Painful loss for Cavaliers
Published 12:47 am Saturday, October 20, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
FRANKLIN – They were moments away from a championship.
The Callaway Cavaliers were leading by three points with less than 10 seconds remaining in Friday’s showdown with the Heard County Braves, but it wasn’t over.
Heard County had the ball inside the Callaway 30-yard line, and it had time for two plays at the most.
If Callaway could make one final defensive stand, it would win the Region 5-AAAA title.
Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, it was the home-standing Braves who made the game-winning play.
Quarterback Alijah Huzzie found LeQuincey Shepherd in the left corner of the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown pass to give Heard County the dramatic 13-10 victory, sending the home fans at Staples Stadium into a frenzy.
After a booming Hunter Williamson punt, Heard County took over at its own 20-yard line with two minutes to play trailing by three.
Huzzie had a 30-yard run to midfield, and a few plays later the Braves found themselves on the 27-yard line.
Rather than attempt a potential game-tying field goal, Heard County head coach Tim Barron kept the offense on the field, and that decision paid major dividends.
The Braves looked like they were about to take the lead in the closing moments of the first half, but they lost a fumble at the goal line.
Early in the second half, Callaway blocked a punt inside the 30-yard line, and that led to a Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby 4-yard touchdown run, and Williamson’s extra point gave Callaway a 7-0 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Williamson drilled a 42-yard field goal, and Callaway was up 10-0.
The Braves found themselves deep in Cavaliers’ territory once again on their ensuing drive, and this time they didn’t let the opportunity go to waste, with Huzzie hooking up with Aaron Beasley for an 8-yard touchdown.
Leading 10-7 with 4:30 to play, the Cavaliers were hoping to get a few first downs to salt the game away, but they were unable to make it happen, and they had to punt, and the Braves drove 80 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Heard County (6-2 overall) improved to 4-0 in Region 5-AA with two games remaining, while Callaway (7-2 overall) fell to 4-1 in the region heading into Thursday’s regular-season finale against Jordan.