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Tigers had it all working in win

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

COLUMBUS – They took care of business early and made easy work of the Columbus Blue Devils last week.

The Troup Tigers, who have found their footing and are playing winning football after dropping their first three games of the season, led 29-7 at the close of the first quarter, and they cruised to a 53-14 victory to improve to 2-3 overall, and 2-1 in Region 2-AAAA.

It was a complete effort.

Troup’s defense dominated a Columbus offense that had been putting a lot of points on the scoreboard.

Offensively, the Tigers moved the ball at will and scored six touchdowns in the first quarter, with freshman quarterback Taeo Todd enjoying another big night.

Troup also excelled on special teams, with Cody Bray making a field goal and all of his extra-point attempts.

Since the Tigers had such a comfortable lead at the half, head coach Tanner Glisson was able to get everyone some playing time in the second half, with the junior-varsity players getting an opportunity to show what they could do under the lights.

“The competition wasn’t quite as good as it was against a Callaway, and Harris County, and Hardaway, but the deal is we went in there and executed and did what we were supposed to do at a high level,” Glisson said on his weekly radio show on Monday. “I felt like even our young guys came in and they played at a high level. Our JV offense scored a touchdown, our JV defense played well. In the special-teams department as well, all those JV guys got in there and played after their game that they played on Thursday where they beat LaGrange. I was really proud of those guys. Those guys are 2-0, having beaten Harris County, beaten LaGrange. I’m excited about where we are. We’re healthy, and I think the guys are excited to get better.”

Todd, who has started all five games for Troup, threw for 135 yards with a touchdown, and he also ran for 132 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns.

Sophomore AJ Tucker continued to shine in the running game with nine carries for 91 yards, Anthony Ferguson had five carries for 47 yards with a touchdown, and Navontae Moss ran the ball seven times for 42 yards.

Senior play-maker Marquavious Kelley had three catches for 11 yards with a 57-yard touchdown, Dwartney Wortham had a 56-yard scoring reception, and Navelle Dean had three catches for 20 yards.

Backup quarterback Tyson Duncan completed 4-of-5 passes for 85 yards with a touchdown while completing a two-point conversion pass to Dean, and he continues to be a critical member of the team.

“He’s a great teammate with Taeo. He helps him a lot,” Glisson said. “Tyson, number one, he runs our scout offense all week long. He’s a hard-nosed kid, he really is, and we play him on almost every single special teams. We look for ways to get Tyson in the game. You can not say enough good things about Tyson.”

Troup’s defense got the job done as well, not only stopping Columbus, but scoring two touchdowns of its own.

Senior linebacker Zy Varner, who has been coming on strong in recent weeks, had an interception return for a touchdown to go along with three tackles.

Sophomore linebacker Jacob Bailey, who began the season as a scout-team player but has worked his way into the starting lineup, had seven tackles with a sack, and senior defensive lineman Jordan Adams had seven tackles including four for loss, and he had three sacks.

Defensive back Naz Easter had two tackles and four pass break-ups, and defensive lineman Tay Shells had four tackles with two for loss and a sack.

Troup will be back in Columbus on Thursday to play the Kendrick Cherokees, and the game will be played at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.