes that will be an important part of the team the rest of the season.
“He had a really good night punting the football, and we’ll have to have that going forward,” Glisson said. “We’ll have to win the field-position battle and flip the field and let our defense play a little bit.”
Other special-teams contributors included Ben Schweizer, the long-snapper, and Tyson Duncan, who was the holder on extra-point attempts.
“I was really excited at how those guys played on special teams Friday,” Glisson said.
Offensively, sophomore running back AJ Tucker had two late touchdown runs, and freshman quarterback Taeo Todd had a scoring run.
Troup also got a 90-yard kickoff return from Anthony Ferguson at the start of the game.
While Troup has had some offensive success so far, Glisson said there may be some changes moving forward to try to put some more points on the scoreboard.
“You may see a little different tempo going forward to try to create some of those explosive plays,” Glisson said.
Defensively, linebacker Zy Varner had nine tackles against Hardaway, and defensive linemen Ty Hilton and Jordan Adams had seven and six tackles, respectively.
There have been some bright spots for the Tigers in the losses, but the team is hungry for a victory.
“We’ve got to learn to win,” Glisson said. “We’ve done a lot of winning here in the last three or four years. Every team has to learn how to win. That’s the message going into Spencer is learning how to win, and figuring out those things we’ve got to do to be ahead and kind of stay ahead. We’ve been playing from behind. We were ahead for a short period of time, and then we were back behind. We’re chasing points.”
TROUP VS. SPENCER
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Callaway Stadium
RECORDS: Troup (0-3, 0-1 in Region 2-AAAA); Spencer (0-4, 0-2 in Region 2-AAAA)