Make it five in a row: Callaway tops Heard County in the Pulpwood Classic for record-breaking fifth straight season

Published 11:52 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

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Callaway had five on it.

The Cavaliers extended their winning streak to five games in the Pulpwood Classic rivalry with a 38-6 beat down of Heard County on Friday night.

“I liked our preparation going into this game,” Callaway coach Pete Wiggins said. “Our guys took this week very seriously and our guys were focused on the task at hand.

“We knew coming into this that it would be a big game versus Heard County and all that this game means.”

Callaway hit the road meaning business on Friday, and made sure that the Pulpwood Classic trophy has not seen the inside of the Braves locker room in half a decade.

After last week’s one-score loss to 4A power Troup, the Cavaliers rebounded in style. It started with their two quarterbacks — DeShun Coleman and Blake Harrington — who did not get going in last week’s game against an elite defense faze them going into this week’s game.

“I was proud of what they were able to do against a really good defense last week, and I’m proud of DeShun and Blake’s consistency and their willingness to support one another,” Wiggins said.

Harrington rattled off a long touchdown run and put a defender on skates near the goal line to put the Cavaliers up 24-0 late in the first half. 

Coleman decided to get in on the act as well and scrambled over 50 yards for a rushing touchdown of his own to put Callaway up 31-6 with 6:44 left in the third quarter.

The rushing attack was at its most potent form on Friday night as the offensive line opened up holes for whoever was toting the rock.

“I’m really proud of our guys up front,” Wiggins said. “I feel like they were able to establish the line of scrimmage.”

One of those players toting the rock was Zai Hart, who scored the first two touchdowns of the game for the Cavaliers — one in the first quarter and one in the second. 

Before Hart captured the momentum for the Cavaliers, it was Greyson Batchelor who put Callaway ahead early when he nailed a field goal from over 30 yards out.

“I think Greyson had a great night overall, including three touchbacks on kickoffs,” Wiggins said. “People don’t think about it, but it’s a big asset for us when you can kick the ball well and help you win the field position battle.”

The Cavaliers took a 24-0 lead into the halftime break, but it was nearly more when Coleman unleashed a bomb as time expired in the first half to Treyonn Tucker, who high-pointed the football, but was called down just inches shy of breaking the goal line. 

Another Tucker, Cam that is, eventually got in on the fun, taking a rushing attempt 25 yards into the end zone after making multiple Brave defenders miss with 3:14 left to go in the half.

“Cam Tucker is very special,” Wiggins said. “He pops up on defense, offense and special teams. He works his butt off in the weight room and never lets up. He doesn’t really say a lot, but his leadership is by work ethic and actions.”

After Tucker’s touchdown, the Cavaliers substituted in some of their reserves and milked what remained of the third quarter and the fourth. With a running clock, the fourth quarter did not last long.

The defense, which has been outstanding all season, came away with multiple takeaways and pitched a shutout in the first half.

“Coach (Dusty) Hubbard and the defensive staff bring great energy and a great game plan,” Wiggins said. “They are always finding ways to put our guys in the best positions.”

The Braves scored their only touchdown early in the second half, but the deficit was already 24-0 by the time they got on the board.  

The Cavaliers had some penalties and some other miscues, but all in all, Wiggins was happy with the performance even if there are some aspects of the performance to clean up.

“This is what I feel like is our biggest rivals and we can out here with a good energy and played fast and physically,” Wiggins said. “Overall it was a good night, there are definitely things we can do better, but It felt like we executed well tonight.”

Callaway is now 2-1 on the season. The Cavaliers will have a bye next week before taking on Redan on the road for their region opener on Sept. 22. 

“We can’t get complacent,” Wiggins said. “We have to keep working next week and make sure that we are getting better.”