Troup’s Crowe earns all-region honor
By Kevin Eckleberry
Montez Crowe’s final game was one of his best.
Crowe, Troup’s senior quarterback, had a remarkable season, and his numbers stacked up favorably to the best players in the state at that position.
Crowe’s high-school career came to a close when his team lost to St. Pius X 43-35 in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.
It was a losing night for Crowe, but as he has done consistently over the course of the season, he showed he can throw the ball around as well as anyone.
The numbers told the story.
Crowe completed 27-of-32 passes for 415 yards with two touchdowns.
Crowe finished just short of 4,000 total yards in 12 games while throwing 40 touchdowns, so not surprisingly he was a first-team member of the all-Region 5-AAAA team.
Crowe was one of seven Troup players to earn first-team honors on the all-region team.
The others were wide receivers Jamari Thrash and Kobe Hudson, defensive linemen King Mwikuta and Joko Willis, defensive back MaCenta Stafford, and place kicker and punter Carson Wreyford.
LaGrange has two first-team all-region players, offensive lineman Joe Thornton, and linebacker Vondez Taylor.
Region 5-AAAA had some of the best quarterbacks in the state, including Cartersville’s Trevor Lawrence, who was the region player of the year.
Cedartown quarterback Trevon Wofford was the offensive player of the year, and Crowe was the first-team quarterback.
Crowe completed 203-of-313 passes for 3,984 yards with 40 touchdowns during the 12-game season.
In one memorable game against Sandy Creek, Crowe threw for 525 yards with eight touchdowns.
Crowe never threw fewer than two touchdowns in a game, and four times he had more than 400 passing yards in a game, including his final game.
Crowe gave his team a chance against St. Pius, but the team fell just short despite his 415-yard and two-touchdown performance.
In two seasons as a starter, Crowe threw for more than 6,000 yards, and he helped the team win 17 games.
“We just fell short of our goal,” Crowe said following the St. Pius loss. “We know what our goal was.
“But I’m just telling the young guys to put it behind them,” Crowe added. “They still have a lot of talent. I keep telling them to get ready for next year.”
Crowe was a part of the Troup team that went 1-9 in 2015, and he moved into the starting lineup a year ago and helped the Tigers improve to 8-3.
“It started last year, with Ken (Truitt), and Cam (Russell), and Brandon Barronton and guys like that. I told the young guys, you’ve got to keep it going, and play disciplined football. I’ll be glad to come back next year and see them in the playoffs.”
Crowe’s two favorite targets were Thrash and Hudson.
Thrash had a monster season with 61 catches for 1,410 yards and 15 touchdowns.
In his final game, Thrash had four catches for 165 yards with two touchdowns.
Hudson also had a big season with 45 catches for 896 yards with two touchdowns.
On defense, Stafford was a key player for the Tigers.
Stafford, a senior, played linebacker for most of the season before moving to defensive back, and he excelled in that role.
Willis was also a versatile player for the Tigers.
He moved from linebacker to defensive line following a loss to Cedartown, and he was a dominant player.
Mwikuta, one of the state’s most heavily-recruited players, had a dominant season from his defensive-end position.
While it was a disappointing season for LaGrange, there were still some standout performers, including Thornton on the offensive line.
On defense, Taylor was the Grangers’ leading tackler.
There were a handful of Troup and LaGrange players who were a part of the all-region second team.
That group included Troup tight end Kenly Bridwell, who caught 28 passes for 472 yards with two touchdowns.
Also earning second-team honors for Troup was senior Seth Adams, who anchored the offensive line from his center position.
Troup linebacker Kevin Martin also made the second team.
LaGrange’s second-team players are linebacker Dexter Fitzpatrick and defensive back Jakoby Smith.
Troup’s honorable-mention selections to the all-region team are running back Tyree Carlisle, wide receiver Ja’Rell Smith, offensive linemen Hunter Bass, Colby Harry, Gabe Hubbard, Jay Brodie Messer, defensive lineman Andy Boykin, linebacker Detrick Tucker, and defensive back Alonzo Ogletree.
LaGrange’s honorable-mention picks are running back Cornell Kendrick, tight end C.J. Scott, wide receiver Jordan Ogletree, offensive lineman Tyrese Thornton, defensive lineman Jeremiah Holloway, and linebacker Daz Williams.