Impressive effort for Cavaliers

Published 12:13 am Saturday, September 2, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – There was no suspense this year.

Last fall, the Callaway Cavaliers rallied from seven points down in the fourth quarter to beat home-standing Handley 42-28.

On Friday, those two powerhouses met again, this time at Callaway Stadium, and there was no drama this time around.

The Cavaliers dominated the game from the get-go on the way to a 35-0 victory over the top-ranked Class AAAA team in Alabama.

It was an impressive and complete performance for Callaway (2-0), which has won 21 consecutive regular-season games.

“I’m really proud of our kids,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “They’ve worked their butts off, and they’ve had a great attitude coming into tonight. You could just feel the intensity they had in pre-game. They were really focused. And it showed up tonight.”

The Cavaliers set the tone moments into the game when Gabriel Moultrie forced a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, and Kobe Jackson scooped up the ball and raced 40 yards for the touchdown.

Callaway’s offense did

the rest of the scoring.

Quarterback Kedrick Ramsey added a 6-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter, and Courtney Williams turned a short completion from Ramsey into a 46-yard score with 3:15 left in the first half to make it a 21-0 game.

In the second half, DJ Atkins ripped off a 47-yard touchdown run, and Cartavious Bigsby had a 1-yard scoring run to cap the scoring midway through the third quarter.

“It feels good,” Atkins said. “They already had a lot of hype. They won a championship in Class AAAA. And last year, they were beating us in the second half. So we looked forward to this game. And we feel proud. We worked hard this week.”

For the second straight game, Callaway’s defense was a big part of the story.

The Cavaliers have played two games, and they’ve haven’t allowed a point in either one of them.

Callaway opened with a 26-0 victory over LaGrange.

“Our defense is doing a great job tackling right now, and they’re running to the ball,” Wiggins said. “Our defensive staff’s doing a great job. And we’re playing physical, and really setting the tone for the game. I’m really proud for those kids.”

Offensively, Callaway showed off its depth, with a number of different players contributing.

“I feel like we’ve been consistent offensively,” Wiggins said. “Our guys up front are grinding. We’ve got some things we’ve got to do better, but I’m proud of their physicality. And these backs are waiting for holes to develop. They’re doing a good job.”

Handley began the opening possession at its own 21-yard line, and the first play was a positive one, with Devontae Houston getting enough yards for a first down.

Moultrie chased Houston down and forced the ball loose, though, and Jackson was on the spot.

“I picked it up, and saw nothing but green grass,” Jackson said.

Noah Stephens made the first of his four extra points, and Callaway led 7-0.

Later in the first quarter, the Cavaliers started at their own 42-yard line after a punt, and they went 58 yards in nine plays.

Ramsey capped the drive with a 6-yard keeper, and Stephens banged home the extra point to give Callaway a 14-0 lead with 11:52 left in the half.

On the Cavaliers’ next touchdown, they showed off their quick-strike ability.

On a second-down play, Ramsey threw a quick pass to Williams, and he out-raced the Handley defense for a 46-yard touchdown.

Stephens converted the extra point, and Callaway led 21-0.

The Cavaliers padded their lead moments into the third quarter, with Atkins displaying his speed with a 47-yard touchdown run.

It was the first touchdown of the season for Atkins, who ran for more than 2,000 yards as a junior.

Stephens made the extra point, and with 11:11 left in the third quarter, Callaway led 28-0.

The Cavaliers completed the scoring on their next possession.

Qua Hines thought he’d scored on a long run, but the play was called back because of a penalty.

Callaway found the end zone anyway.

Following an Atkins 24-yard run, Bigsby plowed into the end zone from one yard out, and Hunter Williamson made the extra point to push the lead to 35-0 with 6:21 to play in the third quarter.

Callaway will be back at Callaway Stadium on Friday to host East Coweta before completing non-region play at Upson-Lee on Sept. 15.

“The kids have worked hard, and we’ve got to continue to progress each week,” Wiggins said. “We’ve got a lot of football teams left to play.”