Another shutout for Cavaliers

Published 6:39 pm Monday, September 4, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – That’s two games, and two doughnuts for the Callaway High defense.

After opening the season with a 26-0 victory over LaGrange, Callaway overwhelmed Handley 35-0 last week to improve to 2-0.

A big story for Callaway has been the performance of a defense that hasn’t surrendered a point.

“We’re really running to the ball,” Callaway defensive coordinator Dusty Hubbard said. “We’re getting to the ball.

We worked on that and worked on that, and I think if you’re going to be a good defense, you’ve got to do it well. It’s like anything, it becomes contagious. You show it on film, look at this guy flying to the ball. And everybody’s wanting to do it.”

Handley, whose starting quarterback was lost to an injury the previous week in a scrimmage, had no answer for Callaway’s defense.

“Our defense is doing a great job tackling right now, and they’re running to the ball,” Callaway head coach Pete 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.”

Hubbard substituted freely from the start, and the starters only played around 25 snaps, but the results were the same whoever was in the game.

“With these zeroes, you keep riding it as long as you can go,” Hubbard said. “That’s what I told our kids. Keep putting zeroes up as long as you can.”

Senior linebacker Jonathan Leonard, who had more than 100 tackles a year ago, led the way with seven tackles against Handley.

Tely Fanning had six tackles, and fellow linebackers Qua Hines and Jabari Smith had five and four tackles, respectively.

Callaway’s defense also scored a touchdown, with Kobe Jackson scooping up a fumble and taking it to the end zone for six points.

Hines said what the Cavaliers do on game night is a reflection of what happens in practice.

“On defense, in practice we just work hard, and everybody goes 110 percent,” Hines said. “We just work as a family.”

Hines added that “everybody runs to the ball. We do drills where we all run to the ball. If we don’t, we have to run.”

On offense, Callaway senior running back DJ Atkins had a breakout performance against Handley after he was stymied by LaGrange in the season opener.

Atkins, who ran for more than 2,000 yards last season, had 11 carries for 81 yards with a touchdown, and he also caught one pass for nine yards.

Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby added 54 yards on seven carries with a touchdown, and Hines ran for 24 yards on four attempts.

Hines had a long touchdown run called back because of a penalty.

Also, quarterback Kedrick Ramsey had a scoring run, and he threw a touchdown pass to Courtney Williams.

Ramsey completed 7-of-16 passes for 125 yards with a touchdown, and Williams had two receptions for 61 yards with a touchdown.

Jacob Freeman had two catches for 20 yards, DQ Wilkerson had one catch for 18 yards, and Nathan Sapp had one reception for 13 yards.