No. 3 Troup is set for a region opener on the road to Whitewater

Published 8:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2023

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The no. 3 ranked Troup football team (3-0) will have its biggest and toughest test of the season when they travel to Whitewater on Friday for their opening region game of the year. 

“Any region game is hard to win,” Troup coach Tanner Glisson said. “This is the most important game on our schedule right now.”

The Wildcats come into the game riding a two-game win streak after dropping their season opener. Glisson expects to see the same wing-T type of offense that proved to be a bit of a trouble to corral a season ago.

“They come out of the huddle fast and try to get the ball snapped so the defense is able to line up properly,” he said. “They try to get you misaligned and try to get the defense to try and chase the direction the ball isn’t going.”

Troup won last year’s matchup 43-33 at home and are 2-1 all time versus Whitewater. If the Tigers are to repeat as region champions it starts on Friday night.

The Wildcats, like the Tigers, will be coming into the game off a bye week. 

“It was a week to self-scout and clean up some things from the first few games,” Glisson said. “Us playing a Wing-T team is a big deal, so this bye week gets us an extra few days to prepare for it.”

Troup’s defense will have to match up in a way that they are not accustomed to. The importance of star linebacker Qua Birdsong cannot be overstated going into this week’s matchup.

“Qua is tremendously important every week and we will try and put him in position to make plays,” Glisson said. “They will try to double team and run away from him, but his eye discipline has gotten better.”

Birdsong leads the team with 16 total tackles and is tied for second on the team in tackles for a loss with 1.5. 

Surprisingly enough, it is junior Tyreon Smith that leads the team in tackles for a loss with two. It has been a breakout season on both sides of the ball for Smith. Smith is second on the team in receptions (5) and yards (110) while leading the team in receiving touchdowns with two — one each in the last two games. 

The heartbeat of Troup’s offense remains Taeo Todd, who has put up gaudy numbers while still getting a rest in the second half of the opening two games. 

Todd has thrown for 416 yards, ran for an additional 219 yards with 12 combined touchdowns through three games. 

Senior offensive lineman Isaiah Hall has also been a key figure in the Tigers success this season. 

“He is a tough kid and he could easily go in there and play on the defensive line,” Glisson said. “He is a team captain voted on by his peers and does anything we ask him to do. 

“He is physical, tough and athletic. He brings leadership and everything you want bottled up in to one player.”

The Tigers’ difficult non-region schedule to start the year against teams like Harris County (3-1) and no. 3 ranked 2A Callaway (2-1) has the Tigers ready for the hard-nosed battles that await them in the region.

“I told people Harris County was better than people thought and playing against Callaway was a big uptick in talent and that game always helps prep us for what is to come in region play,” Glisson said. 

Troup will be on the road to Whitewater on Friday with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.