Callaway, Bremen set for showdown
Published 10:30 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’s a clash of the Class AA titans.
There are a handful of different polls released each week, and in three of them either the Callaway Cavaliers or Bremen Blue Devils are the second-ranked Class AA team in the state.
Those two powerhouse teams will meet on Friday night at Callaway Stadium, with the winner taking a big step toward the Region 5-AA championship.
Callaway (4-1 overall) began its region schedule with a 49-0 win over Temple last week, while Bremen (4-0) is playing its region opener.
Both teams have aspirations of not only winning a region title, but competing for a state championship down the road.
Callaway and Bremen both went 11-2 last season and reached the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
Bremen was in Class AAA last season, but it has dropped down to Class AA this year.
“Bremen plays extremely hard,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “They’ve got a lot of seniors with good leadership. They went to the quarterfinals, and won 11 games. Most of those guys are returning this year. They play fast on defense. They give you a lot of looks, and play with a lot of confidence. Their quarterback (Wade Cartwright) is very solid. Their run game is strong. I think their offensive line is really strong, and they have receivers to throw the ball to. Special-teams wise, it’s one of the best kickers, punters that we’ve seen. So they’re a balanced football team.”
Bremen opened the season with a 13-10 win over a Rabun County team that played for the Class AA state championship last year. Three weeks later, Bremen went to Cedartown and won 13-9.
“They have a solid program, and they’re playing with confidence right now,” Wiggins said. “I know their community’s fired up, and it’ll be an exciting game Friday night.”
Senior Destin Patrick, an outstanding defensive lineman for the Cavaliers, said it’ll be critical for everyone to be at their best on each play
“You have to just play hard every play,” Patrick said. “You can’t take a play off. That’s what determines the game.”
Tre Heard, another senior defensive lineman, said “we just have to be aggressive, and go to battle.”
Callaway, like Bremen, is tested after playing a challenging early-season schedule.
Callaway opened with a 35-21 win over Opelika, which reached the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals in Alabama last year.
Two weeks ago, Callaway played a Troup team that is 5-0 and has been blowing the doors off of everyone it has played.
Callaway was within 10 points late against Troup before losing 37-20.
“Bremen, they’re the same caliber of team as Troup, Opelika,” Wiggins said. “They’re a different style of team, but they’re that good. So we have to have a great game, and limit mistakes, and that’s with turnovers and penalties, and when opportunities come we’ve got to take advantage of it. There’s always opportunities in games, and when they come, we have to take them. There’s momentum in these games, and when we have momentum, we’ve got to score, or we’ve got to stop them. We’ve got to create opportunities for us.”
Bremen will likely see a heavy dose of running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby.
Bigsby began the season with a bang, running for nearly 250 yards in the win over Opelika, and he has continued to perform at a high level.
Running backs Charlie Dixon and Qua Hines have also excelled, and quarterback Jacob Freeman has been a play-maker.
Leading the way is a formidable offensive line that is led by Keiondre Jones, the future Auburn Tiger.
The Cavaliers have been getting it done on defense as well with three shutouts, and they’ve scored five defensive touchdowns.
CALLAWAY VS. BREMEN
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Callaway Stadium
RECORDS: Callaway (4-1, 1-0 in Region 5-AA); Bremen (4-0, 0-0 in Region 5-AA)
COACHES: Callaway – Pete Wiggins; Bremen – Davis Russell