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Cavaliers fifth in composite rankings

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The Callaway Cavaliers finished the regular season ranked fifth in the composite rankings as compiled by the Georgia High School Football Daily newsletter.

The composite rankings includes five different polls, and Callaway is ranked as high as fourth in two of them, and as low as ninth in another.

It was a banner regular season for Callaway, which went 7-1 after closing with wins over Temple and Heard County.

Callaway lost to Haralson County 36-29 on Nov. 10, but it followed that up with a 41-20 victory over Temple before beating Heard County 30-17 to win its eighth region championship since 2008.

Callaway played a challenging regular-season schedule that featured six teams that have qualified for the state playoffs.

Callaway had impressive non-region wins over Hardaway, Troup and Thomas County Central, and it beat three quality region opponents to claim the region title.

All five teams in Region 5-AA finished with winning records, and all of them appeared in the composite rankings at some point this season.

“Our region is the best in AA, and each week has been an extreme challenge, and I’m proud of our kids for their commitment to our team,” said Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins.

Callaway, which was ranked first in the composite rankings before its loss to Haralson County, is fourth in the Maxpreps and Maxwell Ratings polls.

Callaway is sixth in the Georgia Public Broadcasting poll, eighth in the Atlanta Journal Constitution poll, and ninth in the Score Atlanta poll.

Callaway was supposed to play its state-playoff opener on Saturday, but Banks County forfeited because of Covid-19 complications.

Callaway advances to the second round, and it will host either Lovett or Pepperell in the second round next week.

Lovett (7-2), despite finishing third in Region 6-AA, is fourth in the composite rankings, and it is ranked as high as third in one poll.

Pepperell (5-4), which finished second in Region 7-AA, will host Lovett on Saturday.

If Callaway advances to the third round, it could end up playing Thomasville, which is third in the composite rankings.

A possible semifinal opponent could be Rabun County, which is second in the composite rankings, and top-ranked Fitzgerald could await in the championship game.

Conceivable, Callaway could in succession play the state’s fourth-ranked, third-ranked, second-ranked, and top-ranked teams in the state playoffs.

The Cavaliers have already made it to the second round of the state playoffs for the 12th time in 13 years, and they reached the third round in 2009 and 2017 while advancing to the final four in 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2019. Callaway has never reached the state-championship game.

Callaway has won at least seven games for 14 consecutive seasons.