[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]

JEFFERSON -- The Jefferson Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead in their district 9-2A Division I opener and looked to be in control of the game.

Enter Blake Lynch.

Troup's junior signal-caller, who holds six Division I FBS offers, ran for 138 yards and four touchdowns, while the Tigers' defensive line accounted for two pick-sixes to spoil Jefferson's homecoming 41-9 at W.F. Lockett Stadium.

The Troup rushing attack dominated a defense that came into the game only giving up 13 points per contest, rushing for 366 yards on 33 carries, just over 11 yards per attempt. Marcus Kincade, who had only one first-half carry for 49 yards, finished with 107 yards on eight carries, while D’Luis West added 65 yards on eight carries.

Troup QB Blake Lynch. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Lynch and the Tiger offense struggled on their first two possessions, which resulted in a punt, a fumble and a 9-0 deficit.

It all changed after that as Lynch took the first play of the next possession on a zone-read to the outside where he outran two defenders for a 75-yard score.

The Troup defensive line, disruptive all night in allowing only 81 rushing yards on 28 attempts, put the Tigers in front on the game's next possession.

Tristen Walsworth sniffed out a screen-pass, backpedaling to intercept Brayden Varnell and rumbling 26 yards for the score only 46 seconds after Lynch had found the end zone. Lynch’s two-point conversion gave Troup the 14-9 advantage.

Despite having the ball for just over six minutes in the first half, the Tigers were able to score again before intermission and gain control of the game.

After a fourth-down Marcus Davis sack of Varnell, the Tigers needed just two plays to score with Kincade’s 49-yard run setting up Lynch for the one-yard dive over the pile to give Troup a 21-9 halftime advantage.

Lynch added two more scores in the second half, from 17 and 11 yards, to run away with it. The Tigers controlled the second half clock through a steady dose of Kincade and West, while Marquis Davis added the defensive line’s second score of the night on a 55-yard interception return touchdown for the game's final touchdown.

The Bulldogs (3-3, 0-1) took the game's opening possession 60 yards on seven plays with Varnell finding Nick Dominquez for a 10-yard score, then added a field goal two possessions later after taking advantage of a Troup fumble. However, they struggled to finish drives on a tough Troup defense as three consecutive turnovers-on-downs to close out the first half and three punts on four second-half possessions doomed them.

Varnell finished the night 13 of 32 for 120 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Jefferson's Devin Hodge had four catches for 72 yards.

Troup will host Tatum next week while Jefferson will travel to Sabine.


District 9-2A Division I

Troup 41, Jefferson 9

W.F. Lockett Stadium, Jefferson

Troup -- 14 7 6 14 -- 41
Jefferson -- 9 0 0 0 -- 9

First Quarter
– Nick Dominguez 10 pass from Brayden Varnell (PAT Failed) -- 9:19
JEF – Ryan Gibbons 25 field goal -- 5:52
TRO – Blake Lynch 75 run (PAT Failed) -- 5:38
TRO – Tristen Walsworth 26 interception return (Lynch run) -- 4:54
Second Quarter
– Lynch 1-yard run (Daniel Rojo kick) -- 4:25
Third Quarter
– Lynch 17 run (PAT Failed) -- 7:20
Fourth Quarter
– Lynch 11 run (Max Salinas kick) -- 9:39
TRO – Marquis Davis 55 interception return (Rojo kick) -- 8:00


TRO                   JEF
Total yards                 453                 201
Rushes-Yards             33-366           28-81
Pass yards                 87                   120
Comp-Att-Int             10-16-1          13-32-2
Penalties-Yards         5-40                3-25
Fumbles-Lost             1-1                  1-0
Punts-Avg.                  1-23                4-41

Individual Stats
Rushing – Troup: Blake Lynch 11-138 (4 TD), D’Luis West 8-65, Marcus Kincade 8-107, Colton Partee 3-24, Marcus Davis 2-24, Brandon Hearon 1-4. Jefferson: Terrance Whitaker 8-6, Brayden Varnell 13-17, Ty Lafayette 3-41, Zhymell Bowie 4-17.
Passing – Troup: Blake Lynch 10-16 87 (INT). Jefferson: Brayden Varnell 13-32 120 (TD, 2 INT) .
Receiving – Troup: Brandon Hearon 4-26, Hitachi Lydia 3-18, An’fernee Ross 2-28, Antonio Kincade 1-15. Jefferson: Devin Hodge 4-72, Terrance Whitaker 3-12, Nick Dominguez 1-10 (1 TD), Ty Lafayette 4-11, Dvontae Hood 1-15.