After Troup started the football season a bit slow the Tigers have found their roar (or their growl).
The Tigers started 1-4 but now have won six straight games, including a 43-22 victory over Leonard on Friday in a Region III Class 3A Division II bi-district playoff game at City Bank Stadium in Forney.
Now, Troup (7-4) will take on the No. 3 Newton Eagles (10-1) in a Class 3A area playoff game in Jacksonville on Friday. Kickoff at the historic Tomato Bowl is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Newton defeated New Diana 52-42 in bi-district.
The winner of Troup vs. Newton will play the winner between Daingerfield (9-2) and Blue Ridge (7-4), who meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Sulphur Springs, in regional semifinals next week.
The Troup coaching staff noted some Players of the Game for the win over Leonard:
Special Teams — Daniel Leon (averaged 35 yards per punt);
Defense — Senior Max Hale (20 tackles, 1 caused fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 tackle for loss) and sophomore Jovany Zavala (12 tackles, 1 interception, 4 TFL, 1 pass breakup);
Offense — Senior Desmon Deason (4 rushes, 37 yards, 2 TDs, 1 reception for 43 and TD) and senior Calob Smith (18 rushes for 70 yards, TD).
Quarterback Jordan Elliott did damage through the air and with his legs, rushing for 46 yards on 10 attempts while connecting on 5 of 13 passing attempts for 137 yards and three TD passes (Brayden Vess, Deason, Jaden Lewis).
On the season Elliott has hit on 103 of 188 passing attempts for 1,814 yards with 24 TD passes and nine interceptions. He also is the leading rusher for the Tigers (146-1,056 yards, 10 TDs).
Other top rushers for the Tigers are Smith (82-335, 5 TDs), Deason (21-225, 4 TDs) and Leon (60-226, 3 TDs).
In receiving, Deason has caught 43 passes for 680 yards and seven touchdowns. Other top catchers are Lewis (33-584, 10 TDs) and Vess (17-380, 4 TDs).
Hale has been a tackling machine all season. He has 140 tackles, followed by Kaden Mahoney (102), Charles Boyd (78), Zavala (67), Anthony Salgado (65), JJ Gossett (61), Nate Picket Pin (60) and Parker Calitharp (52).
Hale and Vess have each recovered two fumbles with Vess leading in interceptions with three. Elliott and Deason have two pickoffs apiece. Calitharp leads with six sacks, followed by Gossett (5) and Mahoney (4).
Area coaches, the deadline for nominations for the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors all-state high school football teams is Tuesday, Nov. 26.
Please email the nominations to email@example.com. We will have all-state teams for all five 11-man classifications.
The AP team is regular season statistics only.
Some examples (be sure to note classifications and positions):
Here are some of the guidelines the AP will use:
— Running backs must have at least 1,000 yards rushing.
— Quarterbacks must have either 1,000 yards rushing or 1,000 yards passing.
— Receivers must have either 700 yards receiving or 10 touchdowns.
— There will be no more than two players from the same school at any position (seniority will eliminate extra players in cases where stats can’t do it).
Please send to Phil Hicks or Brandon Ogden (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Nominations for Texas Sports Writers Association All-State Volleyball and All-East Texas are due by Monday, Dec. 2.
To nominate players, please send information to Phil Hicks or Brandon Ogden (email@example.com).
Nominations must include: Player(s), School, Classification of school, Position: (Outside hitter, middle blocker, setter, libero) and final season stats.