Battle of the Tigers: Troup and Harris County set for a Friday night showdown at Callaway Stadium

Published 9:05 am Friday, August 18, 2023

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The Troup football program has played Harris County more than  any other team in program history and Friday will add another chapter to the iconic rivalry at Callaway Stadium. The battle of the Tigers has been dominated by Troup historically, leading the rivalry 30-6-1. Troup has won two in a row and four of the last five games between the two.

“We are kind of unique because we have three rivalry games,” Troup coach Tanner Glisson said. “We haven’t played any team more than them to start off our season with a rival like that really gets everybody ready to go.”

Troup traveled to Harris County last year and returned with a 33-0 victory. Glisson expects an improved Harris County team on Friday night.

“Tommy Watson is a really good coach and this is not his first rodeo and he got there really late last year and I think that played into them not having the season they wanted to last year,” Glisson said. “We have scouted all our opponents this summer and from what we can tell this is the most improved team that we will play this season.”

Harris County was just 2-9 last season, its lowest win total since 2015. Harris County slipped into the 5A playoffs last season by virtue of finishing fourth in a region of just five teams.

The Tigers are a senior-laden group this season with a trio of stars — Qua Birdsong, Noah Dixon, and Taeo Todd — set to suit up for the Tigers one final season. Todd, the team’s starting quarterback, was one of the finalists for 4A player of the year a season ago and will be Georgia Southern bound next season. Defensive standouts Birdsong and Dixon will be departing for the University of Central Florida and Clemson, respectively. 

“They are excited, but they are trying to enjoy the moment and really soak it in,” Glisson said. “These guys are really enjoying every step of it and I think that is wise and mature and their parts.”

The team is coming off a scrimmage last Friday in which they traveled to Hebron Christian and earned a 28-21 victory. Glisson came away impressed with some of the team’s new starters and role players.

Ashton Williams had a rushing touchdown while Trenton Hodo was named offensive player of the game for his two rushing touchdowns in the second half. 

““I thought sophomore Wade England came in at center and looked really sharp,” Glisson said. “Ashton came in at running back and played really well.”

Tyler Leslie was the defensive standout in the game and earned defensive player of the game honors. 

“He played some middle linebacker and some defensive end and ended the game with six solo tackles while being in on a few others,” Glisson said. “He really helps orchestrate things for us on defense.”

Expect a packed out stadium on Friday. There was not an empty seat in the house last season in Harris County and with Callaway Stadium featuring a larger capacity, expect a loud atmosphere on Friday.

“We are the only show in town on Friday night and we know we will have a good crowd, we always do,” Glisson said. “It’s going to be a big game atmosphere at Callaway Stadium.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.