No worries for Cavaliers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The tune-up is in the books, and now it’s time for the main event.
In a game that went exactly like it was supposed to, the Callaway Cavaliers had no trouble with Cross Keys on the way to a 69-0 victory on Friday night at Callaway Stadium.
Callaway improved to 2-1 heading into next week’s showdown with Troup, which is 3-0 after Thursday’s 27-21 win over Harris County.
Both teams are ranked near the top of their respective classifications and are expected to be among the last teams standing in the state playoffs.
Cross Keys, conversely, is a team that will likely struggle to win a game this season, or even be competitive.
Cross Keys fell to 0-4 with Friday’s loss, and it has been outscored 250-6 in those games.
While understanding the nature of the opponent, Callaway didn’t want to get into any bad habits heading into next week’s showdown.
“We take every game serious,” said senior wide receiver Jymere Jones, who had a touchdown catch. “Every opponent is the same, and we come out and execute like we’re supposed to, and that’s what happened.”
The Cavaliers scored on each of their possessions in the first half to build a 55-0 lead, and they added a touchdown on their first drive of the second half to go up 61-0.
Callaway put an exclamation point on the victory when sophomore defensive lineman Vantavious Hines returned a fumble for a touchdown in the third quarter.
“We had to stay on everything, and keep doing what we’re doing, and get after it,” said senior Markus Morman, who had two touchdown catches and helped the defense notch the shutout from his defensive-back position.
Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins felt it was a positive night.
“We had a good week of practice,” Wiggins said. “I thought the kids stuck to our game plan. We had a few penalties that we don’t need, but throughout the game they were able to play fast and we executed on both offense and defense, so I feel like it was a good night for us.”
Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby, Callaway’s outstanding senior running back, had touchdown runs of 70, 65 and 24 yards.
Demetrius Coleman threw touchdown passes of 32 yards and 15 yards to Morman, and 11 yards to Jones, and the junior quarterback also had a 48-yard scoring run.
Freshman running back Amarion Truitt had scoring runs of 23 and three yards, and Hines capped the scoring with his fumble return.
The Cavaliers also had a handful of touchdowns called back because of penalties, including two scoring runs by Jalin Shephard.
Callaway scored its first two touchdowns in the first 30 seconds of the game.
On Callaway’s first play from scrimmage, Bigsby raced untouched 65 yards for the touchdown, and Blake Eubanks made the extra point.
After Callaway recovered a loose ball on the ensuing kickoff, Coleman found Jones for a 11-yard touchdown, and the lead was 13-0.
Following a Cross Keys punt, Callaway had long touchdown runs by Bigsby and Shephard negated because of penalties before Coleman tossed a 32-yard scoring pass to Morman, and Eubanks’ extra point made it a 20-0 game with 8:29 left in the first quarter.
After another Cross Keys punt, Bigsby’s 24-yard touchdown run and a Eubanks extra point pushed the lead to 27-0 with 4:05 to play in the opening quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Coleman showed off his running ability when he raced 48 yards for the touchdown, and it was 34-0 following the Eubanks extra point.
The Cavaliers kept it going on their next possession, with Bigsby taking off on a 70-yard touchdown run, and it was 41-0 with 7:37 left in the first half.
Eli Freeman recovered a fumble moments later to give the ball back to the Cavaliers, and that led to Coleman’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Morman.
On Callaway’s final possession of the first half, Truitt muscled his way into the end zone from three yards out, and Eubanks’ extra point made it 55-0, which was the score at intermission.
Truitt had a 23-yard scoring run to finish Callaway’s first possession of the second half.
Hines got into the act when he scooped up a loose ball and went about 20 yards for the touchdown, and Andrew Locke converted the two-point attempt to give Callaway 69 points.
“Anytime you can go out and get your hand down in the grass and get some reps that’s good,” Wiggins said. “We got a lot of people in the game, a lot of young people got to play, so that’s good for our team. We just have to keep working to get better day by day.”
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