Gritty Thrasher tackles Houlka

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

Thrasher is quietly hoping to pounce on Division 1-1A this season. The Rebels (3-1) hit the road tonight to face division foe Houlka (1-4) at Okolona.
Thrasher is 1-1 inside the division, beating Biggersivlle 35-0 and losing at Coldwater 34-7. Arguably its three toughest division tests are back-to-back-to-back with a road game at Falkner (Oct. 18), home against Smithville (Oct. 26) and on the road again at Vardaman (Nov. 1) to close the regular season.
Despite a solid start, to be one of four playoff teams in an eight-team division is going to take beating a team no one expects the Rebels to beat.
“We just need to take care of the next three,” Thrasher coach Lamart Harvey said. “All the teams in our division are beatable. We hope to get one this week, pick one of those last three off and I feel like that would put us in (the playoffs) at least as a four-seed.”
It’s been all rushing so far this year. J.T. Huddleston has rushed for 250 yards on 31 carries from his quarterback spot and has scored three TDs. Logan Dodds has 276 yards on a team-high 52 carries with a team-high six scores.
Dodds, a senior fullback and linebacker, also has a team-high 67 tackles, 53 of them solo, for a 16.8 per game average. Harvey credits Timmy Roberson and Blake Weatherbee with getting “tough yards,” a combined total of 255 yards and four touchdowns.
The offensive numbers are coming without the help of what would have been returning senior leading rusher Demario Dawkins. Dawkins was one of several players who opted out of returning – five were starters.
An already small roster is now at 22 players.
“The guys we do have work hard. They’re doing their assignments, doing their jobs,” Harvey said. “They’re very gritty kids. It’s scary to think how good we could be if some of those had come back.”
The Rebels went 6-4 last season and upset Vardaman 35-34 to close the regular season but missed out on the playoffs.

Thrasher (3-1) at Houlka (1-4)
THE BUZZ: Last week – Thrasher 35, Biggersville 0; Houlka 28, TCPS 26. … Five different players scored touchdowns for Thrasher last week. … Houlka’s win at TCPS was Wildcats’ first win in nearly two years.

Click video to hear audio