Callaway hammers Landmark Christian on senior night

Published 10:28 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

With a region title and no. 1 seed in the playoffs already wrapped up, the Callaway Cavaliers had little to play for other than pride on Thursday and still came away with a dominant 56-3 victory over Landmark Christian to cap off a perfect region record of 6-0.

“We came into the game focused and executed the game plan from the start,” Callaway coach Pete Wiggins said. “I think that is a sign of the maturing of our team right now.”

It was a blazing start for the Cavaliers, who took a 28-0 lead less than halfway through the first. The Eagles had no response as they were completely dominated in all three phases in those opening minutes and it carried on from there.

“I was proud of the way we played in all three aspects of the game,” Wiggins said. “Anytime you can have success on offense, defense and special teams you are going to win football games.”

The Cavaliers won the coin toss, received the ball and marched right down the field for a touchdown when Cam Tucker broke the goal line on a 10-yard run. 

Tucker was just getting started and caught a deep touchdown pass from starting quarterback DeShun Coleman with 6:58 left in the first quarter.

Special teams took the baton from there and blew up the punter as he tried to punt the ball and took over inside the Eagles’ 10-yard line.

Zai Hart quickly doubled the lead on a short touchdown run.

The defense got in on the act when Tyren Buggs intercepted a pass on the first offensive play after Tucker’s second touchdown to make it 28-0 less than halfway through the first quarter.

“Tyren Buggs and Cam Tucker are partners in the weight room,” Wiggins said. “To partner with Cam Tucker every day says a lot about Tyren. He has really matured this year, and I think he is only going to get better.”

The defense put together a complete performance, not allowing a first down until the fourth quarter.

Hart proceeded to get his second rushing touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run with just 27 seconds left in the first quarter.

The reserves and JV players got some playing time from there.

Backup quarterback Blake Harrington came into the game and picked up right where Coleman left off. He found the end zone on his first possession in the game when he scampered down the field 20 yards.

The special teams department eventually got a score as well when D’Arcy Harris blew up the kick return man near the goal line, causing a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by Kavius Leonard for a touchdown making it 49-0.

Greyson Batchelor was a perfect 7/7 on extra points — all in the first half.

“Anytime you can be successful with special teams it’s going to put you in a position to win ball games,” Wiggins said. “Greyson was also putting it into the end zone on kickoffs, which makes it a long field for the opposite team.”

The running clock kicked in during the second quarter, which limited the possessions for each team from there as the game went into overdrive mode with very little action.

Christian Kennedy came into the game and found the end zone late in the third quarter to put Callaway up 56-0.

The Eagles eventually got on the board with a 30-yard field goal, which ensured they would not be shut out.

It was senior night and Wiggins knows how important this class of senior football players is as they helped the team win its first state title as freshman in 2020.

“Well there are 18 seniors, and we have seen them progress so much since then,” Wiggins said. “I can still remember when they came in as freshmen and to watch them grow up has been special. They are real leaders.”

The no. 5 ranked Callaway Cavaliers (7-2) (6-0) head into the playoffs as a no. 1 seed for the second straight season. The Cavaliers will likely host Providence Christian Academy on a yet-to-be-determined day next week at Callaway Stadium with a small possibility of facing Athens Academy, depending on final scores from Friday’s games.

“I just want to know who we are playing so I can go watch film,” Wiggins said with a chuckle as he walked off the field.