Callaway, Douglass-Atlanta set for rematch
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It wasn’t desperation time, but the Callaway Cavaliers were in need of something positive to happen after falling behind Douglass-Atlanta 14-0 in the third round of the Class AA state playoffs last season.
Jalin Shephard came through with the play of the game when he returned a kickoff for a touchdown to cut the Douglass-Atlanta to 14-7, and Callaway went on to capture a 41-20 victory to return to the state semifinals for the second straight year.
On Friday, Callaway and Douglass-Atlanta will get together for a rematch, and the game will be played at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta at 8 p.m.
A win would propel Callaway to a 3-0 record heading into an off week, while Douglass-Atlanta is looking to even its record at 1-1.
In last year’s playoff showdown, while Shephard helped turn the tide with his kickoff return, senior running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby was the star of the night with four touchdown runs.
Demetrius Coleman, who along with Shephard will be on the field for the rematch, threw an 88-yard touchdown pass to senior Jacob Freeman.
While some of the men who were a part of last year’s game have graduated and are now on college rosters, including Bigsby and Freeman, there are plenty of players returning on both sides.
The game also features two veteran coaches who know how to put winning teams on the field.
While Wiggins has a 140-47 record since taking over the Callaway program in 2005, Rodney Cofield has a 143-89-1 record in 22 combined seasons at Washington and Douglass-Atlanta.
“Douglass is going to have a great football team, and coach Cofield has done a phenomenal job during his time there,” Wiggins said. “They put a physical, fast, well-coached team on the field each year. It was a really tough game last year in the quarterfinals, and we know it’ll be the same this year.
“ A lot of their team is the same as last year. They’ve got a lot of returning players, so it’s going to be a big challenge going to Atlanta Friday night.”