Valdosta Daily Times

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November 4, 2006

Tift downs Vikings, 13-3

TIFTON — Leading up to the highly-anticipated Region 1-AAAAA matchup, Lowndes coach Randy McPherson said Tift County was the best team the Vikings would face all season.

The Blue Devils (8-1) proved him correct, as they defeated Lowndes (6-3) 13-3 Friday night at Brodie Field.

“They have a good football team,” McPherson said. “We didn’t play our best.”

The buildup was intensified as the game kicked off an hour late after a broken transformer kept the lights off until 8 p.m.

Like your mama says, good things come to those who wait, and the game was good.

Tift County received the ball on the opening kickoff and controlled it for most of the game.

The Blue Devils took the opening drive from their 22-yard line and marched down to the Vikings’ 25 before pulling up short for a 53-yard field goal attempt by Charlie Edwards that missed its mark.

On the next drive, Israel Troupe, Tift County’s star wide receiver and one of the region’s biggest college prospects, made his presence known.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound receiver caught a 40-yard pass from quarterback Sean Baxley, running into the end zone for a 7-0 Blue Devils lead.

On this night, Troupe caught long passes from Baxley and short passes that he turned into long gains against the Vikings. The senior receiver had one of his best games this season, catching eight passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.

The Blue Devils’ spread offense moved the ball up and down the field on the Vikings, accumulating 230 yards, including 164 yards in the air.

Lowndes put together just 216 total yards, with 165 coming on the ground.

The Vikings’ passing game sputtered as former Tift County quarterback Christian Glisson and Mikiell Padgett combined for two completions on six attempts, and threw two interceptions.

Those two interceptions came as the clock was winding down, and with the Vikings closing in on Tift County.

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