The Troup Tigers fought their way through maybe the toughest district in Class 2A to tie Tatum and White Oak for first place.
The tri-champions will need to play like giant killers on Thursday night at Abe Martin Stadium, when Glenn Roberts, the outstanding Mr.-Do-It-All from East Chambers will put the Tigers to the test in a Class 2A, Region II, Division I, bi-district showdown.
Both teams are familiar to the football playoff scene
Troup (9-1) beat Tatum yet shared the 9-2A title with the Eagles after losing to White Oak late in the season.
East Chambers (8-2) has two loses, a close non-district 14-13 defeat to Hardin-Jefferson before being humiliated by league champion Newton, 74-7, which netted the Buccaneers second place in the conference.
East Chambers, who returns 16 players off of a team that went three rounds deep in the playoffs a year ago, will come into the game with only one blowout outside of league play with that being a 63-6 win over Warren.
However, East Chambers finished last week on a district 10-2A, DI high note with a 54-0 thrashing of Harden that could keep the Bucs momentum rolling.
Running will be the key with the return of last year’s team leader, Roberts (5’8; 175), and two all-state linemen, Hunter Rising and Barrett Franzen in front to clear the way.
Five starters return on both sides of the ball for EC.
Roberts ran for 2,027 yard and 58 TDs, adding 252 yards receiving and another five touchdowns.
Coby Collins will take some pressure off Roberts in the backfield.
Big things are expected from quarterback Brandon Johnson as a first-year junior, starter for a team that went to the regional finals last year.
Kicker Mario Guerrera is a game-changer handling the kicking duties for the Bucs.
Multiple sets on both sides of the ball are a Buccaneer common, but the offense averages scoring 33.7 points in ten games while allowing 18.8.
Have the Buccaneers faced the skill position talent in District 10 that Troup will pitch at 'em?
That could be the determining factor in this game..
Sophomore quarterback, Blake Lynch continues to grow
The running game was a battle of tandems all season with Troup’s stable of Seth Gibson, Marcus Davis, Marcus Kincade and Ladarius Morgan rolling up big chunks of yardage collectively all season long.
Troup is coached by Dennis Alexander, who has amassed 333 career wins over the past 40 years and ranks fourth on the all-time wins list for high school football coaches in Texas.
The winner of the contest will advance to play Franklin, who drew a first-round bye.