Some 48 decades later, “Troup Tigers Class 1A Condition Football Champions” nevertheless has a pleasant ring to it.
10 members of that point out championship group bought collectively Friday night time in Tyler to reminisce about that unique 1973 season.
There were being laughs, a few tears and plenty of smiles as they ultimately acquired their state championship rings. The friendships and brotherhood that was forged that special period numerous a long time ago had been still current.
While it is virtually a fifty percent-century considering the fact that the Tigers gained the point out title, their faces lit up with pleasure as if they experienced just received off the discipline soon after defeating the Vega Longhorns in the Class 1A point out championship match on Dec. 22, 1973 at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene.
“Just to see these fellas once more, it just seriously made my coronary heart sort of flutter,” Arthur Franklin, who resides in Troup, claimed. “I just wanted to see these men and just communicate to them, reminisce and every little thing and discuss about old situations, that’s what it was about.”
Franklin was a cornerback on they squad that was 15- and defeated Vega 28-7 in they point out championship activity. The Tigers trailed 7-6 heading into the fourth quarter prior to notching 22 points for the earn.
In the closing time period, Keith Tillman recovered a fumble at the Tigers’ 31. Troup drove towards the go-in advance rating as quarterback Mike Toole strike Tillman for 20 yards to the 9-lawn line. Curtis Tillman, who scored on a 1-garden run in the 2nd quarter, then adopted with a 9-garden TD run. Toole’s two-issue conversion run put Troup in advance to remain 14-7 with 7:58 on the clock. Later on Keith Tillman scored on an 11-garden run and Rayford Jackson tallied a 29-garden TD. Keith Tillman kicked the remaining two PATs.
“Just to come alongside one another with these men that I played with in 1973 and now to see they are still the identical guys that I played with and beloved so significantly again then,” Keith Tillman, of Houston, mentioned.
Even though the Vega win was particular, they talked generally about beating “a extremely superior Falls Town team” that experienced averaged 43 details.
The Tigers rallied to down the the Beavers 21-20, scoring a late touchdown, in the semifinals played at Texas A&M University’s Kyle Industry in College or university Station.
Trailing 20-14 in the fourth quarter, the Tigers marched 80 yards with quarterback Toole hitting John Cole with a 12-yard TD strike in the corner of the close zone on fourth-and-10 with 4:58 on the clock. Cole produced the catch regardless of currently being interfered on the enjoy.
With the Beavers foremost in penetrations, 4-3, the more level was crucial with the recreation tied at 20-20.
Keith Tillman then recalled his cousin Curtis Tillman telling him “you much better make this more position or I’ll ….”, “I said no more pressure at all.” He created the PAT for the 21-20 guide.
Eugene Toole blocked two additional-details in the match for the Tigers.
Falls City received two much more odds. Linebacker Curtis Tillman was instrumental in stopping the very first generate and pressured the Beavers to punt. The next time, Jim McCasland picked off a go with 43 seconds on the clock.
Attending Friday evening at the Golden Corral had been Jerry Clayton (Tyler), Jerry Daniels (Troup), Arthur Franklin (Troup), Howard Henson (Troup), Willie Lacy (Tyler), Preston Lindsey (Troup), Jimmy Payton (Arlington), Ray Ross (Rockdale), Jamison Thompson (Troup), and Keith Tillman (Houston).
Keith Tillman added it was exclusive to say you won a condition championship in Texas. Franklin also thanked the cheerleaders and supporters of the Tigers.
Present Troup head soccer coach and athletic director John Eastman, who was in attendance, explained the crew will be honored in the tumble at halftime of a single of the game titles. It is tentatively set for Friday, Sept. 17 against Brownsboro.
Tillman thanked Adam Prepare dinner, Randy Copeland, Joel Harris and Brad Cooper, who have been instrumental in receiving the rings.
Dewitt Jones was the head mentor of the 1973 Tigers. His staff incorporated Cullen Davis and Gary Hamilton.
Team members included: Jerry Daniels, Rayford Jackson, Davey Hamilton, Mike Toole, Bart Boothe, Arthur Franklin, Jimmy Nelson, Keith Tillman, Preston Lindsey, Johnny Medford, Ray Ross, Roy Dewberry, Jimmy Payton, Earnest Duncan, Bob Neely, Willie Lacy, Charlie Rhodes, Eugene Toole, Jerry Clayton, Bobby Franklin, Rob Eubanks, Tony Shaw, Curtis Tillman, Clarence Malone, John Cole, Jim McCasland and T.C. Thompson.