They had something to prove, and they proved it.
Junior offensive tackle Royce White and the Troup High Tigers also had something to say after narrowly losing to No. 1ranked Cartersville in a 45-35 shootout in a Region 5-AAAA football game on Friday night at Callaway Stadium.
“We picked up the tempo. We played a lot better than they thought we would,” said White, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior. “We pushed them. The game was played in the trenches.”
The Tigers won a lot of those battles up front. Troup High’s offensive line – White included – paved the way for 294 yards and 13 first downs. The Tigers had two 100-yard rushers on the night with seniors Kobe Hudson and Trey Williams.
As a matter of fact, Hudson darted for 119 yards on 20 carries. Hudson scored on a 22-yard touchdown run in the third period. The Tigers cut the Cartersville lead to 31-28.
Troup High also got an extra surge or two out of Williams, the Tigers running back. Williams ran with authority and a purpose with 19 carries for 101 yards. He scored on a one-yard smash in the first quarter.
Williams also found paydirt with 11 seconds left in the quarter on a nine-yard scoring run. Troup High took a 14-7 lead. That got Cartersville’s attention.
“Troup has a real good football team. They went to the state semifinals last year. Troup is no fluke. They have some elite athletes. No. 44 (defensive tackle Andy Boykin) is tremendous,” said Connor Foster, the head coach of 10-0 Cartersville.
The Hurricanes had an all-night detail as they tried to get rid of the annoying Tigers. Cartersville very nearly fell behind by two touchdowns against Troup High.
The Tigers already had a touchdown lead when Kobe Hudson barely missed on a 4th-and-5 pass play from the Hurricane 25 yard line. Hudson, the Troup High quarterback, overthrew Tigers junior wide receiver Zy Varner by a hair in the end zone.
Cartersville finally tied the game up at 14-14 with a one-yard plunge from junior tailback Harrison Allen in the second period. The momentum went back and forth, from the Hurricanes to the Tigers.
Troup High re-acquired the lead with a Hudson 32yard touchdown pass to Tiger wide receiver Marquavious Kelley with just 60 seconds left in the first half. The Tigers were back in front, 21-14.
“We laid it on the line, and we had a great game plan. We’re playing some good football,” said Troup High head coach Tanner Glisson.
The Hurricanes would not let the Tigers take the lead to the locker room, however. Cartersville tied the game up, 21-21, with just 10 seconds left in the first half. The equalizer was Tee Webb’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Hurricane split end Devonte Ross.
And in the third period, Cartersville took the lead for good at 24-21, thanks to a Sam Phillips 24-yard field goal. The Hurricanes would score some more with a Tee Webb 46-yard touchdown run with 2:13 remaining in the third quarter.
Cartersville opened up a 31-21 lead. The game was not over. The Tigers, 6-4 on the season, rallied behind Hudson’s 22-yard touchdown romp. Troup High School trailed by just three points at 31-28.
The Hurricanes had some more ammunition left, too. Webb cocked and fired, connecting with Cartersville junior wideout Kyler Johnson on a 58yard touchdown pass at the 1:02 mark of the third period.
Cartersville had another double-digit lead at 38-28. Touchdowns were coming out of the woodwork.
“We stepped up, and we made some catches. We knew we’d get the job done,” said Johnson.
The Hurricanes poured it on with another score in the fourth period. Harrison Allen performed the honors with a 13-yard touchdown run. Cartersville had a 17-point lead at 45-28.
The last highlight of the night was a 16-yard touchdown pass from Troup High’s Kobe Hudson. But the Hurricanes won the game with their 45 points, their 301 yards of offense and 19 first downs.
Hurricanes senior quarterback Tee Webb closed out the game with 173 yards passing and two touchdowns. Webb hit the bullseye on 14-of-28 passes.
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Chris Fernsler Sports Writer