Don’t call it an upset: Callaway stuns reigning 4A state runner-ups at Callaway Stadium
Published 11:32 pm Friday, August 25, 2023
Don’t call it an upset.
The no. 4 ranked 2A Callaway Cavaliers made a statement on Friday night, beating reigning 4A state runner-ups Cedartown 27-10.
“I’m really proud of our kids for their heart and effort tonight,” Callaway coach Pete Wiggins said. “It has been a long three weeks since we played.
“We handled the ups and downs tonight exceptionally well.”
The Cavaliers tracked to Cedartown last season and suffered one of their worst losses in the Wiggins era, falling 47-7.
The Cavaliers played with a chip on their shoulder and their hearts on their sleeves on Friday and avenged last season’s loss.
“After last season, these guys wanted to win, they wanted this competition,” Wiggins said. “Our guys were looking forward to this game after the loss last year.”
Callaway showed great poise when the Bulldogs marched straight down the field on the opening possession to score a touchdown.
The Cavaliers had a quick response when a laser from DeShun Coleman was brought down by Cam Tucker, who trotted into the end zone after high-pointing the ball over the defender’s back.
“We have guys that can fly when you get the ball in their hands and he is one of them,” Wiggins said. “It was a great play call by coach Giddens and it was even better execution in a big moment.”
Callaway’s offense would stall out the rest of the half, not scoring another point.
Cedartown was able to take the lead back late in the first quarter on a field goal after their defense gave them a short field to work with after a Cavaliers fumble.
There were no alarm bells ringing at half, it was all confidence in the Callaway locker room.
“I told the guys at half that I felt like our football team was better,” Wiggins said.
The defense was absolutely dominant in the second half as Dusty Hubbard’s men kept the team in the game.
“Those guys were playing fast and physical all night,” Wiggins said. “There were a lot guys that made plays on defense tonight.”
Cam Gunn was one of those players playing fast and physical on defense, registering a monster sack as well as being a constant disrupter in the backfield.
Callaway was eventually able to take its first lead of the game when Blake Harrington connected with Treyonn Tucker on a short 3-yard touchdown on third and goal.
Tucker established a rhythm with both quarterbacks and was constantly getting the Cavaliers first downs.
Coleman and Harrington split reps at quarterback and both brought something special to the Cavalier offense.
“Those two guys are real team players,” Wiggins said. “Both of them are very competitive and both of them bring different to the table to help make us a better football team.”
In fact, a long Harrington run set up the next touchdown for the Cavaliers which was finished off by Coleman.
Coleman would get his second rushing touchdown of the game with under five to play as he iced the game in style.
This was a statement victory for the Cavaliers, but the schedule does not get easier from here. Callaway (1-0) will host Troup (2-0) at Callaway Stadium next week in what will be a battle of teams ranked in the top 5 of their respective classification.
“We have a long way to go,” Wiggins said. “We turned the ball over, missed some tackles and didn’t play great on special teams.
“There is so much to improve on, but the effort was there tonight, and that’s what matters.”