The Tigers coughed up the ball five times in the opening half, four of which they lost — leading to 28 points off turnovers and a 38-0 halftime score — making way for the 45-13 Trojan trouncing.
“They just made a lot of mistakes. They put the ball on the ground four or five times there in the half. And, to our offense’s credit, they moved the ball well and they put it in the end zone. I thought we ran, basically, both facets of our offense well. We ran the Wing-T very well and ball-controlled it and then we turned around and got in the gun stuff and threw it and ran it well out of that,” Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague said.
Troup tailback Daryl Dunlap fumbled on two of the Tigers’ first five plays from scrimmage, setting up a four-yard Trey Chivers touchdown run and a two-yard quarterback keeper by Will Hesterlee for the 14-0 Carrollton advantage with 4:25 remaining in the opening quarter.
Carrollton’s offense would have to work a little for its third scoring drive, marching 80 yards in 14 plays, with Hesterlee scoring on a one-yard keeper to push the score to 21-0 early in the second.
After a Troup three-and-out, Carrollton place-kicker Tyler Newsome got in on the scoring, drilling a 27-yard field goal with 3:40 left in the half.
Two more Dunlap fumbles — making it five for the half — resulted in a pair of Carrollton touchdowns passes, as Wil Garrett hooked up with Chip Murrah from 13 yards out and Hesterlee found Andrew Turner, also on a 13-yard strike, for the 38-0 halftime tally.
Troup (1-5, 1-2 Region 5-AAAA) ran just 18 offensive plays in the first half — five of which were fumbles — and only recorded one first down with 29 yards of total offense.
Duffee Dortch, Casey Collins, DeAntoine Cammons and Villery Hayes recorded fumbles recoveries for Carrollton, while Armani Phillips forced a fumble.
The No. 5 Trojans (4-2, 3-0) possessed the ball for 16:54 of the opening 24 minutes, racking up 238 yards of total offense in that time, led by Chivers, who picked up 91 yards on 14 carries for the night — all of which came in the first half.
The junior speedster said his offense took it personal that it only scored 10 points at Troup last season.
“We capitalized on their turnovers, so that was good. But we were really capitalizing on that 10-9 from last year. We came out with intensity. We were mad that we only scored 10 points on them last year. We’re better than that,” said Chivers, who also had three receptions for 43 yards.
With a running clock the entire second half, Carrollton left its offensive starters in for one possession, which resulted in a three-yard Tre Heard touchdown run.
From there, the Trojan reserves held court.
The Tigers finally got on the scoreboard on a 27-yard touchdown run by Lamonta Truitt with 9:55 remaining in the fourth quarter and tacked on a 25-yard touchdown pass from R.J. Hairston to Malcolm Tatum as time expired in the game.
The lone sour note of the night for Carrollton dealt with a scary incident on a kickoff that saw Rahmone Swint get carted off on a stretcher after a nasty collision with 4:17 left in the first quarter.
“The latest report is that he’s going to be fine. He did suffer a concussion and probably a heavy stinger. But that was a scary moment for us. It don’t matter how long you’ve been in it, if one goes out, it’s always scary,” Teague said.
Chivers — who was also teammates with Swint on Carrollton’s state champion track and field team this past May — said the Trojans made a point to rally around their fallen teammate on Friday.
“We had to be there for him and make it seem like he was here with us all night,” Chivers said.