BY CHIP CIRILLO
By now, most of Shelbyville's opponents know about Grayson Tramel and Avery Brown, but there doesn't seem to be any way to stop them.
The talented duo leads the midstate in passing and receiving.
Tramel has thrown for 2,743 yards and 27 touchdowns with only six interceptions. Nearly 45 percent of his yardage and half of his TDs have gone to Brown, who has 61 receptions for 1,224 yards and 13 TDs.
"They're both special," Golden Eagles coach Justin Palmer said. "Avery is just electric with the ball in his hands. Great speed, route running is top-notch and he has really good hands to go along with that.
"You don't throw for as many yards as Grayson without having arm talent, having a mind for the game and really just being a football-savvy player."
Tramel (6-foot-1, 180-pound senior) broke a state record with 606 passing yards in last Friday's 47-37 loss to Summit, the second-ranked team in Class 5A.
Westwood's Kenton Evans held the old record with 597 yards against Memphis South Side in 1994.
Shelbyville's offensive line gave Tramel plenty of time to throw with no sacks as he completed 29 of 47 passes for three TDs against Summit.
"We've got several other receivers that can catch the ball, too, so that forces the defense to choose, 'Are you going to put two guys on Avery and take him away and then let one of our other guys be in single coverage? Or do you just play it straight up and hope he doesn't burn you too bad?'" Palmer said.
Jeremiah Wyatt and Luke Davidson have also been reliable targets in the Eagles' four-receiver spread offense.
"I think we have six guys with double-digit catches this year so that's pretty good for high school," Palmer said. "I think we have five different guys who have touchdowns. When you've got more than one threat, that makes it tough on a defense."
Brown (5-9, 168, senior), a mid-major prospect, caught eight passes for 293 yards and one TD against Summit (7-1). It was the sixth-most yardage in one game in state history.
Summit blitzed for most of the game, but Tramel only had to scramble out of the pocket once.
Guard/Tackle Gary Smith III (6-3, 280) could be a major college prospect.
Shelbyville (3-4) hosts third-ranked Columbia (6-1) on Friday.