Tigers hope to close strong

By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

November 7, 2013

Their playoff position is secure.

No matter what happens in tonight’s game against the Shaw Raiders, the Troup Tigers will be the number three seed from Region 5-AAAA when the state playoffs begin next week.

That doesn’t mean the Tigers will be giving anything less than their full effort when they take the field at Callaway Stadium tonight.

The Tigers still have a lot to play for.

With a win, the Tigers (5-4) would finish with a winning regular season, and they’ll head into the playoffs on a four-game winning streak.

It will also likely be the final home game for the Tigers, including the seniors who will be honored before kickoff.

“We have a chance for a winning season. We have a chance to keep that momentum going into the playoffs,” Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said. “It’s senior night. And it’s the last regular-season home game. To me, you approach it as if it’s a playoff game. We’re just trying to continue the momentum going toward the playoffs.”

At 6:45 p.m. today, the team’s seniors will be recognized, and Kendall said it’s been an outstanding group.

“One of the things you look at is they have really committed themselves,” Kendall said. “Most of them have been with us since they were freshmen. Some of them have not been, but most of them have. They’ve accomplished a lot of things.”

The Tigers, after dropping back-to-back games to region front-runners Sandy Creek and Carrollton, have ripped off three straight victories, including last week’s big 27-8 win over LaGrange.

That win over LaGrange secured the number three spot for Troup.

Troup got it done with a dominant defensive effort, as well as a powerful running game, with Daryl Dunlap and Dre Towns combining for three touchdowns.

Shaw, meanwhile, has been eliminated from the playoff race for awhile.

The Raiders (4-5) have won consecutive games against Columbus and Fayette County, though, and they’ve got a chance to finish the season at .500 with a win tonight.

As for Troup, once tonight’s game is over with, it’ll be time to start getting ready for the playoffs.

The Tigers will take on the second-place team from Region 7-AAAA, and that team will be determined tonight.

“We’ll be listening on the radio, and watching the Internet to see who we’ll play,” Kendall said.