Tough loss for Cavaliers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
TALLAPOOSA – The Callaway Cavaliers made a game of it after falling behind 22-0 in the first half, but the night belonged to Haralson County, which earned a 36-29 victory in a Region 5-AA showdown on Tuesday night.
The Cavaliers (5-1 overall) fell to 1-1 in the region, while the Rebels (7-1 overall) moved into first place in the region with a 2-1 record.
Callaway can clinch a state-playoff berth with a road win over Temple on Saturday, and it closes the regular season with a home game against Heard County on Nov. 20.
After the difficult start, the Cavaliers got within six points in the fourth quarter, but they were unable to complete the comeback.
Callaway quarterback Demetrius Coleman had a 2-yard touchdown run and a 4-yard scoring pass to Carlos Billingslea, and Charlie Dixon had a 1-yard scoring run.
Callaway also got a 75-yard kickoff return by Jalin Shephard on the final play of the first half that jump-started the comeback that ultimately fell short.
Haralson County was ahead 22-0 when Shephard took a kickoff return the distance as time expired in the first half, and Coleman completed a two-point conversion pass to Keshawn Suggs to make it a 22-8 game at the break.
The Cavaliers got closer when they scored on the opening possession of the third quarter, with Dixon capping an 82-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run, and Blake Eubanks made the first of his three extra-point attempts to cut the Rebels’ lead to 22-15.
After the Rebels scored to go ahead 28-15, the Cavaliers came right back with a touchdown of their own, with Coleman’s 2-yard scoring run and the Eubanks’ extra point making it a 28-22 game with 9:41 to play.
The Cavaliers got the ball back with an opportunity to win it, but they lost a fumble, and the Rebels took advantage of that break and scored a touchdown and converted the two-point attempt to go ahead 36-22 with 1:54 to play.
The Cavaliers kept fighting, and Coleman’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Billingslea and a Eubanks extra point trimmed the Rebels’ lead to 36-29 with six seconds to play.
Haralson County recovered the ensuing onside kick, and it ran one kneel-down play before time ran out.
OF NOTE: For much more on Tuesday’s game, see Thursday’s sports section.