Undermanned Troup team bows out of the state playoffs
Published 11:20 pm Friday, November 17, 2023
An undermanned Troup Tigers team went on the road for the AAAA state playoff second round and took a tough 20-0 loss to no. 3 Spalding.
The Tigers knew they would be without starting quarterback Taeo Todd way back in the regular season, but they did not expect backup Logan Sinkfield, who started the majority of games for Troup this season at quarterback, to be a late scratch with an illness.
In stepped sophomore Garrison Edwards, who played admirably but had the deck stacked against him in his first varsity start.
It did not help that superstar wide receiver/tight end/safety and Clemson commit Noah Dixon missed the game with a concussion. It was a sad end to his Troup career as the senior will be departing for Clemson in a couple of months. Dixon missed the entire playoff run last year for the Tigers as well.
With so much turnover on offense coming into the game, it was an uphill climb from the start.
The Tigers started the game with great field position, getting the opening drive at the Spalding 42-yard line. Troup ended up missing a 36-yard field goal, and it would not be the last moment that left the Tiger faithful wondering what could have been.
On the first play after the missed field goal, Troup forced a fumble and recovered it at the Spalding 43-yard line. Once again, the Tigers squandered good field position and a chance to take the lead.
The game was a defensive slugfest as Troup’s defense kept them in the game.
The Tigers once again had outstanding field position in the second quarter after recovering a muffed punt at the Spalding 6-yard line. Troup pushed the ball down the 2-yard line, but eventually a penalty and turnover would stall the drive.
The biggest miscue of the game came on a punt by Ben Taylor that should have been downed by a Tiger special teams member, but they let the ball go and a Jaguar scooped it up and ran it down the field to take a 7-0 lead.
The Jaguars doubled their lead later in the first half on a hook and ladder play.
The Troup defense held strong in the second half but finally broke as the Jaguars went up three scores to essentially ice the game.
Troup will be losing a large senior class that helped the team to its third-ever semifinal appearance a season ago. The Tigers will move down a classification to AAA next season.
Troup finished the season 9-3.