Cavaliers run strong in big win
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
During the days leading up to last week’s showdown against Bremen, Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins pushed and prodded his offensive linemen.
Wiggins knew for the Cavaliers to be successful offensively, they were going to have to get it done on the ground, and in order for that to happen the offensive linemen were going to have to play to their potential against a formidable Bremen defense.
Considering the Cavaliers finished with nearly 500 yards on the ground in the 37-25 win, with Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby accounting for more than 300 of those yards, it’s safe to say that mission was a successful one.
Keiondre Jones, Keshawn Cameron, Adrain Porter, Tate Johnson and Austin Thomas owned the line of scrimmage, helping pave the way for Bigsby and company to put up huge numbers.
Tight end T Bonner was also an effective blocker for the Cavaliers.
“Coach (Wiggins) got on them and said if we don’t get physical on the line, it won’t work,” Bigsby said after burning Bremen’s defense for 309 yards and three touchdowns. “So they went to work tonight.”
One of the members of that offensive line, senior Keiondre Jones, said Wiggins “challenged us to be more physical.”
“We had to play really hard tonight,” said Jones, a four-year starter who has committed to Auburn. “As long as we did that, we had the athletes to play with anybody. We were kind of unstoppable.”
Unstoppable described Bigsby’s night.
The junior running back, showing why he is so highly-regarded by big-time college programs from coast-to-coast, ran for 309 yards on 19 attempts, and he had three long touchdown runs.
Bigsby had two 80-yard touchdown runs, both of which immediately followed a Bremen touchdown.
Senior Qua Hines contributed 91 yards on nine attempts, and quarterback Jacob Freeman ran for 57 yards on nine carries with a touchdown.
Combined, Bigsby, Hines and Freeman ran for 457 yards, and they averaged more than 12 yards per carry.
Freeman also completed 4-of-5 passes for 87 yards with a touchdown to Markus Morman.
“I really think it was the offensive line,” Hines said. “They did their job tonight blocking. They did good.”
Wiggins stressed to the offensive linemen during practice last week how important they were going to be, and they came through in a big way.
“It’s on the shoulders of the offensive line, the tight ends,” Wiggins said. “I was proud of their effort throughout the four quarters.”
Bigsby, as he has shown repeatedly, knows what to do when the linemen give him a hole to run through.
In the season opener against Opelika, Bigsby ran for 249 yards on 22 attempts with three touchdowns.
He was even better against Bremen.
After picking up some key yards on Callaway’s opening possession that ended with Freeman’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Morman, Bigsby had a 56-yard scoring run later in the first quarter.
On Callaway’s next possession, which came after Bremen scored a touchdown to get within two, Bigsby ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils appeared to have momentum after scoring a touchdown to take the lead, but fortunately for the Cavaliers, they had Bigsby on their side.
On the first offensive play following Bremen’s touchdown, Bigsby took a handoff from Freeman and raced 80 yards for the touchdown, and Callaway led 30-25.
Later in the quarter, the Cavaliers embarked on a 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to put the game away, and all the damage was done on the ground.
That drive was capped by a 10-yard touchdown run by Freeman, and Callaway led 37-25.
“Up front, offensive-line wise, we really established the physicality, and gave Tank some really good running lanes,” Wiggins said. “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. That put us in a good situation.”
Callaway will look to keep running strong when it visits Lamar County on Friday for a region game.