Troup rolls to first win
By KEVIN ECKLEBERR
The Troup Tigers were all smiles.
After opening the season with three consecutive losses, the Tigers finally got to celebrate a victory, and they did it in dominant fashion.
Facing Region 2-AAAA opponent Spencer at Callaway Stadium on Friday night, Troup (1-3 overall) eased to a 42-0 victory to even its region record at 1-1.
Troup head coach Tanner Glisson was happy to see a group of players he’s so fond of get to enjoy a win after a tough start to the season.
“I enjoyed watching them play,” Glisson said. “These guys are fun to be around, they’re fun to coach. I’m very proud of them.”
The goal now is to put together a winning streak for the first time this season, and Troup can make that happen with a road win over Columbus on Thursday.
“We’ve got a quick turnaround to next Thursday night,” Glisson said. “So let’s go.”
Outside of some turnover issues in the first half, Troup had everything working against Spencer.
Freshman quarterback Taeo Todd had a huge night with three touchdown runs, one of which covered 67 yards in the second half.
Anthony Ferguson had two touchdown runs of his own, and Navontae Moss and AJ Tucker each had one scoring run.
“It felt very nice to execute,” Todd said. “Hopefully the momentum can lead to the next game.”
Troup’s defense, meanwhile, didn’t give up much of anything, with Spencer unable to get anywhere near the end zone.
“That was the goal tonight, to dominate,” said senior linebacker Zy Varner.
It didn’t take the Tigers long to find the end zone.
After Spencer went three-and-out, Troup drove 59 yards for a touchdown, with Ferguson capping the five-play drive with a 13-yard scoring run, and Cody Bray made the first of his five extra points to give the home team a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers next two possessions ended with lost fumbles, but the defense made sure those mistakes didn’t turn into points.
The Tigers began their fourth possession at their 18-yard line, and they needed less than two minutes to drive 82 yards for another score.
Todd got things started with a 31-yard run, and Tucker capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, and it was a 14-0 game with 8:45 left in the first half.
Two possessions later following a short Spencer punt, Troup only had to go 34 yards for the touchdown, and Moss took care of everything.
Moss carried the ball five times to cover all 34 yards to the end zone, and he scored on a 2-yard run, and Troup led 21-0, which was the score at the half.
The Tigers moved the ball at will in the first half, but they hurt themselves with four turnovers, with three fumbles and an interception.
“A lot of those guys, they’re fighting for extra yards,” Glisson said. “We’ve got to understand the situation of the game and know that the ball is more important than two more yards on first down. Now, it may come down to a situation where it’s fourth down and you’ve got to fight for more yards. It’s situational awareness.”
The Tigers cleaned it up in the turnover department in the second half, and they put three more touchdowns on the scoreboard.
On their opening possession of the second half, the Tigers appeared to be stopped for the first time, but Jordan Adams picked up five yards on a fake-punt attempt for a first down to the Greenwave 42-yard line.
Five plays later, Todd scored on an 8-yard keeper, and Troup led 28-0 with 7:18 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers thought they’d scored a minutes later when Sirr Morgan returned a punt 65 yards, but a penalty negated the touchdown.
The Tigers scored anyway.
Backed up to their own 16-yard line, Troup only needed six plays to find the end zone.
Moss had a 22-yard run on third down to keep the drive alive, and three plays later, Todd beat the Spencer defense for a 67-yard touchdown run, and Troup led 35-0 with 2:38 left in the third quarter.
Troup’s final touchdown was set up by a big play in the passing game, with Todd hooking up with Marquavious Kelley for a 69-yard completion to the Spencer 11-yard line.
Ferguson did the rest with a 6-yard run followed by a 5-yard scoring run, and Cole Partain converted the extra-point to cap the scoring, and Troup led 42-0 with 11:56 left in the game.
Troup put together another nice drive toward the end of the game, and Moss appeared to score on a 16-yard run, but a penalty kept the senior from scoring his second touchdown of the game. That final drive for Troup ended with a missed field goal, and time ran out moments later.