Anyone who left the stadium at during halftime of the first game of the East-West Cobb Classic would not be faulted for their desire to beat the crowds. After all, the game seemed to be over.
Going into the locker room at halftime, the Trojans had built up an impressive 37-0 lead, seeming to move the ball at will and strangling the Hawks offense on every possession.
The first Lassiter touchdown came with 10:49 left in the first quarter. Defensive back Robert Dowling read Hillgrove quarterback Troy Thompson's screen pass perfectly and jumped the route. Dowling intercepted the pass and ran it in for a quick score. The snap on the extra point attempt was botched, but a 6-0 lead from a forced turnover was the perfect start to the game.
Three minutes later, Lassiter struck again when Lane Jackman barreled into the Hillgrove end zone. Another touchdown from Josh Danforth made it 20-0 Trojans after the first quarter.
A gutsy call to go for it on 4th and 5 turned into a Willie Police touchdown, making it 27-0 with 10:28 left in the half. Quarterback found Blake Wilson for another 7 points about three minutes later. Luke Hardin connected on a 32 yard field goal with 3:55 left in the first half to seemingly put the game away at 37-0.
Whatever Hillgrove Head Coach Phillip Ironside told his Hawks in the locker room at halftime worked, as his team came out with renewed energy and quickly put the Trojans on their heels.
With 7:11 left in the third, Justin Haney caught a Troy Thompson pass from 2 yards out and gave the Hawks their first points of the game. Thompson struck again with a quarterback sneak with less than a minute to go in the third to make the score 37-14.
Lassiter's woes increased in the fourth, as Hillgrove's Jordan Adams intercepted an Eddie Printz pass and brought the Hawks to the Trojans 21. The walls of Troy withstood the Hawks assault and forced a punt. Lassiter in turn drove the ball to Hillgrove's 19, but a 36-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Tolando Cleveland.
Poor Lassiter tackling turned a routine pass play into an 83-yard touchdown, scored by Hillgrove's Evan Engram with 4:56 left in the game. The Hawks then recovered an onside kick and turned it into more points, courtesy of a Richarde Bagley touchdown run. A two point conversion brought the score to 37-29 with 4:00 left to play.
Lassiter then began a drive to run down the clock to secure a victory. A big run by Josh Danforth brought the Trojans to the opposing 31 with 1:45 to go. A series of stuffed runs caused the Trojans to have to go for it on 4th and inches with 49.5 seconds left. After bringing out the chain gang, the Trojans were awarded the first down and the victory.
It was a tough battle for the Trojans, who seemed to tire in the second half. Hillgrove was not "let back in" to the game and earned all 29 points they scored in the final frames. It was a high scoring, entertaining game of football, and a solid first victory for the Trojans.
The men of Troy next square off rival Sprayberry next Friday at 7:30 p.m. in their rivals' home field.