Future Auburn teammates to face off
Published 11:30 pm Thursday, September 19, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
A year from now, they’ll likely be teammates at Auburn.
For the moment, though, Troup quarterback Kobe Hudson and Callaway running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby are cross-town rivals, and they’re each hoping to have bragging rights following Friday’s showdown at Callaway Stadium.
Bigsby and Hudson are among the best players in the state at their respective positions, and they’ll be the focal points of their team’s offensive game plans for Friday’s game.
Not surprisingly, finding a way to slow down those two super-stars has been a key focus for the coaching staffs at each school.
When Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins looks at Troup’s offense, he said “everything starts with Kobe.”
“He’s one of the most talented players that I’ve seen,” added Wiggins, who is in his 15th season as Callaway’s head coach. “His ability to use the entire field makes it very difficult on the defense. He throws the ball as well as he runs it. He makes good decisions, and he makes them fast.”
Hudson can also go off the script and make things happen.
When plays break down, Hudson has shown he can still turn what appears to be nothing into something.
During a game earlier this season against Ridgeland, Hudson appeared as though he was going to be taken down in the backfield, but he eluded a couple of would-be tackle attempts, reversed field, and threw a strike nearly 50 yards down the field to Zy Varner,
who made the catch and raced into the end zone for an 80-yard touchdown.
“His ability to get rid of the ball is very special,” Wiggins said. “Even when there’s not an open receiver, he has the ability to make a very positive gain out of nothing. I think it all starts with Kobe.”
Hudson began his high-school career as a wide receiver, and he quickly established himself as an elite player at that position.
Hudson was recruited as a receiver, and that’s the position he plans on playing at Auburn.
Hudson made the move to quarterback as a junior, and he enjoyed an astonishingly successful season while leading Troup to the Class AAAA semifinals.
Hudson threw for 3,386 yards with 32 touchdowns, and he ran for 1,410 yards with 18 touchdowns.
Hudson has picked up right where he left off last season.
Through three games, Hudson has thrown for 640 yards with nine touchdowns, and he has 411 rushing yards with four touchdowns.
Hudson is a confident player who isn’t hesitant to share his opinions, something his head coach Tanner Glisson knows all about.
“When you coach him, you have to understand how to take him,” Glisson said. “He’s going to say whatever’s on his mind, and sometimes it’s not something I’m going to agree with, and we have to get through that. You don’t want to suppress who he is. You have to allow him to do the things that make him Kobe.”
At Callaway, Bigsby started getting carries when he was a freshman, and he ran for more than 1,000 yards as a sophomore.
Bigsby’s breakout season came a year ago when he ran for 2,221 yards on 238 attempts with 22 touchdowns, and he caught 13 passes for 222 yards.
During Callaway’s four-game playoff run, which ended with a loss to Rockmart in the Class AA semifinals, Bigsby ran for 778 yards with four touchdowns, and twice during the season he ran for more than 300 yards.
“You have to stop Tank, or do the best you can,” Glisson said. “Even then, if you commit guys to doing that, you don’t totally stop him.”
As accomplished as Bigsby was a year ago, Glisson said he’s an even more effective runner this season.
“I watch on him last year, and I watched film on him this year. He’s so much better than he was last year,” Glisson said. “He’s bigger, stronger, faster.”
Glisson added that Bigsby is “one of those guys that can will you to victory. Tank can say give me the ball, everybody block, and here we go.”
Bigsby is having a big senior season. In three games, Bigsby has 477 yards on 40 attempts with eight touchdowns.
In the past two games, wins over LaGrange and Cross Keys, Bigsby has 363 yards on 17 carries with seven touchdowns.
After the season ends, perhaps as early as December when there is an early-signing period, Bigsby and Hudson plan on following through on the commitments they’ve made to Auburn.
Tate Johnson, a senior offensive lineman at Callaway, has also committed to Auburn.
While Bigsby is looking forward to becoming a college-football player, his focus now is on making the most of his final season as a Cavalier.
“I just worry about my team right now,” Bigsby said. “I want to get a ring and be a leader at Callaway. I’m still at Callaway right now. I’ll worry about being at Auburn when I get there.”
SENIOR SHINES: Senior Jymere Jones has been a key contributor for the Callaway Cavaliers.
Jones is a wide receiver who had a touchdown catch last week against Cross Keys, and he also gets plenty of playing time on defense.
“He’s a great leader on our team,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “He’s gotten better, and he’s gotten really good skills as far as catching the ball, but also at safety he’s a very knowledgeable guy. He knows where to be, and he puts himself in good situations from a defensive standpoint. He’s really gotten better during his senior year.”
Jones, the younger brother of former Callaway High standout and current Canadian Football League player Quan Bray, had an 11-yard touchdown catch in last week’s games.
Jones also had a touchdown catch against Lamar County last season.
STRONG UP FRONT: A quartet of Troup defensive linemen combined for 30 tackles during last week’s 27-21 victory over Harris County.
Leading the way was Jeremiah Holston with nine tackles, and he has 25 tackles in his past three games combined.
Xavier Clarke had his most effective game of the season with eight tackles after he had six tackles in the previous three games combined.
“Xavier Clarke played his best game of the season on the defensive line,” Glisson said. “He played extremely good, technique-wise, how he graded out. He might not have made as many tackles as Jeremiah, but how he graded out was extremely good.”
Jordan Adams had seven tackles, including two for loss, and Andy Boykin had six tackles with one for loss.
Troup’s leading tackler against Harris County, and for the season, is linebacker Jabralin Gooden.
Gooden, who had 13 tackles in the season opener against Ridgeland, had 11 tackles against Harris County, giving him 30 for the season.
Fellow linebacker Devon Hill had nine tackles against Harris County, and he has 24 tackles this season.
Another linebacker, A.J. Tucker, had nine tackles against Harris County, giving him 25 tackles for the season.
Leading the way in the secondary was Jace Godwin, who had six tackle against Harris County, and he has 26 tackles in three games.
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Callaway Stadium
RECORDS: Troup (3-0); Callaway (2-1)
LAST YEAR: Troup beat Callaway 37-20
ALL-TIME SERIES: Troup leads 5-4