Callaway hits the road looking to move to 5-0
HOGANSVILLE – One team is standing between the Callaway Cavaliers and a perfect record at the halfway point of the regular season.
Harris County, which is having a solid season of its own, will play host to an unbeaten Callaway team on Friday night.
If the Cavaliers win, they’ll carry a 5-0 record into their Region 5-AA opener against Lamar County on Oct. 7.
All five of Callaway’s non-region opponents are against teams in higher classifications, and head coach Pete Wiggins figures that’ll serve as great preparation for the region games to come.
Callaway has beaten the first four non-region foes by at least 14 points, and it is coming off an impressive 34-7 win over Upson-Lee last week.
“It’s a good challenge for us, and I think it prepares us for the region, and it prepares us for down the road in the playoff with matchups we might have,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said on his weekly radio show. “Overall, it’s really good. We’ve played some really good football teams, some really well-coached football teams, and we were able to come away with victories. It’s a tribute to our kids, and our coaching staff. I think they do a great job.”
Callaway played a nearly flawless first half of football against Upson-Lee on homecoming night last week.
The Cavaliers chewed up huge chunks of yardage and scored touchdowns on four of five possessions at one point, and the defense delivered a stellar outing that was highlighted by an interception return for a touchdown by Kobe Jackson.
Offensively, Callaway quarterback Dylan Johnson threw scoring passes to Braylon Sanders, Michael Freeman and Khaliq Swift, and running back DJ Atkins had more than 200 yards with a touchdown run.
Leading the way up front were offensive linemen Keiondre Jones, Jalen Moss, Lawrence Thompson, John Curtis and Dominic Carter.
Callaway’s defense was strong across the board.
The defensive line, which consists of starters Thomas Hodge, Jamie Sellers, Lichon Terrell and Keegan Woods, controlled the line of scrimmage, which was no small feat against an imposing Upson-Lee offensive line.
Michael Freeman had a big night at linebacker and made numerous tackles for loss, and fellow linebacker Jonathan Leonard continued to shine.
Leonard had an injury-riddled 2015 season, but he has been a leader of the defense this year.
“He just gets better every week,” Wiggins said.
Outside linebackers Kedrick Ramsey, Qua Hines and Travis Traylor also played well, and defensive backs Courtney Williams, Dominique Copeland and Kobe Jackson continued to excel.
The outcome was still in doubt in the second quarter when Upson-Lee took over trailing by two touchdowns.
That’s when Jackson picked off a pass and returned it about 40 yards for a touchdown, and the blowout was on.
“It was a game-changer from Kobe Jackson getting that pick six,” Wiggins said.
Callaway’s special-teams play was solid as always, with Noah Stephens making all four of his extra-point attempts, while Johnson was steady as always at punter.
On kickoffs, Callaway did a nice job of pinning Upson-Lee back.
“We covered well,” Wiggins said. “There were several times we tackled them inside the 20.”
Following Friday’s game, the Cavaliers will take a week off, and they’ll play every weekend after that until their season is over.
Harris County beat Perry 35-17 to improve to 3-1, and it has won two straight games since falling to Hardaway 20-17.
Harris County’s offense has come to life the past two games.
In victories over Shaw and Perry, the Tigers have scored a combined 84 points.
Senior quarterback Jordan Griffin has completed 60 percent of his passes for 642 yards, and he has thrown four touchdowns.
Sophomore running back Cal’Von Harris is having a big season with 405 yards on 55 attempts with five touchdowns.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports