Callaway hosts semifinal game
Published 6:20 pm Monday, December 2, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Callaway Cavaliers are preparing for their fourth semifinal playoff game since 2013, but there will be one noteworthy difference this time around.
In each of the Cavaliers’ three previous trips to the semifinals, they were on the road.
Callaway lost to Buford in 2013, Benedictine in 2016, and Rockmart last year.
This time, Callaway will get to be the home team for the semifinals, and it will host Brooks County on Friday night.
The winner will play either Dublin or Thomasville in the state-championship game on Dec. 13 at Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta.
If the Cavaliers make it to the championship game, it will be their only road trip in the playoffs.
Callaway is at home for the fourth consecutive playoff game, and it has beaten Chattooga, Fitzgerald and Douglass-Atlanta to reach this point.
The stands were full for last week’s game against Douglass-Atlanta, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by head coach Pete Wiggins.
“I want to thank all of those folks up in the stands,” Wiggins said following the 41-20 win over Douglass. “Several times we had the kids turn around and look up at all the folks wrapped around that fence. We talk about the Callaway family so much, and you really saw them getting behind you tonight. That meant a lot to us.”
The Cavaliers are hoping that home-field advantage will help them get over the hump and make it to the championship game for the first time ever after coming close in previous years.
“We’ve been to this point too many times,” said Jalin Shephard, a junior defensive back for Callaway. “The door’s always closing. We’re ready.”
Standing in Callaway’s way is a Brooks County team that has things on cruise control.
Brooks County (10-3), the number two seed from Region 1-AA, has overwhelmed all three of its playoff opponents.
After opening with a 42-14 win over Washington County, Brooks County dismantled Rockmart 41-3, and that was an impressive victory over a team many expected to compete for a state championship.
Last week, Brooks County thumped Metter 35-6 to reach the semifinals.
Brooks County has won six in a row since losing to Thomasville 31-20.
This will be the second all-time playoff meeting between Callaway and Brooks County.
In 2017, Brooks County blanked visiting Callaway 31-0 in the third round.