Cavaliers put on a show

Published 9:37 pm Monday, May 21, 2018


Daily News

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – For the Callaway Cavaliers, it was a business trip.

The Cavaliers were at Jacksonville State University’s Burgess-Snow Field on Saturday to play Montgomery Catholic in their spring game, and they were eager to show their opponent and anyone else in attendance what Callaway football is all about.

“Every day, we go on the field to get better,” said Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins. “I felt like we had that attitude coming over here today. We worked hard to get to this point. It’s a business approach, and when you get on the grass, you go to get better.”

It was a mismatch.

Montgomery Catholic is coming off a 10-win season, and it is expected to be a formidable team again this season, but it had no chance against Callaway.

The Cavaliers scored on their first play from scrimmage, and they never looked back on the way to a 33-0 victory in a game that lasted three quarters.

In the first half when the starters were on the field, Callaway scored four touchdowns while allowing just one first down to take a 27-0 lead.

The Cavaliers added another touchdown while preserving the shutout, allowing them to finish spring practice with a flourish.

“I think our kids performed today,” Wiggins said. “We had some kids step up that we were looking forward to seeing for the first time. But we’ve still got a long ways to go. There are holes to fill from last year, and we’ll just go back and watch film and see what we’ve got to get better at. But overall, the effort and the attitude of this team has been great, and we’ll keep building on the positives and work on the negatives.”

Wiggins and the other coaches may have to really dive deep into the game film to find those negatives.

Callaway forced a three-and-out on Montgomery Catholic’s first possession, and following a punt, Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby ripped off a 77-yard touchdown run, and the rout was on.

Quarterback Jacob Freeman had a 2-yard touchdown run on Callaway’s second possession, and Bigsby added a 4-yard scoring run later in the quarter.

Callaway’s defense got into the act in the second quarter, with Javari Thomas returning an interception about 20 yards for the touchdown.

In the third quarter, LaQuize Gilbert scored on a 38-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring.

“I’m really proud of the kids,” Wiggins said. “They played fast on defense and tackled well. I was proud of our coaches today. I think the guys worked hard in preparing plans and scripts every day. It’s a good feeling to come out and be successful, and there are always things to get better at. Again, it was a good atmosphere, and I’m proud the kids got to experience it.”

The Cavaliers figure to be an explosive offensive team this season with so many weapons, and they looked the part on Saturday.

Bigsby, a junior who has numerous offers from big-time college programs, showed what he can do on Callaway’s first offensive play.

Bigsby took a handoff from Freeman, and he got to the right sideline and beat the Montgomery-Catholic defense for a 77-yard touchdown.

Hunter Williamson made the first of his three extra points, and Callaway led 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.

After another Montgomery three-and-out, Callaway went back to work.

Freeman completed a 25-yard pass to Jymere Jones, who nearly scored before stepping out of bounds.

Two plays later, Freeman scored on a 2-yard keeper, and Callaway led 13-0.

On the Cavaliers’ next possession, Freeman ripped off a 55-yard run, and Bigsby did the rest.

Bigsby had a 6-yard run, and he followed that up with a 4-yard touchdown run, and Callaway led 20-0 with 35 seconds left in the first quarter.

Nathan Sapp, a defensive lineman who will be a key part of Callaway’s defense, had a sack to force another Montgomery Catholic punt.

The Cavaliers thought they’d scored again when Charlie Dixon beat the defense for an 81-yard touchdown run.

That play was negated by a penalty, though, and Callaway eventually turned the ball over on downs.

The Cavaliers scored anyway, with the defense doing the honors.

Thomas picked off a pass, and he raced into the end zone for the touchdown, and Callaway led 27-0.

Callaway’s Jalin Shephard’s interception late in the half made sure Montgomery Catholic wouldn’t put any points on the scoreboard before the half.

Demetrius Coleman came in at quarterback late in the half, and he had a first-down completion to Lamarceo Brooks and an 18-yar run before time ran out.

In the third quarter, Gilbert put an exclamation point on the victory with his 38-yard touchdown run.