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 Thompson at Hewitt-Trussville | Friday - October 6, 2023 | Class 7A, Region 3 Game 

#2 WR Duece Oliver (Thompson) with a reception against Clay-Chalkville on Thursday night.

On Friday night, the #2 Thompson Warriors travel to Trussville to face the Hewitt-Trussville Huskies in a colossal Class 7A, Region 3 matchup at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium. Both teams come into the game with a perfect 3-0 region mark, and the winner will have a leg up for the region title.

The Thompson Warriors (4-1, 3-0) are coming off a nationally televised game against Clay-Chalkville last Thursday night. Thompson lost 36-33 and looks to rebound this week against the Huskies. "We came up short on Thursday, and it is the world we live in when it becomes a shock around the world when we lose a game," said Warriors head coach Mark Freeman. "In reality, we face every week the opportunity to potentially lose or win a game every week. We don't have an exclusive on winning. We don't want to lose the joy of winning a game. The other night, we faced a team with good talent and coaches, and played pretty well. We didn't play well in a few situations, which cost us the game, so we returned and worked on those situations. We had a good day of practice (Monday), and the kids understand that there are some things we need to improve. We can still achieve every single goal in front of us. It was one of the best Mondays we had at practice."

In the game against Clay-Chalkville, Thompson held a two-touchdown lead in both halves but couldn't hang on for the win. The Warriors missed a last-second field goal that would have sent the game into overtime. There was a lot of great effort by the Warriors in that game.
One player who keeps playing very consistently is Trent Seaborn. The freshman quarterback has completed 62-of-99 passing for 799 yards with ten touchdowns and four interceptions. Seaborn threw for 268 yards and four touchdowns against Clay-Chalkville. 

The Warriors wide receiving core has shown up tremendously this season. Duece Oliver has 27 receptions for 291 yards and a touchdown. Oliver is a great slot receiver who can get the big first down or go deep with the best. Kolby Hearn has 14 receptions for 244 yards and three touchdowns and had a massive game against Clay-Chalkville last week. Hearn had four receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns last week.

Super sophomore Colben Landrew is having a great first season for the Warriors. "Colben has been huge, and the sky is the limit as a football player," added Freeman. "He is always a tremendous basketball player. He could be one of the best football players coming out of this state in a long, long time. He is a physical receiver and is learning the game of football. We need to let him play both sports. His talent level is the sky is the limit since it is the first year he has been involved in football. On a good throw, he will get position and high points, a ball better than anyone we have ever had. We will take advantage of teams that play him one-on-one, and if they bring a safety over, we have to find those mismatches." Landrew has basketball offers from Alabama and Auburn and just picked up one from Georgia Tech.

The Warriors running game has two of the best in Class 7A. AJ Green and Michael Dujon have made big plays for the Warriors. Green averages 6.2 yards per carry, while Dujon averages 9.5 yards per carry. Dujon has six receptions for 32 yards this season.

The offensive line of Kingsley Walters, Barron Criddle, Matt Speights, Dylan Marquess, and Braydon Saylor are undersized but have been solid for the Warriors. Saylor was injured in the first series, and will see if he returns against the Huskies. "I thought we overachieved on offense since they were the number one defense in the state," said Freeman. "We lose one of our best linemen to start the game. We are young and inexperienced on the offensive line, but these guys game maximum effort. They are undersized but gave maximum effort. I feel like these guys played really well against a great defensive front."

The Thompson defense has a lot of terrific pieces and looks to face another talented offense this week. "We have to put the best product on the field and make sure we have the best players on the field and let them be the best they can be. We can't ask them to do things like Peter Woods did because he was a freak on the field," said Freeman.
One bright spot for the Warriors defense has been the play of Kaleb Harris. "Kaleb is maybe one of the most instinctive football players and a versatile, physical player we had at Thompson," said Freeman. "He can play safety, star, and nickel and will be an All-American at college where he can play those positions. He creates havoc at the line of scrimmage." Harris has 43 tackles to lead the team, four tackles for loss, a sack, and three interceptions this season.

Corner Anquon Fegans and Peyton Lewis join Harris in the secondary. Fegans is one of the best DBs in the 2025 class in the nation. Lewis picked off a Clay-Chalkville pass last week. Linebackers Tyler Hicks, Vini Pires, Jayden Davis, and Caleb Ballard must play well for Thompson to get the road victory. 

Hewitt-Trussville (5-1, 3-0) has only one loss to Central-Phenix City to open up the 2023 season. The Huskies won five in a row and have played well in September. 

Peyton Floyd continues his play from being the 7A Offensive Player of the Year last season. The senior QB has completed 84-of-122 passes for 1,234 yards with 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Also, Floyd leads the team in rushing with 258 yards on 63 carries and six touchdowns. 

Hewitt-Trussville matches up with the Thompson receiving core with Jadon Loving, Jacob Serena, and Dylan Cope. Loving leads the team with 23 receptions for 448 yards and seven touchdowns. Serena has 308 yards on 21 receptions and five touchdowns. Super sophomore Cope has 24 receptions for 287 yards and two touchdowns. "Dylan is a super talented player," said Huskies head coach Josh Floyd. "He is going to get a ton of offers coming up soon. A big kid who runs well. He is only going to get better. He works hard every day. He can do a lot of things for us. Track star in the 100 meters and the hurdles. He can jump over defenders like in a game last week."

The running game has Jaqson Melton and Kennedy Mitchell. Melton has 243 yards on 47 carries for two touchdowns, while Mitchell has 187 yards on 44 carries and five touchdowns. 

The offensive lineman Kade Martin is back, coming off an injury that kept him out for half the season. Martin has been a rock on the Huskies offensive line and a four-year starter for the Huskies. Stephen Moore, Drew Johnson, Trevor Pruet, and Jackson Howell round out the Huskies offensive line.

The defense has played well this season. The Huskies defense has only given up 21 points in the last four games. Defensive lineman Tyrell Averhart is back after a monster season last year and has only played in two games this season. Ayden Moore, Jordan Colley, and William Ollis have been solid in the Huskies front defensive line. Colley leads the team with eight tackles for loss.  

Linebacker Parker Floyd leads the team with 37 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss. Jadon Cantley, Owen Robinson, and Owen Sewell lead the linebacker crew. "Combination of guys learning how to play together has been big for us this season," said Floyd. "He has been playing better as the year has gone on. The coaches have done a great job getting these players ready each week. Some good seniors on this defense have played some great football. I have been well pleased with how we have played this past month."

The secondary has Gavin Williams, Michael Igbinoghene, Riggs Dunn, and Will Phillips, who are having a big season for the Huskies defense.

The tempo in this game could be a chess match for both teams. Thompson and Hewitt-Trussville have been good at the receiving position. Which quarterback between Floyd and Seaborn can give their receivers their best chance to be a factor in the game? Can the Thompson offensive line handle the Huskies defensive pressure? Can the Thompson secondary get a few more turnovers this week? Can't wait to see!

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