Callaway looks to keep rolling

Published 1:46 am Thursday, September 12, 2019


Daily News

It’s a break in the schedule, but the mindset remains the same for the Callaway Cavaliers.

After opening the season with games against Opelika and LaGrange, Callaway will host a struggling Cross Keys team on Friday night at Callaway Stadium.

Cross Keys went 0-10 last season, and one of those losses was a 50-0 setback at the hands of Callaway.

Things aren’t going any better this season for Cross Keys, which is 0-3 and has been outscored 181-6 in those three games combined.

As far as Callaway offensive coordinator Matt Napier is concerned, though, the key is to continue to improve and work hard, regardless of the opponent.

“You can always get better,” Napier said. “We had a really good week of practice coming off of a win, and the kids have been working hard. Their focus is there, and they’re not taking the game lightly. They’re preparing really well, and their focus is on making our team better. We talk about winning the play, and winning the day, and those guys are doing it every single play, every single rep.”

Callaway opened with a hard-fought 10-7 loss to Opelika before handling LaGrange 56-10 last week.

Callaway’s offense, which moved the ball well against Opelika but was limited to one touchdown, broke out in a big way against LaGrange.

Demetrius Coleman completed 8-of-12 passes for 222 yards, and nearly half of that total came on a 98-yard scoring strike to Jacob Freeman.

Coleman also had a 5-yard touchdown run that got the scoring started on Callaway’s opening possession.

“Demetrius is a special talent. He’s a special player,” Napier said. “He’s got every tool you could want in a quarterback from a leadership to arm strength. I think his legs are coming along He’s been able to run a little bit. He showed he could run it in the LaGrange game.”

Napier added that Coleman “had an A game Friday night, and we’re going to need that from him in those big situations as the season progresses. The team has a lot of confidence in him. The coaching staff has a lot of confidence in him. He’s a joy to coach, and he’s got a lot of good targets to throw it to, and that always makes you better as a quarterback. They did a good job of protecting him, too.”

Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby ran for 182 yards on 12 attempts with four touchdowns, and Charlie Dixon had an 88-yard scoring run.

The offense was unstoppable, despite having two freshmen in the lineup in offensive lineman Jacob Miles and tight end Sam Williams.

“They started as freshmen in a big atmosphere like that, and to perform as well as they did was big,” Napier said. “They’re super-talented, they’ve just got to get those games under their belt.”

Callaway’s defense, meanwhile, delivered a dominant performance.

LaGrange’s lone touchdown came in the third quarter after Callaway had taken a 35-3 lead.

Anthony Elliott, a senior who is thriving after moving from linebacker to defensive line, had a huge game for Callaway with 16 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and five tackles for loss.

Senior linebacker R.J. Williams, after a 15-tackle effort against Opelika, had eight tackles in the LaGrange game, and Cameron Smith returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

While it was smooth sailing for the Cavaliers against the Grangers, Napier said no one is satisfied.

“We’ve got a lot of room for improvement, and they’re taking the challenge that we’ve placed on them seriously to try to get better,” Napier said. “If we’re going to make a run like we have, you can’t take any days off. You can’t take any day for granted.”



WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Callaway Stadium

RECORDS: Callaway (1-1); Cross Keys (0-3)

LAST MEETING: Callaway beat Cross Keys 50-0 last season