I can remember several years back when Troy University made the jump to Division I and they had a moniker, “Anyone, Anywhere!” This was their mantra as they would play anyone, no matter their rank or division without fear. It took Troy a few years, but they eventually became giant killers by upsetting much larger and more storied programs. In this crazy year of 2020, Collinwood had two options when their original opponent for this week was quarantined; either not play or send out a Troy-esk challenge. McNairy Central, a 3A school from West Tennessee, heard the call and accepted. Walking into the stadium, I could see our men of Troy were outnumbered by at least 3 to1; the Bulldogs had 88 players on their roster. The Bulldogs also had an impressive aerial attack that Collinwood couldn’t stop, resulting in five touchdowns through the air. The first two scores came from passes of 83 yards and 59 yards in the first quarter, which you would think would have taken the wind out of the Trojan’s sails. However, with our offense struggling early, Lige Craig decided to take over for a play on defense and become an offensive running back simultaneously. Craig caused a fumble in the Bulldog backfield, then scooped up the pigskin and dove into the end zone for the first Trojan score of the night. On the kickoff, the Trojans executed a perfect onside kick with Drake Ray coming up with the 2nd fumble by the Bulldogs in consecutive plays. Joe Houston Thompson took the next carry around right end and tiptoed down the sideline, scoring from 51 yards out. Collinwood had pulled off two scores in a total of 15 seconds, bringing the score to 15-12, Bulldogs. Two more long pass plays increased the lead by 29-12 going into halftime. Two more aerial scores were notched in the 3rd and 4th quarter, bringing the Bulldog score to 43 points. The Trojans, still fighting for every yard, got their final score on a 38 yard pass to Blake Whitten with 1:37 remaining in the game. Joe Houston Thompson added the points after, making the final score 43-20.
Statistically, Collinwood dominated on the ground, finishing with 282 yards on the night and in time of possession (30:58), however couldn’t match the quick scores by the Bulldogs. Joe Houston Thompson led all rushers with 126 yards on 18 carries and 1 touchdown. Alex Haddock had 82 yards on 13 carries, followed by Peyton Ward with 10 rushes for 52 yards and Blake Whitten with 3 carries for 19 yards. Dayton Scott completed 5 passes for 66 yards and the late touchdown.
Defensively, Griffin Pigg led all tacklers with 7 stops. Fletcher Thompson finished with 5 tackles and 1 sack. Joe Houston Thompson had 4 tackles on the night. Fletcher Hale, Joe Hensley, Lane Makara, Garrett Miller, and Peyton Ward each had 3 tackles on the night.
The Trojans host another 3A school this week as Bolivar Central travels to Pat Brewer Stadium. Come out and support our Trojans this Friday night as they “Come on with it.”—Submitted