Newnan 17, Troup County 7
Cougars claw out win over Tigers
by Doug Gorman
The Newnan Cougars have plenty of reasons to enjoy next week's open date.
After falling to top-ranked Sandy Creek last week, the Cougars bounced back in a big way, Friday, returning to Drake Stadium and posting a 17-7 victory over visiting Troup County.
With the victory, the Cougars improved their record to 2-2 heading into the week off. They return in two weeks for a homecoming game with Hardaway.
Newnan ended scoring chances with a couple of fumbles, but led from start to finish against the Tigers who were plagued by turnovers of their own throughout the game.
Troup gave the ball back on two interceptions and three fumbles to kill its chances to put the ball in the end zone.
'I thought we played really well tonight,' said Newnan head coach Mike McDonald. 'We have to do a better job of taking care of the football, but I'm really pleased.'
The Tigers final opportunity to catch Newnan on the scoreboard came when it botched a Cougar punt late in the fourth quarter, as Josh Hill fell on the ball.
Leading 17-7, the Cougars were able to milk the clock. The Tigers got the ball back one more time, but were unable to generate any type of offense.
Newnan built a 10-0 lead at the half getting a 21-yard field goal from Connor Cox and a 5-yard run from J.K. Britt.
The Cougars marched the ball into Troup territory on four of their first five series, but were stopped twice when the ball went over on downs.
Newan set up its first score when it stopped Troup County on fourth down after the Tigers had moved the ball to the Cougars' 43.
After giving the ball four to Britt four straight times, the Cougars running back moved the ball from midfield to the Tigers' 26.
The Cougars marched the ball to the 4-yard-line before getting stop and setting up Cox's 21-yard kick.
The Cougars set up their only touchdown of the first half after stopping the Tigers on fourth down, Newnan then marched 72 yards in nine plays for 10-0 lead. Britt started the drive with a 47-yard run and eight plays later he capped the series with is 5-yard scoring burst on second-down and goal.
Britt rarely left the field in coming up with big plays on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
In addition his offensive production, he also had an interception in the first half.
'He is a special talent, so we need him out there as much as possible,' McDonald said.
Britt already had 83-yards in the first half, and continued to pile up yardage in the final two quarters, finishing with 143 yards.
Britt carried the bulk of the load for the Cougars running game Friday, but Kevlin Khayyam and Damion Key also figured in the mix.
Although both fumbled once, McDonald doesn't have a problem handing either player the football.
'I thought they did a really good job outside of the fumbles,' he said. 'We are going to need them, because, J.K. can't do it all.'
Troup put a scare into the Cougars just one play into the fourth quarter when it returned a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 10-7.
However, the Cougars marched right back scoring on its next position.
A 17-yard run by Britt started the day, drive, but the Cougars showed they could finish off through the air as quarterback Bailey Bryant hit Randell Arnold a 17-yard pass.
At one stretch, Bryant completed five passes in a row. The 17-yard scoring strike was his longest pass of the game. In addition to the turnovers, Troup also hurt itself with 115 yards in penalties.
Francois Williams had an interception and Jevonte Gates a fumble for the Cougars en route to the victory.
It was Newnan's third victory in a row against Troup.
Cougars 17, Tigers 7
Troup 0 0 0 7-7 Newnan 3 7 0 7–17 First Quarter N-Connor Cox 21 yard field goal (3:53) Second Quarter N-JK Britt 5-run (Cox kick), 5:20 Fourth Quarter T-Bird 47 fumble recover (kick good)11:30] N-Bailey Bryant 17 pass to Randell Arnold (Cox Kick), 8:40