Callaway looks to stay unbeaten

Published 1:12 pm Thursday, September 7, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

HOGANSVILLE – It’s been smooth sailing so far for the Callaway Cavaliers, but they’re not about to let up.

Callaway improved to 2-0 with last week’s 35-0 victory over Handley, and it has outscored its first two opponents 61-0.

Cavaliers have been, no one is satisfied, not with so much of the season still to be played.

“We’ve just got to keep staying focused, and preparing in practice,” said senior defensive back Kobe Jackson, who returned a fumble for a touchdown against Handley.

Callaway will look to keep the good times rolling when it hosts Columbus on Friday.

Columbus, a Class AAAA team, is 1-1 after beating Jordan 47-33 and falling to Upson-Lee 43-19.

After opening with a 26-0 victory over LaGrange, Callaway took a week off before its showdown against Handley.

Handley came into the game ranked first in Class AAAA in Alabama after winning a state title a year ago, but it was over-matched by Callaway.

The Cavaliers scored moments into the game on Jackson’s fumble return, and they never looked back.

Callaway’s defense delivered a second straight shutout, while the offense came to life after struggling a bit against LaGrange.

“I’m really proud of our kids,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said following the Handley game. “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.”

On defense, linebacker Jonathan Leonard led the way with seven tackles, Tely Fanning had six tackles, Qua Hines had five, and Jabari Smith had four.

Callaway defensive coordinator Dusty Hubbard said he and Wiggins wanted to make sure to get a lot of players involved, so the starters only played around 25 snaps.

No matter who was in the game on defense, the result was the same, with Handley unable to find the end zone.

“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.”

Callaway’s offense was led by senior running back DJ Atkins, who ran for 81 yards on 11 attempts with a touchdown.

Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby added 54 yards on seven attempts, and Hines had 24 yards on four carries, and he had a long scoring run negated because of a penalty.

Quarterback Kedrick Ramsey completed 7-of-16 passes for 125 yards, and he threw a touchdown pass to Courtney Williams.

Williams caught a screen pass and turned it into a 46-yard touchdown, and he has two long scoring catches this season.

“Courtney turned a short pass into a long gain, and that’s what play-makers do,” Wiggins said.

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

Columbus is looking to bounce back following the blowout loss to Upson-Lee.

In the opener against Jordan, Columbus did a lot of impressive things, especially on offense with quarterback Donovan Carter putting up big numbers.

Against Upson-Lee, Columbus’ offense was unable to get much going.

“Their defensive line was a lot better than our offensive line,” Columbus head coach Phil Marino said. “If we can’t protect Donovan, then he’s not going to be able to do a lot. He still did a lot of great things without the protection. We’ve got to do a better job blocking.”

Callaway plays Upson-Lee and Harris County the next two weeks before opening Region 5-AA play on Oct. 5 against Lamar County.