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Callaway ready to bounce back

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Sport Editor

The Callaway Cavaliers don’t lose often.

Under head coach Pete Wiggins, the Cavaliers have been a consistent winner, reaching double digits in victories in seven of the previous 10 seasons.

Losses do happen, though, and the key is how a team responds to that adversity.

Callaway opened this season with three consecutive wins before falling to Troup last week.

Today at Temple, Callaway will try to avoid a second consecutive loss while opening its Region 5-AA schedule on a positive note.

If past history is an indicator, Callaway will be just fine.

Since the start of the 2012 season, Callaway has dropped back-to-back regular-season games just once, and that came in 2014 when it lost to Harris County and Troup.

In last week’s game, Callaway rallied from a 14-0 deficit to tie it at 14-14 early in the second half, but it lost 37-20.

That game marked the end of a challenging non-region schedule for Callaway.

“The ultimate goal is to win a state championship,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “We feel like our non-region schedule has helped us get better. We’ve scheduled very good opponents who were well-coached, and each team had a lot of players.”

After beating Starr’s Mill in a preseason game, Callaway opened the regular season with an impressive 35-21 victory over Opelika.

Callaway followed that up with a 14-0 win over LaGrange before beating Cross Keys 50-0 and losing to Troup.

Now, Callaway will turn its attention to the all-important region schedule, beginning with today’s game at Temple.

“At this point, everybody’s 0-0,” Wiggins said. “We’re excited about starting region, and we feel good about where we’re at right now. We’ve got some bumps and bruises, but for the most part we’re healthy.”

Callaway’s opponent is a Temple team that has struggled.

Temple beat Kendrick 35-9 in week two, but it was blown out in losses to Putnam County, Mount Zion and Northwest Whitfield.

Temple’s offense is led by sophomore quarterback Ronald Tanner, who has thrown for 440 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 221 yards with six touchdowns.

Senior running back Daimar Ivey leads the team with 245 yards.

While it’s been tough going for Temple, Wiggins remembers how his team was pushed when it went to Carroll County for the game two years ago.

Callaway won 35-10, but it was a competitive game in the fourth quarter.

“Two years ago when we went to Temple, it was actually a one-score game in the fourth quarter,” Wiggins said. “So we have to prepare well, and go up and execute against Temple. It’s going to be a tough ballgame, but we’re looking forward to getting back on the field Friday night.”

Temple will likely get a healthy dose of Callaway running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby.

Bigsby has close to 500 rushing yards, and more than half of those yards came in the season opener against Opelika.

Callaway has two other gifted running backs in Charlie Dixon and Qua Hines, and quarterback Jacob Freeman has made plenty of big plays as well.

Callaway’s defense has performed well, although it struggled at times to slow down a high-powered Troup offense.

“The goal is to get better each week, so hopefully as we go through the region schedule we’ll continue to grow as a team, and continue to get better as we get on into the playoffs,” Wiggins said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

CALLAWAY VS. 

TEMPLE

WHEN: Today, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Temple

RECORDS: Callaway (3-1), Temple (1-3)