Can anyone stop the Collins offense? No one has even come close so far.
The Tigers, led by star quarterback Detric Hawthorn, are averaging 48.5 points per game in 2015. Yes, averaging 48.5 points per game. West Marion, which held Collins to its third-lowest point total in a game this season (38), will have to try to slow it down again in Friday’s Class 3A South State Championship, which kicks off at 7 p.m.
So what is it about Collins? What is the X-factor that drives the Tiger offense? What can opposing defenses do to slow down the vaunted Tiger offense? What has led it to putting up over 60 points in a game four times? Let’s dive into it.
One possibility is the talented wide receiving corps that Hawthorn has at his disposal. Senior Calvin Keys has 84 catches for 1,512 yards and 13 touchdowns. Keys has been a do-it-all receiver for the Tigers during his career. With plenty of speed, Keys has the ability to take even the most harmless-looking completions to the house. Keys is also an excellent route runner, which gives him an advantage in getting separation from opposing defenders.
Surely if a team’s defense keys in on Keys, it should be able to stop the Tiger offense, right? Wrong. It’s not just Keys. Kenterious Rhodes also has impressive numbers with 870 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. Rhodes also has four games on the year in which he has surpassed 100 yards receiving.
In the games Keys has not logged at least a touchdown or 100 yards receiving, Rhodes has filled the void. But there’s even more to the offense.
Enter tailback Timothy Durr, who has rushed for just shy of 1,100 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2015. So if you think by slowing down the aerial attack, you’ll have an easier time with the Collins offense, think again.
However, Durr is only a part of the Tiger run game. Hawthorn is also a home run waiting to happen when he decides to tuck and run. He has 540 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns.
But wait, there’s more.
Hawthorn is only 280 yards and two passing touchdowns away from 4,000 yards passing and 40 touchdowns, and he only has 7 interceptions. Hawthorn’s initial target may not be there, but his scrambling ability allows him to buy time and allow defenders to come off their coverage in order to deal with Hawthorn’s running ability. But in truth, it’s what Hawthorn wants; then he can just dump a pass over the defender’s head for a first down or more.
So, in actuality, there’s not just one player Collins depends on. It’s more than just the Tigers’ passing game or run game. There’s more than just Hawthorn, Durr and Keys. There are so many options, so many ways to beat opponents, it looks like Collins’ offense is truly unstoppable.
Contact sports writer Jacob Kemp at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow @jacob_kemp2 on Twitter.