In a dominating all-around display, the Callaway Cavaliers thumped the visiting Tatnall County Warriors 49-7 Friday night in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
Next up, Callaway (10-1) will host Washington County (10-1) in a second-round matchup.
Tatnall County had no shot.
The Cavaliers trailed 7-6 after a shaky first quarter, but they outscored the Warriors 43-0 the rest of the way.
The offense was dynamic as usual, with a number of different players getting involved, and the defense did its part as well, shutting down a Tatnall County offense that had been scoring 33 points a game.
It was a complete performance by a Callaway team that has won 10 straight games since a season-opening loss.
“We worked hard this whole week preparing for this team and the playoffs,” said safety Cortez Leonard, who scored a touchdown on offense and had an interception. “We were ready to play.”
Added head coach Pete Wiggins: “I’m proud of our seniors. I’m proud of the work ethic our kids have. It was a great win for our kids.”
Callaway jumped on top 6-0 two minutes into the game on a 1-yard keeper by Tez Parks, and the touchdown was set up by a 49-yard interception return by defensive lineman Deon Bray.
Tatnall County responded with a touchdown on a fourth-down play later in the quarter, and the extra point gave the visiting team a 7-6 lead.
Moments into the second quarter, Parks gave the Cavaliers the lead right back with a 56-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.
Eddie Culpepper’s two-point run put Callaway on top 14-7 with 11:51 left in the half.
Later in the quarter, after a Tatnall County punt, Devon Rosser got into the act with a 24-yard touchdown run, and Chase Freeman’s extra point made it a 21-7 lead.
It was still a 14-point game when the Cavaliers got the ball at their own 22-yard line with 56 seconds left in the half, and it turns out that was plenty of time.
After a 27-yard run by Culpepper, and a 20-yard keeper by Parks, the Cavaliers found the end zone through the air.
Parks lofted the ball toward the end zone, and Terry Godwin got behind his defender and made the catch for a 31-yard touchdown.
Freeman’s kick gave the Cavaliers a 28-7 lead at the half.
“That was a big score for us, and I feel like it gave us a lot of momentum going into halftime,” Wiggins said.
It took the Cavaliers less than 20 seconds into the second half to pad their lead.
On the first play from scrimmage in the half, Rosser beat the Tatnall County defense for a 71-yard touchdown run, and the extra point pushed the lead to 35-7.
Later in the quarter, Leonard showed off his speed when he scored on a 50-yard touchdown run, and the Cavaliers were ahead 42-7 with 3:32 left in the third quarter.
Callaway’s final touchdown was set up by an interception on a tipped ball by Josh Emery.
Two plays later, Wilson Lindsey scored on a 21-yard run, and Hunter Milliman banged through the extra point to cap the scoring with 2:18 remaining in the quarter.
From there, Wiggins emptied the bench, and neither team scored in the final quarter.