The Cavaliers opened their season with a 43-37 loss to Heard County on Aug. 25, and by the time Friday’s game comes along, they will have had two full weeks of preparation.
“Obviously Friday night is a big game against Troup,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “It’ll be a great atmosphere. But it’s the next game for us. That’s how we always treat it.”
The Cavaliers came up on the short end of an offensive shutout against the Braves.
The teams took turns swapping touchdowns, and it was Heard County finding the end zone last in a game that featured 80 points and no punts.
It was a tough night for a defense that includes a lot of new starters, but Wiggins said the team is using the game as a learning tool rather than dwell on the loss.
“Obviously there’s frustration in not winning,” Wiggins said. “But you’re going to get better for it. (Defensive coordinator Dusty Hubbard) talked about it today after practice. Sometimes you get better after a loss. I feel like we learned a lot about ourselves, and we’ve got to move forward and get better.”
The bright spot in the Heard County game was an offense that put up huge numbers, mostly on the ground, with quarterback Tez Parks and a host of running backs chewing up the Heard defense.
The Cavaliers did have a key turnover in the fourth quarter, though, that led to Heard’s go-ahead touchdown.
Wiggins said all of the mistakes made in the Heard game and the Shaw preseason scrimmage have been addressed.
“We played a good football team in Shaw and had some mistakes, and we played a good football team in Heard County and had some mistakes,” Wiggins said. “We’ve learned from both games leading into the Troup game. I know that Troup’s got a good football team too, and we’ll try to minimize those mistakes and keep getting better, and ultimately prepare ourselves for region.”
In the four previous games against Troup, three of them have gone down to the closing seconds, with Troup winning all three times.
In the one blowout, Callaway cruised to a 29-0 victory in 2010.
“Troup has a great football team,” Wiggins said. “They have great size, a lot of speed. They’re well-coached. I’ve known (Troup coach Lynn Kendall) a long time, and I know he’ll have his team ready.
“Ultimately, the team that makes the fewest mistakes will probably win the football game.”