LaGrange’s Gibbs off to sizzling start
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
What a start to the season it’s been for LaGrange High’s Kale Gibbs.
After running for 136 yards in the opener against Upson-Lee, Gibbs nearly eclipsed 300 yards in last week’s overtime win over Northside-Columbus.
Gibbs accumulated 287 yards on 24 carries in the 35-28 win over Northside, and he had two touchdown runs.
In the two games combined, Gibbs has 423 yards on 36 carries, good for an average of 11.75 yards per attempt.
“He’s special with his desire to compete,” LaGrange head coach Matt Napier said of Gibbs. “He’s got a heart that you’re looking for.”
Gibbs was an effective runner last season, but he was limited because of injuries. This year Gibbs is showing what he can do when he’s healthy, and he’s having his way with opposing defenses.
“To be 100 percent, it’s completely different,” Gibbs said before the season. “To be able to come back and go hard, I’m ready to completely shock everybody. It feels nice.”
Fellow senior Caleb Ross has also been a solid runner this season.
Ross had 63 yards on six carries against Upson-Lee, and he had four attempts for 38 yards with a touchdown against Northside before he left with an injury in the first half.
While LaGrange did plenty of damage on the ground, it also made some plays in the passing game, with sophomore Jaylan Brown getting it done.
Brown, who ran for 38 yards on six attempts, completed 8-of-21 passes for 143 yards with touchdown passes to Kobe Jones and AJ Traylor.
Tae Snead caught three of Brown’s passes for 36 yards, Traylor had two catches for 24 yards, and while Jones only had one catch, it went 55 yards for a touchdown.
Freshman tight end Parker Shattuck caught one pass for 21 yards, and Javon Brown had one reception for seven yards.
The Grangers finished with 368 rushing yards and 143 passing yards for a total of 511 yards.
For LaGrange, the offense success begins up front with the offensive linemen, and they’ve been getting it done the first two weeks.
That group includes Elijah Quimbayo, Qua Thornton, KT Owens, Brandon Wortham, Kavarious Perry, Jackson Dennis, Thad Dixon and Christian Rothermel.
On LaGrange’s game-winning play in overtime, a touchdown pass from Brown to Traylor, Gibbs watched as the offensive linemen did their job to perfection.
“The best part of that was, up close, I could see all the linemen all had their blocks, and (Brown) had time to get it done,” Gibbs said. “They had it sealed off, and AJ just ran a nice route and finished in the end zone.”
DEFENSIVE LEADERS: Isaiah Jordan, a junior safety, had a team-leading 11 tackles during the win over Northside-Columbus.
One of LaGrange’s veterans, senior linebacker Jarno Huzzie, added eight tackles.
Defensive backs Kway Coverson, Jeffery Sims and Montavious Martin each had six tackles, and defensive lineman Thad Dixon had five tackles, including three for loss.
Tyreeq Carston also had five tackles with three for loss, and he had a fumble recovery.
Kobe Jones had an interception, and it was a big one.
After LaGrange scored in overtime, Northside needed a touchdown and an extra point to tie it, and Jones ended the game with an interception.