Cedartown football is prepped and ready to go for this weekend’s big region matchup.
The Region 5-4A Game of the Week will be played this Friday at Doc Ayers Field, as the Cedartown Bulldogs (3-4, 2-1) will host the Troup County Tigers (5-2, 2-1).
The winner of this Friday’s clash at Cedartown Memorial Stadium will clinch a playoff spot. The loser will still control their destiny for the four-seed against Chapel Hill, who is on the outside looking in.
Troup County is not a new foe for Cedartown.
The Bulldogs and Tigers have met seven times overall, with Cedartown holding a 4-3 all-time advantage. Since region realignment in 2016, though, Troup has won two of the three matchups as region opponents.
The 2016 game will be long remembered for its controversial ending. The Bulldogs trailed late at Callaway Stadium against the Tigers, but a Trevon Wofford touchdown pass to TJ Martin with under a minute left appeared to give Cedartown a lead. However, the referee closest to the play said Martin stepped out of bounds, giving Troup a 23-20 triumph.
Whether or not he was out is not the point; it is simply that it was a great game between two teams that came down to the wire.
That has been a theme since. In 2017, Tony Mathis led Cedartown with a thunderous second-half comeback that propelled the Bulldogs past Troup 21-18. The win gave the victors some much-needed motivation that was used to clinch their first home playoff game since the early 2000s.
Last year, on a cold and rainy night in LaGrange, Auburn commit Kobe Hudson willed out a Tiger win. Troup County capitalized on some Cedartown turnovers to beat the Bulldogs 20-13 in a classic defensive struggle.
There is no reason to believe this year’s game should be any different. Everyone around the state knows of the talent on Troup County’s roster. Led by senior four-star athlete Kobe Hudson at quarterback, they boast a fantastic offense all around. The run game is solid and the Tigers have lengthy receivers that fight for yards-after-catch. Their stingy defense is anchored by four-star defensive end Andy Boykin. The 6-3, 260 pound lineman has offers from big-time SEC programs including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and LSU.
Troup entered 2019 a consensus top-five team in 4A. The Tigers were a dark-horse to win state, as well as splitting votes with Cartersville in predicting the region winner.
The start of the season fared well for the Tigers of LaGrange, Ga. After blowing by Ridgeland 65-24 and Columbus 68-13, Troup faced its first test against Harris County. In a good game against the 5A Tigers, Troup came out on top 27-21.
A week later, they would not have the same results. In meeting cross-county rival Callaway, the 2A Cavaliers put on an offensive show by holding a 40-14 lead at the half. When all was said and done, Callaway knocked off Troup County 55-45.
The following week Troup County beat Chapel Hill 21-14 in Douglasville. Then, they took on Sandy Creek. Quarterback Kobe Hudson was suspended for the huge region matchup, but it might not have mattered anyway. The Patriots obliterated the Tigers 44-7 in LaGrange to hand them their first region defeat of the season.
After a week off, they got back in action last Friday. Troup cruised past cross-town rival LaGrange 21-6 to move to 2-1 in region play.
This sets up for a massive Week 9 meeting between Troup and Cedartown. The Bulldogs had last week off and are chomping at the bit, ready for this one to get started. Though the Tigers have great talent, if Cedartown can perform how they have the past few weeks they will have a chance to win this one.
Friday’s game will be covered on WGAA Radio (106.1 FM and AM 1340). Pregame will start around 6 p.m., followed by the game at 7:30 from Doc Ayers Field.