Troup earns spot in first semifinals since 2018 with win over Holy Innocents

Published 11:47 pm Friday, November 25, 2022

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Back like they never left.

The Troup Tigers are making a joyous return to the AAAA state semifinals for the first time since 2018 after beating Holy Innocents 38-28 on Friday night. 

“When you’re in the quarterfinals, it’s Thanksgiving weekend, and you’re on the road, getting a win is a big accomplishment,” Troup coach Tanner Glisson said. “I’m proud of how our guys battled and how we beat a really good football team.”

The game was a tale of two halves with the Tigers absolutely boat raced in the first half as the Tigers rattled off 31 unanswered points to take a 31-7 lead into halftime. 

“I think we bounced back pretty well, and our offense was really hard to stop in the first half,” Glisson said.

A 70-yard touchdown connection from Taeo Todd and Qua Moss tied the game and sparked the Tigers offense to life. A Golden Bears fumble was capitalized by the Tigers when Todd threw his second touchdown of the game to Logan Sinkfield in the corner of the end zone. Sinkfield is now up to five touchdown catches in three playoff games so far this season.

“He’s a gamer, and he likes it when it’s tough,” Glisson said. “He always shows up in big moments and did it for us again tonight on both sides of the football.”

Another Golden Bears fumble — this time on the ensuing kickoff — gave the Tigers the ball in Holy Innocents territory, and it did not take long for the Tigers to take a two-score lead as Todd finished it off with a short touchdown run. 

Todd put on an absolute show once again for the Tigers and showed his arm strength on a 75-plus yard bomb to Maliki Poythress late in the first quarter. 

Nolan Barton connected on an important field goal to make it 31-7 with 9:18 left in the second quarter. 

“He made a big field goal for us,” Glisson said. “The ball was coming off his foot really well. I thought our special teams were really good. We muffed a quick kick in the third quarter that kind of opened the door for them, but overall I thought our special teams were really good.”

The Tigers special teams also saw the return of Chris Moore who had missed a significant portion of the season with an injury but returned Friday night to handle punting duties. 

The Tigers took a 31-7 lead into the break, but the Golden Bears came out with a big response in the second half. The Golden Bears chipped into the lead with a touchdown late in the third quarter. The Golden Bears cut the Tiger lead to just 11 points, recovered an onside kick and quickly cut the Tiger lead to just three points with half of the fourth quarter still on the clock. 

“We definitely expected a response from them,” Glisson said. “We expected a shot from them in the second half, and we didn’t value the football a couple of times, but I love the resilience our guys showed to close the game out.”

The Tiger offense drove the field and milked off the majority of the rest of the fourth quarter before Todd ran it into the end zone with 1:43 left in the game to put the Tigers up two scores and essentially close out the game.

Moss hauled in a late interception to officially seal the win for the Tigers.

Troup will not return to Callaway Stadium this season as the Tigers will be on the road in Savannah to take on Benedictine next Friday in the semifinals with a chance to play in the first championship game in Troup football history with a win next week.

“I told them that they are one win away from playing for the state championship,” Glisson said.

What more needs to be said with history on the line under the Friday night lights in a week’s time.