Comeback effort propels Newnan to 3-1 record
By DOUG GORMAN
The comeback kids might be the best way to describe the Newnan Cougars’ football team.
For the third time this season, Newnan (3-1) rallied with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help secure a 21-14 victory over Troup County in a non-region contest on Friday.
Its latest trip down the comeback trail came at a much-needed time.
Newnan entered the game trying to shake off a heartbreaking loss against top-ranked Sandy Creek a week ago, and for three quarters against the Tigers, it appeared the team was headed for a second-straight loss.
Then the tide turned with a couple of big turnovers and some high-powered offense.
Two touchdowns by Quinton Dix and a touchdown catch by Traon Moss sparked the comeback in a span of about four minutes.
“We made some great adjustments at halftime,” head coach Mike McDonald said. “It’s tough because our offense really couldn’t get anything going early, then we made some big plays on defense and got the ball back.”
Through four games, sophomore quarterback Bailey Bryant has looked sharp both running and passing the ball for the Cougars.
Bryant has thrown for six touchdowns to help the Cougars to their 3-1 record. Friday night he used his feet, scrambling several times for big yardage and to pick up first downs.
His runs of 17, 13 and 24 yards helped spark the comeback, but the offense wasn’t the only side of the football paying dividends for the Cougars en route to the win.
Newnan also relied on big plays by the defense and special teams.
The Cougars forced Troup to run just thee plays before punting at least twice in the second half and Tray Matthews also blocked a field goal attempt in the second half to help keep Troup from adding points to its side of the scoreboard in the final period.
Now after playing four games, the Cougars head into a needed week off, but Moss says its not time for the his team to get complacent.
“We still have to work hard,” Moss said. “We still have to work hard and stay focused and get ready for our next game."
That next game comes on September 28 when Newnan hosts Hardaway. The Golden Hawks (2-1) lost 27-6 to Shaw on Friday night.
Hardaway will enter its game in two weeks against the Cougars fresh off a contest with Lowndes.
One thing Newnan has learned after four weeks off football is to never give up.
That showed even in their 38-7 loss to Sandy Creek as it put together a much better effort.
“We know that if we play hard we are going to be in games,” Dix said. “We just have to plays as a team and win together.”