It was intense. It was fast and rowdy.
It was down to the wire. Most of all, it was an “in your face” kind of game.
Welcome to the Callaway-Troup boys soccer rivalry. The Cavaliers and Tigers play for keeps. They play for the honor, and they play for the “W.”
After 80 minutes of scowling and snarling, the Troup High Tigers walked off the field with a sweaty 2-1 win over Callaway on Thursday night in Hogansville.
All of the pain was worth it for coach Micah Alba and the Tigers, who barely escaped with a one-goal triumph over the Cavaliers.
“We controlled the ball, and we passed. We had a lot of opportunities, and we were able to connect. We used the width of the field a lot,” said Alba, the head coach of the 12-4-1 Troup High boys soccer team.
The Tigers took this game by the nostrils with a 2-0 first half lead. Troup High won the ball time after time. The Tigers got the lead and kept the lead. Callaway High was on the defensive for most of the first half.
“Troup was playing a possession-oriented attack,” said Callaway High junior midfielder Ian Bryan.
The Cavaliers had very few scoring chances in the first half. The Tigers made the most out of their scoring options, however. Troup High carved out some breathing room with first half goals from sophomore forward Helsyn Martinez and senior Alan Vasquez.
Martinez scored from 15 yards with 8:55 remaining, and Vasquez added a fiveyard score with 1:27 left in the first half.
The next goal would not come until late in the second half when Bryan netted an 18-yard score for Callaway to make it a 2-1 game. The Cavaliers made the Tigers extremely uncomfortable because Callaway High made several other runs in the final minutes of the game.
“We were sticking in it. We never quit. We weren’t ready to throw in the towel,” said Bryan.
As for his goal and his offensive persona, Cavaliers head coach Mike Petite said this – “Ian is big, strong, fast and aggressive.”
Bryan has scored 12 goals this season. But Bryan’s second half score against Troup would be the only Cavalier goal in the game.
The Cavaliers, who slipped to 10-7, will play the Haralson County boys this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in Hogansville.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer