Tigers putting on a show
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a clinic.
Chapel Hill came into last week’s game against the Troup Tigers with a 4-0 record, and its defense had given up seven or fewer points in three of those games.
Chapel Hill had no answers for Troup’s dynamic offense, though.
With quarterback Kobe Hudson putting up remarkable numbers, Troup scored eight touchdowns on the way to a 56-24 victory.
Whatever the Tigers wanted to do offensively, they did.
Hudson was nearly perfect, throwing for more than 500 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions, and four different players had more than 100 receiving yards.
The Tigers did it on the ground as well, averaging more than 10 yards per carry while running for 233 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
Troup finished with nearly 800 total yards, and any play offensive coordinator Kelby Holt dialed up was working.
Hudson’s day was a memorable one.
All the junior quarterback did was complete 25-of-33 passes for 537 yards with six touchdowns, and he averaged 21.5 yards per completion.
Hudson is surrounded by some gifted receivers, and he said when he delivers a pass, “I know it’s going to be caught.”
Hudson also had 81 rushing yards on five attempts with a touchdown.
The man who had the most receiving yards was senior Joko Willis, who caught three balls for 133 yards with two touchdowns.
Willis, a standout on defense as a linebacker, had never played offense before this season, and he has become one of Hudson’s favorite targets.
“I just joined the group, and it was a good group to join,” said Willis, who averaged 44 yards per catch last week. “They had a trust in my ability.”
Willis had touchdown catches of 75 yards, 44 yards, and one yard against Chapel Hill.
“Joko’s a tremendous athlete,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “He’s been really good.”
Also in the Chapel Hill game, Jamari Thrash caught six passes for 131 yards, and he had two touchdowns, giving him six scoring catches this season.
Thrash had a 22-yard touchdown catch in the first half, and a 35-yard touchdown in the second half.
Ja’Rell Smith caught five balls for 129 yards, averaging 25.8 yards per reception, and he had an 82-yard touchdown.
The junior receiver caught a screen pass from Hudson, and he out-raced the Chapel Hill defense for the score.
A terrific block from Willis helped spring Smith and clear his path to the end zone.
“He had that block that set me up for the touchdown,” Smith said.
Trea Mitchell had six catches for 114 yards, and Mark-Anthony Dixon and Tyree Carlisle each had two receptions.
Troup ran the ball at will as well.
While Hudson led the way with his 81 yards on five attempts, Trey Williams ran for 72 yards on 12 carries.
Carlisle only needed four carries to run for 70 yards, and he had a 55-yard touchdown.
Leading the way was a veteran offensive line that continues to give Hudson time to throw the ball while opening running lanes for the backs.
That group includes Colby Harry, Gabe Hubbard, Hunter Bass, Michael Irvin, Jay Brodie Messer and Riley Bowles.
“We’ve got a good group of seniors up there,” Glisson said. “We’ve got about seven guys that can roll in. They all have played.”
Put it all together, a gifted quarterback, a talented group of receivers, backs who run hard, and a strong offensive line, and the result is one of the state’s most prolific offenses.
Troup is averaging 45 points and 531 yards per game, and those numbers were compiled against five teams that could end up in the state playoffs.
Troup will look to keep it going on Friday when it visits Sandy Creek.