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Cavaliers run strong in win over Blue Devils

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

It was an unstoppable combination.

Callaway’s Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby enjoyed a monster night, running for more than 300 yards with three long touchdown runs, and he was the beneficiary of an offensive line that owned the line of scrimmage.

Quarterback Jacob Freeman and running back Qua Hines also chewed up big numbers on the ground, and the Cavaliers beat the Bremen Blue Devils 37-25 in a Region 5-AA showdown.

Callaway (5-1 overall) improved to 2-0 in the region with four games remaining, while Bremen (4-1) fell short in its region opener.

Bigsby, who had close to 300 yards in the season opener against Opelika, surpassed that total against a Bremen team that was so impressive defensively in its first four games.

Bigsby had a pair of 80-yard touchdown runs to go along with a 56-yard scoring run, and he averaged more than 15 yards per carry.

Freeman threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Markus Morman, and he also had a 10-yard scoring run late in the fourth quarter that put the game on ice.

Callaway also got a 28-yard field goal from Hunter Williamson, and the senior made four extra points.

“I’m really proud of our kids for the way they fought throughout the game,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “It was a physical game. Both teams really got after one another. Our kids believe they’re going to win, regardless of who we play, and any situation.”

It helped that the Cavaliers had Bigsby on their side.

The junior running back, showing why so many college-football programs are recruiting him, ripped off big run after big run, showing off a potent combination of speed, power, vision, and toughness.

Bigsby gave credit to the offensive linemen who made sure he had plenty of holes to run through.

“Coach got on them and said if we don’t get physical on the line, it won’t work,” Bigsby said. “So they went to work tonight.”

Keiondre Jones, a member of that impressive offensive line, said Wiggins “challenged us to be more physical.”

“We had to play really hard tonight,” Jones added. “As long as we did that, we had the athletes to play with anybody. We were kind of unstoppable.”

Whether it was Bigsby or Hines carrying the ball, the Cavaliers kept piling up big numbers on the ground.

“Both Tank and Qua, they run physical, and again it’s a game where I felt like our offensive line leaned on their defense, and the two backs were running hard,” Wiggins said. “That put us in a good situation.”

The Cavaliers were clinging to a five-point lead when they got the ball at their own 20-yard line with 7:54 to play.

The Cavaliers imposed their will on the Blue Devils on that possession, going 80 yards in 13 plays, all on the ground, for the clinching touchdown.

Hines got that drive started with a 13-yard carry, and he punctuated that run by barreling through a Bremen defender for a few extra yards.

After Bigsby picked up a 3-yard run on fourth down, Freeman finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run, and Callaway led 37-25.

Dre Towns deflected a pass on fourth down on Bremen’s final possession to force a turnover on downs, and the clock ran out after Callaway ran one kneel-down play.

The Cavaliers struck first in the game, with Freeman finding Morman for a 4-yard scoring pass with 5:32 left in the opening quarter.

That play capped an 80-yard scoring drive.

The Blue Devils came right back, with Wade Cartwright throwing a 16-yard touchdown pass to Jason Houston.

The extra-point attempt was blocked by Curmondre Bray, so Callaway still led 7-6.

It took the Cavaliers five plays to score again, with Bigsby coming through with a 56-yard touchdown run, and the lead was 14-6 with 1:25 to play in the first quarter.

Back came Bremen, which drove 70 yards for a touchdown, with Brant Ivey taking a direct snap and scoring on a 2-yard run.

The two-point attempt was unsuccessful, and Callaway’s lead was 14-12 with 7:25 to play in the half.

It was time for the Bigsby show to resume.

On the first offensive play following Bremen’s touchdown, Bigsby took a handoff from Freeman, and 80 yards later he was in the end zone, and Callaway led 21-12.

The determined Blue Devils kept coming.

With 3:35 to play in the half, Tyran Dobbs scored on a 3-yard run, and the extra point cut Callaway’s lead to 21-19.

Bremen got the ball back and had a chance to take the lead, but Tely Fanning blocked a field-goal attempt was time expired in the half, so Callaway maintained a 21-19 lead.

The Cavaliers got the ball first in the second half, and they drove from their own 34 to the Blue Devils’ 11-yard line, and Williamson knocked down a 28-yard field goal to put Callaway ahead 24-19 with 9:26 to play in the third quarter.

That’s the way it remained until Tyric Dobbs scored on a 4-yard run moments into the fourth quarter.

With 11:55 left in the game following an unsuccessful two-point try, Bremen led 25-24.

The Cavaliers needed a response, and they got one from Bigsby.

On the first play of the ensuing possession, Bigsby did it again, beating the Bremen defense for an 80-yard touchdown run.

The Cavaliers went for two and didn’t get it, and they led 30-25.

Callaway’s then defense came through with a big stop, with Morman batting a pass away on third down.

The Blue Devils punted, and the Cavaliers embarked on their game-clinching 80-yard scoring drive.

Callaway will be on the road next Friday against Lamar County.

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