Facing the rival LaGrange Grangers in the county championship, the Tigers lost the first three matches and were staring at a 13-0 hole.
Not to worry.
Beginning with a Jonathan Scott victory at 160 pounds, the Tigers gained control of the match, and they went on to claim a 42-28 victory.
Troup, which hadn’t won the county championship since 2007, closed with four straight pins to finish with a flourish.
Troup head coach Chris Mitchem said he was confident coming into the match because of the effort the wrestlers have been giving.
“I know how hard these guys work,” Mitchem said. “They worked their butts off. They deserve to win. It was just the point of actually doing it.”
Early on, it was LaGrange with all the momentum, and Mitchem told his men they had to get things going in the other direction.
“The beginning was shaky,” Mitchem said. “We talked to the guys and told them they had to turn it up, they had to respond, and they responded. That’s the big thing for us.”
By the time it got to the final match, the outcome had already been decided, and Troup’s Adam Love put a nice cap on things with a pin at 132 pounds.
“We haven’t won (the county title) since I’ve been here,” Love said. “It felt good.”
For LaGrange, the loss put an end to an impressive streak of four straight county titles.
“We lost some pivotal matches,” LaGrange head coach Scooter Weathers said. “We knew going in it would be close. They fought hard. They wrestled hard. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
In the first match, LaGrange’s Kyler Hall pinned Troup’s Preston Channell at 138 pounds.
Next up was the 145-pound match, and LaGrange’s Hunter Patton overcame an injured elbow to beat Jederrious Smith on points, and the Grangers were up 9-0.
“That was probably the match of the night,” Weathers said. “He kind of tweaked his elbow. I told him, I believe you can do it. And he did.”
When Hunter Richardson beat John Meacham 14-4 for a major decision at 152 pounds, the Grangers were up 13-0, and they had the momentum.
Troup needed something positive to happen, and Jonathan Scott obliged when he beat Dexter Jones on points at 160 pounds to get his team on the board.
Troup then got within four when Tanius Harris pinned Jonathan Brumfield at170 pounds.
LaGrange’s Logan Pitts won by decision over Cassidy Carden at 182 pounds, and the Grangers were up 16-9.
In the 195-pound match, Troup’s Hudson Newton pinned Lewis Hyers, and Troup was within a point.
The Tigers then took their first lead of the match when Michael Mackfield outlasted LaGrange’s Devonta Williams at 220 pounds.
Those three points put the Tigers on top 18-16.
Troup had to forfeit the next two matches because it didn’t have any wrestlers available at 285 pounds or 106 pounds.
Emanuel Mann (285 pounds) and Garrett Godby (106 pounds) won by forfeit for the Grangers, who found themselves on top 28-18 with four matches to go.
For Troup, the outcome would hinge on how well Cameron Cato, Dakota Wilson, Elijah Butts and Love performed.
“We were down, and we had to get pins to win,” Love said.
The Tigers did just that.
Cato got things rolling when he pinned Kane Shirey at 113 pounds, and the Tigers trailed 28-24.
Next up was the 120-pound match, and Wilson pinned Jorderias Brown to put Troup ahead 30-28.
Butts then ended the suspense when he pinned Evis Martinez at 126 pounds, giving the Tigers an insurmountable 36-28 lead.
With the outcome decided, Love pinned LaGrange’s Qua Tucker at 132 pounds to wrap things up.
“This is a big win for us,” Mitchem said. “It’s a stepping stone for us, because we have a lot bigger goals in mind. But this is good for us to start out with.”
Troup and LaGrange both beat Callaway earlier in the night.