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Troup County pulls away from Central in third quarter to win 49-27

By Kevin Eckleberry | LaGrange Daily News

CARROLLTON – The Troup Tigers scored three touchdowns in a five-minute span in the third quarter to turn a close game into a blowout, and they went on to beat the Central-Carroll Lions 49-27 in a Region 5-AAAA showdown on Friday night.

With the win, the Tigers improved to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the region, and they’ll visit the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes (9-0, 5-0) next Friday for the region championship.

Cartersville hasn’t lost a regular-season game since week two of the 2014 season, and it has only dropped one game in the past four years, and that came in the second round of the state playoffs in 2017.

“They have set the bar really high, and everybody’s trying to chase that bar,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said.

This will be the third consecutive year Cartersville and Troup have played in the regular-season finale for the region championship.

Cartersville won 52-13 at Callaway Stadium a year ago, and it beat Troup 68-0 on its home field in 2016.

Troup will try to turn the tables against a Cartersville team that, despite losing quarterback Trevor Lawrence to Clemson, continues to win each week.

“It’s just an honor to be in those type of football games, and to see our hard work come to fruition,” Glisson said. “That’s what the kids sign up for. They want to play in those type of games.”

While Cartersville was off last week, Troup was taking care of business against a Central-Carroll team that kept it close until things came unraveled in the third quarter.

Troup forced three consecutive turnovers in the third quarter, two fumbles and an interception by Jace Godwin, and it scored three straight touchdowns to take a 49-14 lead.

Central-Carroll scored a pair of touchdowns late in the game to make the final score more respectable.

Troup quarterback Kobe Hudson had three touchdown passes, one apiece to Jamari Thrash, Joko Willis and Ja’Rell Smith.

Tyree Carlisle had two touchdown runs, and Trey Williams also had a scoring run, and he returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Helsyn Martinez made all seven of his extra-point attempts.

Troup struck first, with Williams scoring on a 5-yard run less than two minutes into the game.

The Tigers thought they’d scored on a Jamari Thrash kickoff return for a touchdown, but the score was wiped out by a penalty.

A few plays later, Williams’ touchdown and the extra point made it a 7-0 game.

After Central-Carroll scored to tie it at 7-7, Troup reclaimed the lead on the first play of the second quarter, with Carlisle taking it in from six yards out.

Troup extended its lead to 21-7 on a touchdown pass from Hudson to Thrash of about 30 yards with 8:28 to play in the opening half.

Back came Central, which scored with three minutes left in the half to cut Troup’s lead to 21-14.

Williams picked up the ensuing kickoff around the 20-yard line, and he went the distance for the touchdown to give Troup a 28-14 lead, which was the score at the half.

The Tigers broke it open in the third quarter.

After Central fumbled on its own 5-yard line, Carlisle scored on the next play, and Troup led 35-14.

Following another Central fumble, Hudson found Willis in the end zone from about 25 yards out for the touchdown, and Troup led 42-14.

Moments later, Godwin’s interception gave the ball back to the Tigers.

A few plays later, Smith took a short pass from Hudson and turned it into a 50-yard touchdown, and Troup’s lead was 49-14 with one minute left in the third quarter.