Callaway hits road for region test
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Callaway Cavaliers knew how challenging last week’s game against Bremen would be, and they prepared accordingly.
“I thought it was a tough week,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “Our coaching staff really pushed our kids. There were some tough days at practice. I feel like it paid off for us.”
Indeed it did.
With Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby running wild while amassing more than 300 yards, Callaway beat previously unbeaten Bremen 37-25 in a showdown between teams ranked as high as second in various state polls.
Callaway (5-1 overall) improved to 2-0 in Region 5-AA and took a big step toward a possible region championship.
Callaway will look to keep it going on Friday when it visits Lamar County.
It was an impressive all-around effort against Bremen.
Offensively, the big story was Bigsby, who ran for 309 yards on 19 attempts with three touchdowns.
Qua Hines added 71 yards on nine attempts, and quarterback Jacob Freeman ran for 57 yards on nine attempts.
Freeman also completed 4-of-5 passes for 87 yards with a touchdown to Markus Morman, and Antinez Blount had a key catch.
Defensively, senior linebacker Tely Fanning came up big with 13 tackles, including six for loss with a sack.
Tyrique Andrews had seven tackles, including four for loss, and RJ Williams had seven tackles.
Callaway got it done on special teams as well.
Hunter Williamson made a field goal and all four of his extra-point attempts, and he also did a solid job punting.
“We beat a really good football team Friday night in Bremen,” Wiggins said. “Our leadership was good. I felt like the defense played fast against a really good offense, and we made some plays that I don’t think we’ve made until Friday night. We made some plays in the secondary that affected the outcome of the game. I felt like the offensive line really established the running game, and gave our backs some running lanes. Tank had a big night. Qua had a big night. Blount had a big catch earlier in the game. So I was really proud of our effort throughout the night.”
Bremen had success offensively, particularly in the first half when it scored three touchdowns, but it was held to six points in the critical second half.
Tely Fanning, one of the leaders on defense, had a phenomenal game, and Wiggins said his leadership was on display.
“That might have been his best game,” Wiggins said. “Not only did he make plays, but he did a great job leading. He was really positive, and played with so much effort and enthusiasm.”
Bremen’s defense had no answer for Bigsby.
Bigsby had two 80-yard touchdown runs, and they both came at critical points in the game.
In the first half, Bremen scored a touchdown to get within a point, and Bigsby responded with an 80-yard scoring run on the next offensive play.
In the second half, Bigsby did it again.
Early in the fourth quarter, Bremen scored to take a 25-24 lead, and after the ensuing kickoff went into the end zone, Bigsby’s second 80-yard touchdown run gave Callaway the lead, this time for good.
After Callaway’s defense made a stop, Freeman’s 6-yard touchdown run put the game on ice.
“It was a game of momentum,” Wiggins said. “We overcame their positive momentum. There were opportunities for us to maybe let down, but we did not do that. It was high effort throughout the game, and we got a big win.”
This week, Callaway will be on the road against a Lamar County team that is looking to bounce back from last week’s 28-0 loss to Spencer.
Lamar County (3-3 overall) is 1-1 in region play.
“There’s a lot of tradition at Lamar County,” Wiggins said. “It’s a big game on the road. We’ve had a good week of practice to this point preparing for them. We’ve got to go over to Barnesville and play our brand of ball. Hopefully we’ll have success.”
CALLAWAY VS. LAMAR COUNTY
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
RECORDS: Callaway (5-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 5-AA); Lamar County (3-3 overall, 1-1 in Region 5-AA)
LAST MEETING: Callaway beat Lamar County 48-7