By the time the Callaway Cavaliers had run six offensive plays, they’d already scored three touchdowns.
Talk about crisp offensive execution.
While the Cavaliers were unable to keep up that scoring-every-other-play pace, they continued to put points on the board at a rapid clip on the way to a 62-28 victory over Henry County on Friday in the opening round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.
The win put the Cavaliers (10-1) in the second round of the state playoffs, and gave them a double-digit season in wins for the second straight year.
Also on Friday, the season came to a close for the Troup Tigers in heart-breaking fashion.
After falling behind 20-0, the Tigers got to within four points in the second half, but they were unable to complete the comeback and lost 26-22.
The Tigers finished the season at 6-5.
At Callaway Stadium on Friday, Devon Rosser scored on a 22-yard touchdown run to begin the scoring onslaught.
Eddie Culpepper added a 57-yard run on the Cavaliers’ next possession, and a little more than two minutes later, Culpepper had a 70-yard touchdown run.
On both of Culpepper’s scoring plays, the offensive line gave him a big hole, and once he broke through he used his speed to leave Henry County’s defenders behind.
“We’ve got several guys that are very explosive,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said.
Wiggins added that “it starts up front. I felt like Brandon Sutton did a great job, along with the other offensive linemen.”
After Terry Godwin returned a punt nearly the length of the field for another touchdown, quarterback Tez Parks scored on touchdown runs of four and 60 yards, and Culepper capped the first-half scoring with a 3-yard run.
In the second half, Parks had a 44-yard touchdown run, he threw a 38-yard scoring pass to Michael Moss, and Tyreke Frazier capped the scoring with a 44-yard run.
“The preparation these kids have put into each week is really special,” Wiggins said. “It shows on Friday night.”
Troup, meanwhile, was hoping to stay red-hot after finishing the regular season with four straight wins to earn the number three seed from Region 5-AAAA.
The game started out miserably for the Tigers, though, who fell into a 20-0 hole in the first quarter thanks in large part to some special-teams miscues.
Gilmer County scored its first touchdown after recovering the ball in the end zone on a botched punt attempt by Troup.
The Tigers found their footing in the second quarter, and Dre Towns scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to make it a 20-7 game.
After Gilmer County scored to go up 26-7, the Tigers came back and got a touchdown pass from Dexter Shealey to Justin Marable with 42 seconds left in the half.
Shealey then ran in the two-point conversion, and Gilmer’s lead was 26-15 at the break.
Troup’s defense made a defensive stop to start the third quarter, and Gilmer had to punt.
The Tigers started from their own 46-yard line, and they caught a break when they recovered the ball in the end zone on a fumble near the goal line.
Suddenly the Tigers were within four, with half of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter to play.
While Troup’s defense continued to make stops, though, the offense was unable to put any more points on the board.
The Tigers got the ball one last time with around two minutes remaining.
They picked up one first down on a fourth-down play, but an interception with 47 seconds left sealed Troup’s fate.