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Winner of Troup-Tatum Showdown Will Be in Driver’s Seat in District 9-2A Division I

Tatum’s Javolick Garrett. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Troup Tigers (6-0, 1-0)
vs.
No. 7 Tatum Eagles (5-1, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Eagle Stadium, Tatum

Coaches
Troup: Dennis Alexander
Tatum: Andy Evans

Last week
Troup: def. Jefferson, 26-22
Tatum: def. White Oak, 28-21

Next week
Troup: vs. White Oak
Tatum: at Sabine

Playmakers
Troup

  • QB Blake Lynch (32 of 64, 539 yards, 7 TDs; 2 INTs; 38 carries, 302 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR Richard Lacy (15 catches, 190 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Hitachi Lydia (5 catches, 120 yards, 1 TD; 8 carries, 49 yards)
  • RB Seth Gipson, Sr., 5-9, 175 (35 carries, 389 yards, 7 TDs)
  • RB Marcus Kincade (38 carries, 197 yards, 3 TDs)

Tatum

  • RB Shaq Johnson, Sr., 5-5, 155 (99 carries, 600 yards, 9 TDs; 9 catches, 213 yards, 2 TDs)
  • QB Darian Brooks, Sr., 6-2, 200 (61 of 98, 897 yards, 9 TDs, 9 INTs; 74 carries, 526 yards, 5 TDs)
  • WR Carl Whitaker (12 catches, 152 yards, 1 TD)
  • ATH Martavious Henderson (22 carries, 153 yards, 3 TDs; 7 catches, 99 yards, 4 TDs)
  • LB Kiano Lucas, Sr., 6-0, 210

Just the facts

  • Troup and Tatum have meet four times since 2006. The Eagles have won the last three by a combined score of 132-38. Troup’s win came in ’06, a 41-32 victory, during Tatum’s state championship season.
  • If Troup wins Friday, it will mark the Tigers’ first 7-0 start since the ’06 season.
  • The Tigers are averaging 36 points per game, while the defense surrenders just 12.5 per game.
  • Tatum is 5-1 on the year, and its opponents have combined for a 21-18 record. The Eagles’ only loss came against 7-0 Center.
  • On the season, Tatum’s offense is averaging 33.2 points a game, while the defense allows an average of 22.2.
  • The last time Tatum failed to reach the postseason was 2001.
Troup RB Seth Gibson. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Troup running game vs. Tatum defensive front. The Tigers struggled to run the ball in their win against Jefferson last week, rushing for just 83 yards. Troup, instead, had to rely on the arm of quarterback Blake Lynch, who passed for a season-high 299 yards and three TDs to spark the big win. Now that head coach Dennis Alexander has opened up the playbook to include more big passing plays, teams will be preparing for it the rest of the year, including Tatum. With the added threat of the passing game, Troup could find more success on the ground, where the Tigers have thrived all

Tatum QB Darian Brooks. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

season long. Running could be an obstacle against the big and physical front of Tatum, which includes defensive tackle Tristan Durden and linebacker Kiano Lucas. If Troup can re-establish its running game, the Tigers could be able to dictate the game’s tempo.

Don’t be surprised if: Tatum leans heavily on dual-threat quarterback Darian Brooks. Running back Shaq Johnson has had some big games of late, and the Troup defense will no doubt be keyed in on stopping him. That could open the door for Brooks to have a big game both on the ground and through the air. Brooks in the X-factor in this game, and his versatility both in and out of the pocket make him a potential game-changer.

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