Callaway looking for 10th consecutive win
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 4, 2016
HOGANSVILLE – They’re one win from perfection.
The Callaway Cavaliers have accomplished a lot of great things during the 20-year history of the program, but they’ve never had an unblemished regular season.
Callaway will have a chance to cross that off its to-do list when it hosts the Jordan Red Jackets in today’s regular-season finale.
It’s a tale of teams on opposite ends of the spectrum.
While Callaway (9-0 overall, 4-0 in Region 5-AA) is unbeaten and has already wrapped up the region championship, Jordan (0-9, 0-4) has yet to win a game.
Callaway secured the region title with last week’s impressive 36-14 win over Spencer.
Callaway surged to a 22-0 lead in the first half, and it maintained at least a 15-point lead the rest of the way.
It was not only the Cavaliers’ ninth straight win this season, but they have now won 18 consecutive regular-season games over the past two years.
Callaway’s last regular-season loss came in the 2015 season opener when it lost to LaGrange 44-20.
Now, Callaway will look to stay hot, and healthy, heading into the start of the Class AA state playoffs next week.
In last week’s game, Callaway took on a Spencer team that has enjoyed an outstanding season.
It was a complete effort.
Callaway’s defense performed admirably against a potent Spencer defense.
“Our defense played really well,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “We ran to the ball, we were physical. Coach (Dusty) Hubbard and the defensive staff did a great job preparing the kids.”
Courtney Williams and Dominic Copeland, and linebacker Jonathan Leonard helped Callaway control things near the line of scrimmage.
“He’s a play-maker. He plays with so much heart,” Wiggins said of Leonard. “He runs to the ball, and he plays with everything he’s got on every single play.”
Offensively, junior running back DJ Atkins, who transferred to Callaway from Spencer, had a 4-yard touchdown run, and he also caught a 57-yard scoring pass from Braylon Sanders.
Quarterback Dylan Johnson had touchdown runs of two and 14 yards, and Tely Fanning gave Callaway six points when he recovered a fumble in the end zone when a Spencer player misplayed a kickoff return.
Callaway’s Noah Stephens added a 36-yard field goal.
Atkins has run for close to 1,500 yards, and despite weighing less than 150 pounds, he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.
“When you’re that size, and you’re carrying the ball 25, 30 times a game and taking those kinds of shots week in and week out, and you just keep getting back up, it tells a lot about your toughness,” Wiggins said.
Sanders, a wide receiver, showed off his versatility when he threw a touchdown pass to Atkins in the first half.
Mostly, though, Callaway kept the ball on the ground, with Atkins and Johnson accounting for most of the yards.
“Coach (Matt) Napier and our offensive staff, they prepared the guys well, and it was a good game plan going in,” Wiggins said.
The winning formula is one the Cavaliers have used often over the years.
“We just say play Callaway football,” Wiggins said. “It’s a physicality, it’s trying to minimize your mistakes, and trying to not turn the ball over, and playing fast and physical on defense. I feel like the kids have done a great job of that all season.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports