Callaway duo runs strong in playoff win
By kevin eckleberry
They were unstoppable.
A strength of the Callaway offense is its vaunted running game, and it was on full display in last week’s 27-14 playoff win over Elbert County.
Leading the way was junior Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby, who delivered an overpowering performance.
Bigsby, showing why he is so highly-regarded by big-time college programs from coast to coast, pummeled the Elbert County defense for 314 yards on 27 attempts and three touchdowns.
Senior Qua Hines was up to the challenge as well.
Hines had six carries for 97 yards, and he came through with arguably the biggest play of the game.
It was tied 14-14 in the closing moments of the third quarter when Hines took a handoff from Demetrius Coleman, and 75 yards later he was in the end zone with the go-ahead touchdown.
“I had to make a play for my team,” Hines said.
Bigsby is the team’s work horse, and he has had a phenomenal season.
Bigsby has run for more than 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns, and he’s averaging more than 10 yards per carry.
Nearly 900 of Bigsby’s yards came in three games.
Before last week, his highest single-game yardage total came against Bremen when he had 309 yards on 19 attempts with three touchdowns, and two of those scoring runs covered 80 yards.
Against Opelika, Bigsby had 249 yards on 22 carries with three touchdowns.
In the Elbert County game, Callaway’s running game got into gear in the second half.
During the halftime break, Bigsby said Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins stressed to the players the importance of getting the ground game going.
“Coach told us in the locker room, guys you know they can’t stop the run,” Bigsby said. “He said keep pounding and pounding. He said we’ve got two great running backs. Let’s keep pushing and pushing, and that’s what we did.”
Bigsby’s first touchdown run covered 74 yards in the first quarter, and he added a 5-yard scoring run in the second quarter to give Callaway a 14-0 lead.
Elbert County tied it at 14-14 in the third quarter, and it had momentum on its side when Hines came through with his game-changing 75-yard run.
Callaway’s offensive linemen opened a massive hole, and Hines did the rest.
“It was a great moment for Qua,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “He comes through with a big run, and really swung the momentum. I was really proud of him and his effort. The guys up front did a good job.”
Tely Fanning, a linebacker who led the team in tackles last week, was happy for his friend and fellow senior.
“I was proud,” Fanning said. “He’s been my boy since we were younger.”
Bigsby added a 23-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Paving the way for Hines and Bigsby to have such a big night was the offensive line, which wore down Elbert County’s defense.
That group included Keiondre Jones, Adrain Porter, Keshawn Cameron, Austin Thomas and Tate Johnson.
Because the running game was so effective, the Cavaliers didn’t need to do much in the passing game.
Sophomore Demetrius Coleman, making his second straight start at quarterback, completed 7-of-14 passes for 40 yards.
OF NOTE: For a look at Callaway’s defensive performance from last week’s game, see Thursday’s sports section