There was a post-game celebration at Callaway Stadium, and the Troup High Tigers were the ones doing the fist-pumping.
Say it isn’t so. But it was on Friday night. The downtrodden Troup High football program is downtrodden no more. The Tigers made amends. They scored five touchdowns.
They did some dancing and some helmet waving after devouring the Kendrick Cherokees, 38-12 on Friday night. Troup High football is meaningful again. The Tigers aren’t quite a household name yet, but Troup is working on it.
Yes, they do play tackle football at Troup. The Tigers are a dangerous team, and they are starting to become a winning one if the verdict against Columbus Kendrick is any indication.
And it is.
“We have always believed. This (win) reinforces what we have been saying. Our special teams is good, and our defense is okay. We put enough big plays on the board (against the Cherokees), and this is going to give us some momentum,” said Troup head football coach Tanner Glisson.
The head Tiger got a victory ride from his players after the game. That was totally deserved after Troup dictated play from the first quarter to the fourth period. The Tigers are not a Friday night pushover any longer.
Troup led from the 4:03 mark of the first quarter when junior place kicker Carson Wreyford nailed a 25-yard field goal for a 30 Tiger lead. That was followed by a fumble recovery from Troup sophomore defensive end King Mwikutaat the 31 yard line of Kendrick.
The second quarter was all Tigers, too. Troup senior tailback Camren Russell scored twice on runs of seven and eight yards. The Tiger lead grew to 24-0 with 12 seconds left in the first half as Troup High junior quarterback Montez Crowe threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to freshman speedster Kobe Hudson.
Wreyford’s PAT was good, too. Almost everything was going right for the Tigers, who hoisted their record to 1-1 on this night at the stadium. There was more than 2,000 fans in the yard. There were a few coaches, too, some happy and some sad.
Columbus Kendrick had some unhappy mentors with head coach Cedric Ware among them. Ware’s Cherokees boarded the bus with an 0-2 record after losing to the Tigers.
Kendrick did have eight first downs and 303 yards of offense in the game. The Cherokees also completed just one of 11 passes for two yards. Troup found a way to win, and Kendrick found a way to lose.
“Our effort was good, but our execution was not there. Football is all about tackling and blocking. The most disciplined team wins, and that was Troup,” said Ware, the former college football star at Fort Valley State (2003-2006).
Troup can play this game, too. The Tigers won despite giving up 181 yards on 22 carries to Kendrick junior running back Kayleem Bonds. He went coast-to-coast on a 76-yard touchdown run in the third period.
The Cherokees also scored on a 48-yard quarterback keeper in the third quarter. Kendrick tried to make a game of it as the Cherokees cut the Tiger lead to 31-12 with 8:13 left in the third stanza.
But Troup kept coming back for more. Crowe threw two more touchdown passes in the second half. Crowe put the ball in the hands of Hudson for a 45-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Crowe also delivered the ball to Tiger senior Ken Truitt on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 3:31 remaining in the fourth period.
Troup High Athletic Director Robert Schweizer was enjoying every tantalizing Tiger play.
“We’re getting stronger. We’re working hard, and the kids are playing hard. Our future is bright,”said Schweizer.
Crowe finished the job and the game for the Tigers, completing 6 of 14 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns. Troup also got 49 yards on 11 carries from Camren Russell.
The Tigers got some hard knocks from their defense as well, courtesy of sophomore lineman Kaliff Thornton, senior linebacker Jarred Lane, and senior defensive backs Ken Truitt and Jack Schweizer. The latter is the son of the Troup athletic director.
The Troup Tigers will be back at Callaway Stadium for a game with the Bowdon Red Devils (1-0) this Friday night, Sept. 2. Bowdon defeated Bremen, 2014 last Friday.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer