Troup receivers flying high

Published 1:16 am Wednesday, October 11, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – Troup’s Kobe Hudson is at full strength, and he showed it against Sandy Creek.

The sophomore wide receiver, who had nine touchdown catches during a remarkable sophomore season, was slowed by an injury earlier this season, but he was at 100 percent against Sandy Creek.

In Troup’s 71-16 victory, Hudson had the best game of his young high-school career.

Hudson had six catches for 239 yards, good for an eye-popping 40-yard average, and he had four touchdowns.

Hudson was just a part of the puzzle that night, with quarterback Montez Crowe throwing for 525 yards and eight touchdowns.

Jamari Thrash, Ja’Rell Smith, Kenly Bridwell and Mark-Anthony Dixon also had scoring catches.

“When I’m 100 percent, and everybody’s 100 percent, we’re hard to stop for anybody,” Hudson said following the Sandy Creek game.

Hudson has been making plays since he stepped onto a high-school field.

He had a touchdown catch in his first varsity game against Hardaway, and he ended the season with 16 receptions for 504 yards with nine touchdowns.

With four games still to play this season, Hudson has already basically duplicated his numbers from a year ago, despite being limited for a couple of games with an injury.

Hudson has 16 catches for 458 yards with nine touchdowns, and he has a remarkable average of 28.6 yards per reception.

Hudson is grateful to have Crowe throwing passes to him.

Crowe had a stellar junior season, and he is the leading passer in the state this year.

“He’s the best quarterback in the state,” Hudson said.

Hudson began the season with two touchdown catches against Hardaway, but he only had one catch in each of the next two games.

“He had a nagging back injury,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “He just couldn’t get it loosened up, and everytime he would stop and go, it would hurt.”

In the past two games, Hudson had nine catches for 324 yards with six touchdowns.

Glisson said Hudson, who is 15-years-old, has been dealing with the effect of some physical changes.

“Kobe’s grown a lot in a short amount of time,” Glisson said. “He’s actually about an inch and a half taller than he was three months ago. His power clean maxes are way up there. He’s power-cleaning about 285 pounds now. So it’s a lot of growing at one time, and that body probably needed a bit of a break.”

As prolific as Hudson has been this season, he’s not Troup’s leading receiver.

That distinction goes to Thrash, who leads the team with 26 catches for 650 yards, and he has scored seven touchdowns.

Thrash, a junior who played at LaGrange High as a freshman and sophomore, has more playing time than any of the wide receivers.

“He’s the veteran,” Glisson said. “He’s the oldest of the bunch, and he’s just a junior. So he kind of brings the work mentality, the I’ve been through a lot of this and played in a lot of games mentality. He brings a lot of leadership and experience to that group.”

Smith, a sophomore, is also having a big season with 15 catches for 258 yards with two touchdowns.

“The biggest thing with Ja’Rell is just time in the weight room,” Glisson said. “He came over here to us his freshman year, and really had not been in the weight room much. So he just needed time to get stronger, and understand what we were doing. I think he’ll be a real big factor going forward the next couple of years.”

Bridwell, a senior tight end, has has 16 receptions for 255 yards with two touchdowns.

“Kenly, experience-wise, is not as experienced as somebody like Thrash, because he only has a year and a half of football,” Glisson said. “But Kenly’s amazing. He’ll get balls in traffic, and people don’t realize what a good blocker he is. He does a lot for us.”

Dixon, a sophomore who competed in the state finals in the 100-meter dash as a freshman, has caught 14 balls for 390 yards with three touchdowns.

Against Kendrick, Dixon had a 95-yard touchdown catch from Crowe.

“He hasn’t been with us long as well, and he’s a speedster,” Glisson said. “He can run. He’s very smart, and he picks up on things very well. He’s just a neat kid.”

Tyree Carlisle, Troup’s leading rusher, has 13 catches out of the backfield for 209 yards with a touchdown.

Most of the passes this season have been thrown by Crowe, and he’s been a marvel.

The senior is 102-of 152 for 2,205 yards with 24 touchdowns, and no one in the state has thrown for more yards or touchdowns than Crowe.

Crowe was at his best against Sandy Creek, completing 20-of-29 passes for 525 yards with the eight touchdowns.

Sandy Creek came into the game 3-1 and ranked in the top 10, but it was overwhelmed by a motivated Troup team.

“It feels good,” Hudson said. “We worked hard, and it paid off. And we’ll get back to work.”