Callaway makes trip to Thomas County Central
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Earlier this season, the Callaway Cavaliers played Hardaway for the first time in the history of the program.
On Friday night, it’ll be another first for Callaway, which will head to the southern portion of the state to play the Thomas County Central Bulldogs.
Callaway (3-0), which was off last week, is looking to complete the non-region portion of its schedule with a perfect record, while Thomas County (1-2) will try to even its record.
It’s been smooth sailing so for the Cavaliers, with a dominant defense leading the way during the perfect start.
After a 27-7 season-opening win over Troup and a 17-6 victory over Hardaway, Troup blanked Douglass-Atlanta 35-0 in a rematch of a third-round state-playoff win from a year ago.
Thomas County struggled in its first two games, a 34-7 loss to Thomasville and a 29-7 loss to Wakulla (Fla.) before taking care of Lamar County 41-24 for its first win of the season.
Thomas County’s was supposed to face Valdosta last week, but the game wasn’t played.
For Callaway, this will be the fourth consecutive opponent from a higher classification before it opens Region 5-AA play against Haralson County on Oct. 23.
“Troup, Hardaway, Douglass and Thomas Country Central are all tough opponents,” said Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins. “They’re all in higher classifications than we are. We feel like those teams should prepare us for our region, and in our region, we’ll face some great challenges in Heard County, and Bremen, and Haralson County and Temple. We feel like our schedule is difficult, but it’s one that we embrace.”
Callaway is coming off its most complete performance of the season against Douglass-Atlanta.
While Callaway’s defense was suffocating once again, the offense put together its best outing of the season.
Running back Charlie Dixon was unable to play, and LaQuize Gilbert stepped in and ran for 92 yards on 12 attempts with three touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Demetrius Coleman, who has been starting since he was a sophomore, had 63 rushing yards on 11 attempts with a touchdown, and he also threw a scoring pass to freshman Treyon Tucker.
Callaway’s defense, which figured to be a strength of the team with nearly every key player returning from a team that reached the state semifinals, shut down Douglass.
Gilbert, despite playing limited time on defense because of all the time he spent on offense, led Callaway with 12 tackles, and fellow linebacker Austin Thomas had 11 tackles with a forced fumble.
Trey Stephens had seven tackles, and Jalin Shephard had an interception.
It’s a defense led by defensive coordinator Dusty Hubbard, who has been in that position since Wiggins became the head coach in 2005.
Hubbard, Wiggins said, “gets as much out of his players as anybody. Kids play hard for him, they’ll run through a wall for him. I think he and our defensive staff bring a great energy and a great expectation. It’s a physicality, and it’s an effort and speed to the ball.”
Thomas Countyis led by quarterback Kalique Gayton, who threw three touchdown passes against Lamar County.
Fellow senior Dondell Green led the rushing attack with 72 yards on 15 carries, and Tykeem Wallace had a 40-yard touchdown run.
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
RECORDS: Callaway (3-0); Thomas County Central (1-2)