The Buford Wolves knew they were in a fight.
In the end, Buford did what it seemingly always does, and that’s win the game.
This one was different, though.
Buford usually has things wrapped up by halftime, and by the third quarter it’s about time for the second and third-teamers to take over.
Callaway was having none of that.
The Cavaliers came out Friday night and stood toe-to-toe with the Wolves.
The Cavaliers became the first team this season to take a lead at the half against the Wolves.
Tez Parks and Eddie Culpepper both had touchdown runs in the first half, Terry Godwin had a great catch that set up one of the scores, and Callaway’s defense did a phenomenal job against a Buford offense that puts up 50 points a game.
As the two teams headed to their respective locker rooms, Callaway led 14-7.
The Wolves are a championship team, though, and they showed it in the second half.
Buford outscored Callaway 17-0 in the third quarter to take a 10-point lead, and it went on to capture a 24-14 victory.
The Wolves hadn’t been tested all season, but they handled the situation like the champions they are.
As for the Cavaliers, they were heart-broken.
They didn’t want to hear about moral victories, or about how they played Buford tougher than anyone has all season.
They went to Buford to win the football game, and they weren’t far away from making it happen.
It wasn’t the ending the Cavaliers wanted to a spectacular season, but what a ride it was.
The Cavaliers (12-2) set a school record for wins, they made it to the semifinals for the first time in school history, and they stood tall against a Buford team that many regard as the finest in the state, regardless of classification.
This is a Buford team that had been outscoring opponents by an average score of 49-6, and hadn’t had a playoff game closer than six points.
Hats off to head coach Pete Wiggins, all of the coaches, and obviously to the dozens of players - including the 13 seniors - who made this such a special season.
The Cavaliers will have some big shoes to fill, but there are a lot of talented players returning, and there are a bunch of younger players ready to step in and show what they can do.
Callaway’s program is in a place where the names change, but the wins just keep on coming.
The Cavaliers will shake off this disappointment, they’ll get back to work, and they’ll try to get right back here next year.
I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see that happen.