It’s an unstoppable force
Fullback helps Callaway put up big numbers
by By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
Callaway fullback Devon Rosser had an exceptional junior season.
As part of a talented group of running backs, Rosser usually made something big happen when he got his hands on the ball.
If Rosser had one complaint about his performance last year, though, it’s that on occasion he got caught from behind.
Heading into his senior season, Rosser was intent on making sure that didn’t happen again.
“Last year, I got talked about a lot. People could take angles and catch me at the 2 or 3,” Rosser said after practice Monday. “I made sure in the offseason I trained hard to get my speed up. I can pop ‘em now. I don’t have to worry about anybody catching me. That’s a good feeling.”
Rosser, and all of Callaway’s offensive players, haven’t been getting caught too often this season.
The Cavaliers have an embarrassment of riches on offense, from quarterback Tez Parks, to Rosser and running backs Eddie Culpepper and Cedric Maynard, to standout wide receiver Terry Godwin.
Throw in a stout offensive line led by senior Brandon Sutton, and it’s no accident the Cavaliers are averaging 37 points per game.
Callaway runs an option offense, and the first option involves just sticking the ball in the belly of the fullback.
In Callaway’s case, that simple play oftentimes yields major dividends.
Rosser has run for six touchdowns this season, including a 54-yard scoring run in the season opener against Heard County, and he seemingly always rips off big yards when he carries the ball.
At around 200 pounds, Rosser has the strength to bull through opposing defenders, and he also has the speed to pull away from just about anyone.
Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said Rosser’s success isn’t an accident.
“When the weight room doors open, Devon Rosser is waiting,” Wiggins said. “In the weight room, he works as hard as any kid we’ve ever had. He’s a great leader out there on the field, and in the class room. He’s what you want representing your football team.”
Rosser is carrying on a fine family tradition.
His older brother, Dionte Rosser, was also a standout player at Callaway, and he’s now a junior linebacker on the Georgia State football team.
Dionte Rosser was a senior in 2010 when Devon Rosser was a freshman.
“We’ve got several right now who are younger players of players who have played for us before,” Wiggins said. “That’s awesome to have.”
Devon Rosser, like his older brother, is leaving behind a winning legacy.
During Rosser’s four years on the team, the Cavaliers are 31-9, they’ve won one region championship and appear headed toward another, and they’ve won state-playoff games in 2010 and 2012.
Rosser was just an observer in 2010, but last year he was a starter and a key player on a Callaway that went 10-2, captured the Region 4-AAA title and made it to the second round of the state playoffs.
The season ended on a down note, though, with Washington County beating Callaway 28-0.
Rosser said that game is still fresh in the minds of the players.
“That left a sour taste in our mouth. We had a goose egg,” Rosser said. “That was the first time that happened. We have to redeem ourselves this year. We feel like we can be a good contender for state.”
However far the Cavaliers go will largely depend on how the offense performs.
Outside of a 31-12 loss to Harris County, the Cavaliers haven’t come close to being stopped.
Parks, also a senior, is having a sensational season.
When Parks keeps the ball, he’s always a threat to score and he has found the end zone on numerous occasions this season, and he has also developed into a terrific passer.
Parks’ favorite target is Godwin, who has touchdown catches in the past four games, and that included a 91-yard scoring catch against Central-Carroll.
“Tez, and coach (Matt) Napier, and little T (Godwin), they worked extremely hard in the offseason,” Wiggins said. “(Parks has) gotten a lot better. He’s able to get it to several different receivers. It makes our offense a little bit more versatile.”
Culpepper, who missed the first two games of the season while serving a suspension, is also having a terrific season at running back, and he’s often on the receiving end of a Parks pitch.
The breakout offensive player this season has been Maynard, a sophomore who gives the Cavaliers yet another back with game-breaking ability.
“Folks don’t know what to expect,” Rosser said. “They get one guy, we’ve got plenty more.”
Rosser said a major key to the success of the offense is the men up front, who have opening up huge holes this season.
In Friday’s 55-0 victory over Haralson County, Sutton had six pancake blocks where he puts a defender on his back.
“The offensive line is where it starts. They’re making the holes,” Rosser said. “They give us a hole, we’re going to run through it. That’s what coach says. They give us a hole, we’re going to pop it.”
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