LUFKIN — Troup fought through maybe the toughest district in Class 2A Division I during the regular season, tying Tatum and White Oak for first place.
The Tigers might need to once again play like giant killers on Thursday night at Abe Martin Stadium, because the running attack of East Chambers figures to put the Tigers to the test in a bi-district showdown.
Troup (9-1) beat Tatum and yet shared the 9-2A Division I title with the Eagles.
East Chambers has two loses, a close non-district 14-13 setback to Hardin-Jefferson and a 74-7 humiliation by league champion Newton.
East Chambers finished last week on a 10-2A, D-I high note with a 54-0 thrashing of Harden.
The running game will be the key behind team leader Glenn Roberts (5-8, 175), plus linemen Hunter Rising and Barrett Franzen in front to clear the way.
Roberts ran for 2,027 yard and 58 TDs during the regular season, adding 252 yards receiving and another five touchdowns. Coby Collins will take some pressure off Roberts in the backfield.
Big things are expected from quarterback Brandon Johnson, a first-year junior starter for a team that went to the regional finals last year.
Multiple sets on both sides of the ball are common for the Buccaneers, but the offense averages 33.7 points while the defense allows 18.8.
Whether the Buccaneers faced the skill-position talent in district might be the final say-so.
The speed at the skill positions has proven to be the biggest difference.
Troup’s stable of Seth Gibson, Marcus Davis, Marcus Kincade and Ladarius Morgan has rolled up more than 2,000 yards on the ground behind the leader, sophomore quarterback Blake Lynch.
The winner of the contest will advance to play Franklin in the area round.