Cavs get best of Tigers
by By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
Tez Parks didn’t like the view from the sidelines.
Parks, Callaway High’s senior quarterback, hurt his hip late in the first half of Friday’s game against the Troup Tigers, and with his shoulder pads off at the start of the second half it looked like his night was done, especially after the Cavaliers went up 26-7.
After Troup rallied for a pair of touchdowns to get within five points, though, Parks suited back up and charged on to the field.
It didn’t take long for Parks to make a massive impact.
On his first play, he kept the ball, broke through the line of scrimmage, and out-raced the Troup defense for a 57-yard touchdown run.
The Cavaliers were back in control, and they went on to claim a 34-21 victory in the rivalry game.
“I told the rest of my team, if they come back, I have to get back in no matter what,” Parks said. “So I had to get back in. And the first play back in, I got a touchdown.”
Parks also had a 5-yard touchdown run and a 29-yard scoring pass to Michael Moss to account for Callaway’s other offensive touchdowns.
The Cavaliers also found the end zone a couple of times on defense, with Labronze Zelaya and Aaron Clausell each returning fumbles for touchdowns.
Troup lost four fumbles, and head coach Lynn Kendall felt that was the key to his team’s demise.
“We turned the ball over four times,” Kendall said. “I realistically believe that’s at least 21 points. And on two of those turnovers, to their credit, they scoopped and scored. I’m not going to take anything away from them, but I thought that we were probably our own worst enemy tonight.”
Troup moved the ball well on the ground, particularly in the second half as it tried to rally from the big deficit.
Dre Towns had touchdown runs of 15 and 27 yards, and Daryl Dunlap added a 3-yard touchdown run.
In the end, though, Callaway had the upper-hand thanks to a timely defense and the performance of Parks.
“It’s a big rivalry game, and I’m really proud of our kids for handling some adversity in the second half,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “It was a physical ballgame. I know coach Kendall is proud of his kids. It was the kind of ballgame you want to play.”
Callaway struck first on a 5-yard scoring run by Parks with 2:32 left in the first quarter, and Troup answered two minutes later on a 15-yard scoring run by Towns, and it was tied 7-7.
Troup’s touchdown was set up by a fumbled punt return by Callaway.
Callaway reclaimed the lead on Parks’ 29-yard scoring pass to Moss with 9:02 left in the second quarter.
Barely 10 seconds later, the Cavaliers struck again, with Zelaya picked up a fumble and rumbling in from about 10 yards out for the score.
That was the final score of the half, as Callaway went into the break with a 20-7 lead.
With 4:42 left in the third quarter, Clausell’s 35-yard fumble return gave the Cavaliers a 26-7 lead.
Troup responded with a pair of touchdown drives, with Dunlap scoring from three yards out with 10:58 left in the game, and Towns scoring on a 24-yard run with 6:56 left.
Michael Young’s third extra point cut Callaway’s lead to five points with plenty of time remaining.
On the next play from scrimmage, though, Parks delivered his game-deciding touchdown run, and the Cavaliers were back in control.
A Terry Godwin interception with 5:08 left gave the ball back to the Cavaliers, and they were able to run most of the remaining time off the clock.
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