Troup’s Hudson makes history
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a history-making night for Troup’s Kobe Hudson.
There have been some remarkable and dynamic high-school quarterbacks in Georgia over the years, including Cam Newton, Deshaun Watson, Charlie Ward, Fran Tarkenton, and the list goes on and on.
None of those players ever accomplished what Hudson has, though.
Two weeks ago in a home win over Chapel Hill, Hudson threw for 537 yards, and he ran for 251 yards in last week’s 35-21 win over Sandy Creek that improved Troup’s record to 6-0 overall, and 2-0 in Region 5-AAAA.
According to Georgia High School Football Daily, Hudson is the first high-school quarterback in the history of the state to have a 500-yard passing game and a 250-yard rushing game in the same season, and Hudson accomplished that feat in back-to-back weeks.
Against Sandy Creek, Hudson carried the ball 17 times for 251 yards with a touchdown, and that included a 75-yard scoring run.
“I didn’t think it was that much,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “I knew it was a lot, because I knew we ran the ball really good, and I knew our offensive line was knocking them off the football. But I didn’t realize it was that many.”
As for Hudson’s record-setting numbers, Glisson said “that blew my mind. We’re talking about Cam Newton. We’re talking about Deshaun Watson. You’re talking about everybody. That’s amazing. And to think he’s just a junior.”
Hudson showed in consecutive weeks how versatile and gifted a player he is.
In the Chapel Hill game, Hudson completed 25-of-33 passes for 537 yards with six touchdowns.
Seven days later, he averaged 15 yards per carry on the way to his 251-yard rushing effort.
Hudson, a wide receiver the past two seasons, has had a remarkable debut season at quarterback.
He has thrown for 1,650 yards with 20 touchdowns, and he has 578 rushing yards with seven touchdowns.
Sandy Creek’s defense was geared toward trying to take away the deep passes, and Troup responded by running for a season-best 382 yards, with Hudson leading the way.
Trey Williams added 92 yards on 23 attempts with a touchdown, and Tyree Carlisle ran for 36 yards with a touchdown.
“They were trying to bait us into throwing deep,” Glisson said. “They’ve got some decent athletes on the back end. They’ve got a kid going to Ole Miss. They’ve got a kid committed to Stanford. So they had two guys on the back end that were pretty good. So they were saying to us, just throw that ball up, and let’s see if we can go make a play, instead of Troup making a play.”
That strategy seemed to pay off early, with Troup unable to get much going on its first few possessions, but that soon changed.
The Tigers, after falling behind 7-0, scored five unanswered touchdowns to build a 35-7 lead in the fourth quarter.
“We got a little frustrated offensively because we’re used to scoring quick, and we had to realize what they were doing,” Glisson said. “Once we settled down and we showed them kind of what we were doing, then it was an emphasis on running.”
Leading 21-7, Troup came out in the second half and drove 80 yards for the score, and there was no trickery involved.
“We got the ball at the 20, and we went 80 yards in 16 plays, and just smashed it down their throat,” Glisson said.
While the Tigers did a lot of their damage on the ground, they still made plays in the passing game.
Hudson threw for 136 yards with touchdown passes to Jamari Thrash and Ja’Rell Smith.
Thrash only had two catches, but they went for a combined 93 yards, and Smith had two receptions for 23 yards.
The Tigers have had one of the state’s best passing attacks the past two seasons, but as they showed last week, they can beat opponents with the ground game as well.
“It lets our kids know we can win multiple ways,” Glisson said. “If you put yourself in a position where you can only win doing one thing, you might have some trouble. We feel we have multiple ways we can win the football game. So I think that’s what you have to do to play the kind of ball we want to play, and go where we want to go.”
Troup’s defense also enjoyed a big night.
The Patriots found the end zone early to seize a 7-0 lead, but they didn’t score again until the fourth quarter when the outcome had been determined.
“We scored 35 unanswered, and we were leading 35-7 in the fourth quarter,” Glisson said. “We were trying to work on some different things. We tried to work on some different coverages in the fourth quarter that we needed to work on. We substituted a little bit on the defensive line. You’ve got to continue to push the envelope. It’s the constant pursuit for the competitive edge.”
The game started an hour late because of a lightning delay, but Glisson said that was an eventuality the team was prepared for.
“We practice those scenarios,” Glisson said. “Anytime we have thunder, or lightning here at practice, we’ll go in, and we’ll treat that like a weather delay. We’ll go in, they’ll all meet in their position groups, we’ll make adjustments, we’ll talk about it. Then, we’ll have to wait our allotted time. We’ll go out and re-warm up. We’ll try to recreate some of that adversity. Really and truly, when we get in those situations, we’ve dealt with it. It’s not a big deal.”
Troup doesn’t have a game this week, and Glisson said the players are taking advantage of that fact to “focus on academics.”
“We’re working really, really hard,” Glisson said. “The longer you go, the more kids naturally want to put more emphasis on what’s going on. So we’re trying to work really hard while we can get their attention.”
Glisson added that “the faculty’s working well with us. We’re sending kids to teachers, and they’re sending us work, so it’s really benefiting us right now.”
Glisson also said the off week is giving some banged-up players a chance to get healthy.
“We’re been working really hard with our trainers, just getting them back healthy, rehabbing from injuries,” Glisson said. “So it’s really been good for us.”