Cavaliers ready to chase a title

Published 1:52 pm Monday, November 6, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

HOGANSVILLE – Here we go again.

Twice since 2013, the Callaway Cavaliers have made a serious run at a state championship.

Callaway reached the semifinals in 2013 before losing a close one to Buford, and it made it back to the final four a year ago before falling to eventual state-champion Benedictine.

On Friday, Callaway will begin what it hopes will be another extended playoff run when it hosts Douglass-Atlanta in the opening round of the Class AA state playoffs.

While Callaway (9-1) finished second in Region 5-AA, Douglass (7-3) is the third-place team from Region 6-AA.

Callaway and Douglass are two of the 32 teams participating in the Class AA state playoffs, and it takes five wins to capture the championships.

Callaway was unable to overcome five turnovers in a 35-28 loss to Heard County, but it has been flawless otherwise this season.

The Cavaliers average 38 points per game, and they get it done with a powerful running game that features three men in DJ Atkins, Cartavious Bigsby and Qua Hines who have combined for more than 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Quarterback Kedrick Ramsey has also had a superb senior season, and he had a touchdown run in last week’s 42-12 win over Jordan that completed the regular season.

Ramsey, who was a starter on defense for last year’s team that went 13-1, is ready for his opportunity to lead the Cavaliers in the playoffs.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Ramsey said. “I want to take this team where we’ve never been before. We’ve got the talent to do it. We’ve just got to keep practicing hard and try to make it.”

First up will be a Douglass team that features a play-making quarterback in Juan Powell.

Douglass is almost exclusively a running team.

Powell averages more than 130 rushing yards per game, and he and running back Darryl McClellan have combined for more than 2,000 yards.

Callaway heads into the playoffs on the heels of another successful regular season.

Under head coach Pete Wiggins, Callaway has won nine or more games in the regular season six times since 2008, and that included the 2016 team that went 10-0.

“The season started way back on Jan. 4, and these kids have really committed in the weight room, and in the offseason to get where we are now,” Wiggins said. “I’m really proud of our senior leadership, and the dedication these guys have shown day in and day out.”

The Cavaliers have enjoyed a lot of playoff success.Since 2008, Callaway has won at least one playoff game every year but one, and it has reached the quarterfinals or the semifinals three times since 2009.