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kevin Eckleberry | Times-News options: Troup County quarterback Kobe Hudson looks downfield at Columbus on Thursday night.

Tigers ease to road win

By Kevin eckleberry

Times-News

COLUMBUS – The Columbus Blue Devils struck the first blow with an early touchdown, but it was the Troup Tigers delivering the knockout punch on the way to a 68-13 victory at Kinnett Stadium.

The Tigers improved to 2-0, and they’ve scored a combined 127 points in the two games.

Senior quarterback Kobe Bryant, coming off his memorable week one performance against Ridgeland, did a lot of damage once again against Columbus.

Bryant threw five touchdown passes and had a scoring run, matching his total from last week when he accounted for six total touchdowns.

Two of Hudson’s touchdown passes went to Zy Varner, with those plays covering 57 and 17 yards, and he found Mark-Anthony Dixon for a 50-yard score.

In the second half, Hudson threw touchdown passes of 17 yards to Marquarious Kelley and 29 yards to Luke Purnell.

Trey Williams had a 34-yard touchdown run, Navontae Moss ripped off a 78-yard scoring run, and quarterback Nick

Nick Schweizer capped the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Troup’s defense delivered a smothering effort, although Columbus did hit for a pair of long scoring runs, one in the first quarter and another in the third quarter.

“I thought all in all, the execution wasn’t bad,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “We came out and did some good things. We still have to tackle better.”

Troup led 34-6 at the half, and it added four more touchdowns in the third quarter to build a 61-13 lead.

With the game well in hand, Glisson was able to get a lot of players some time on the field, and he was pleased with what he saw from the backups.

“I was impressed with our young guys,” Glisson said. “They came out in the second half and really held their own.”

Offensively, as was the case in last week’s 59-24 win over Ridgeland, Troup was unstoppable.

While Hudson is the focal point of the offense, he’s surrounded by gifted play-makers, and the offensive line has delivered back-to-back dominant efforts.

“We have a great offensive line, and we’ve got a lot of weapons,” said Williams, who ran for more than 200 yards against Ridgeland.

Thursday’s game got off to a shaky start for Troup.

The Tigers’ first possession ended with an interception, and the Blue Devils scored a touchdown to take a 6-0 lead.

The Tigers then had to punt on their second possession, but they got the ball right back when Jabralin Gooden recovered a fumble.

The Tigers promptly went 43 yards in six plays with Hudson scoring on an 8-yard run, and Isaac Andrews made the extra point to give the visiting team a 7-6 lead with 7:59 left in the opening quarter.

Following a Columbus three-and-out, Troup took over at its own 26-yard line.

Three plays later, Hudson hooked up with Varner for a 57-yard touchdown, and Troup was ahead 14-6 with 4:51 to play in the first quarter.

Columbus’ ensuing possession ended quickly, with Jeremiah Holston making a tackle for loss on third down.

The Tigers then drove 80 yards for the touchdown, with Hudson connecting with Dixon for a 50-yard touchdown, and the lead was 21-6.

Moments later, Gooden made a hit in the backfield and forced a fumble, and he landed on the ball at the Columbus 17-yard line.

Hudson then tossed a 17-yard scoring pass to Varner in the right side of the end zone, and Troup’s lead was 27-6 with 10:50 remaining in the first half.

Four minutes later, Dixon returned a punt 35 yards for the touchdown to give Troup a 34-6 lead, which was the score at the half.

It took the Tigers less than a minute into the second half to pad their lead, with Williams taking off on a 34-yard touchdown run, and the lead was 41-6.

After Columbus scored, Troup went right back to work, going 63 yards for a touchdown.

Kelley capped the drive with a diving catch in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown, and Columbus found itself in a 48-13 hole.

The Tigers tacked on six more points with 5:04 to play in the third quarter, with Hudson tossing a strike to Purnell for a 29-yard touchdown.

With 2:46 to play in the third quarter, Moss got into the act, beating the Columbus defense for a 78-yard touchdown run, and Troup led 61-13.

Schweizer, Troup’s backup quarterback, completed the scoring with a 30-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

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