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Troup defeats LaGrange in local battle, 35-14

By: Kevin Eckleberry, LaGrange Daily News

LaGRANGE — It was an electrifying start.

The thousands of fans at Callaway Stadium had barely settled into their seats for Friday’s showdown between Troup and LaGrange when Trey Williams caught the opening kickoff at his own 40-yard line.

Williams, a play-making junior for Troup, caught the ball, and he went to his left and saw nothing but green turf between himself and the end zone.

Williams sprinted the distance for the touchdown, giving Troup the early lead against its cross-town rival.

Troup (7-0 overall) led the rest of the way en route to a 35-14 victory to improve to 4-0 in Region 5-AAAA with three regular-season games remaining.

LaGrange (1-6 overall) hung tough after falling behind 21-0 late in the first half, but it was unable to avoid falling to 0-3 in the region.

It was the first time Troup has ever beaten LaGrange three consecutive years, and it sets up a critical home game against Cedartown next Friday with possible home-field advantage in the state playoffs on the line.

“This is the first group that’s beaten that team three times in a row, so that’s good for them,” said Tanner Glisson, who is the first Troup head coach to beat LaGrange three times. “We’re glad to have that one behind us, and we can move on, and next week’s a big one because it’s for home-field advantage. If we win next week, we’re pretty much sitting at one or two. So we’ll see what happens.”

It was LaGrange’s second consecutive game against an unbeaten team.

LaGrange lost to Cartersville 45-7 last week, and it was much more competitive against Troup.

“We’ve got very talented kids, good high-school players, that are trying to compete to go to the next level,” said Chuck Gibbs, LaGrange’s first-year head coach. “Playing Cartersville, playing Troup, they get to go against the best. The will and the determination is there. They play hard. They’ve earned my respect. They don’t quit.”

Kobe Hudson, Troup’s junior quarterback, accounted for three of his team’s touchdowns.

Hudson had scoring runs of eight and three yards, and he threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Trea Mitchell.

Troup also got an 11-yard touchdown run from Tyree Carlisle.

While the Tigers moved the ball well, they also turned the ball over four times, and that included an interception inside the Grangers’ 5-yard line.

“We’ve got to clean some stuff up if we’re going to be the team we want to be and go where we want to go,” Glisson said. “We’ve got to do a better job of coaching, a better job of handling our emotions and stuff like that. We can’t turn the ball over in the red zone.”

LaGrange had its most productive offensive effort of the season, with quarterback Charles Crawford hooking up with Jordan Ogletree for touchdowns of 19 and 38 yards.

Defensively, the Grangers got interceptions from Jakoby Smith, Vondez Taylor and Ogletree, and they also forced a fumble.

The Grangers were down five starters for various reasons, and Gibbs said there were six players going both ways.

Despite that, LaGrange was within 14 points in the fourth quarter before Troup put it away.