TROUP — Bullard raced to a 17-point lead in the first half — partly thanks to turnovers — and held on down the stretch to beat Troup, 38-34, on Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
The Panthers moved to 3-1 on the season with the victory and will face Huntington on the road in another non-district matchup next week. The Tigers, meanwhile, fell to 3-1 on the year and next plays at Bullard Brook Hill.
Bullard running back Tanner Schmidt enjoyed a big night on the ground with 15 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers defense, meanwhile, forced seven Troup fumbles and recovered three before stopping the Tigers on fourth- and-short to ice the game with less than a minute left.
Troup running back Seth Gibson finished with 25 carries for 155 yards and a score and Tigers quarterback Brock Grigsby carried the ball 12 times for 149 yards, plus passed for three TDs.
The Tigers outgained the Panthers by more than 100 yards on the ground, but the three fumbles led to 10 points and turned out to be the difference on the scoreboard.
Bullard went ahead 24-7 in the opening half, but the Panthers weren’t able to keep the momentum as Troup rallied for 14 points in the second quarter to send the game into halftime at 24-21.
Schmidt rushed for touchdowns of 20 and 1 yards to lead Bullard in the half, while Houston Alexander added the third score on a 1-yard run and Weston Gray made a 26-yard field goal.
Grigsby and James Jiles hooked up for touchdowns of 9 and 23 yards, which served as bookends for the opening half’s scoring. The Tigers converted two fourth downs on their final drive, pulling to within three points with 30 seconds remaining.
The see-saw battle continued in the second half until Connor Mebane hit Haden Bryant for a 20-yard touchdown and a 38-28 lead with 5:28 to go in the third quarter.
Troup closed to within four on a 25-yard pass from Grigsby to Hitachi Lydia with 4:42 to go in the fourth.
Bullard 38, Troup 34
At Tiger Stadium, Troup
Bullard 17 7 14 0 — 38
Troup 7 14 7 6 — 34
TRO — James Jiles 9 pass from Brock Grigsby (Gabriel Leon kick), 7:04
BUL – Tanner Schmidt 20 run (Weston Gray kick), 6:17
BUL – Schmidt 1 run (Gray kick), 4:49
BUL – FG Gray 26, 1:32
BUL – Houston Alexander 1 run (Gray kick), 9:51
TRO – Marcus Davis 1 run (Leon kick), 7:01
TRO – Jiles 23 pass from Grigsby (Leon kick), :30
BUL – Colton Mebane 17 run (Gray kick), 9:22
TRO – Seth Gibson 15 run (Leon kick), 7:22
BUL – Haden Bryant 20 pass from Mebane (Gray kick), 5:28
TRO – Hitachi Lydia 25 pass from Grigsby (kick failed), 4:42
First Downs 18 20
Rushes-Yards 34-257 55-376
Passing Yards 67 82
Comp.-Att.-Int. 7-11-0 7-13-0
Penalties-Yards 4-25 5-30
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 7-3
Punts-Avg. 1-61 2-40.5
RUSHING – Bullard, Tanner Schmidt 15-126, Colton Mebane 10-71, Houston Alexander 9-60. Troup, Seth Gibson 26-150, Brock Grigsby 12-149, Marcus Davis 12-58, Michael Davis 4-13, James Jiles 1-6.
PASSING – Bullard, Mebane 7-11-0—67. Troup, Brock Grigsby, 7-13-0—82.
RECEIVING – Bullard, Haden Bryant 4-36, Zack Holladay 1-13, Jess Wood 1-13, Sal Guiliano 1-5. Troup, Jiles 3-38, Hitachi Lydia 3-30, Jacob Beaty 1-14.