Five touchdown day for Cam Tucker leads Callaway to dominant playoff win

Published 10:48 pm Friday, November 10, 2023

Callaway put the hammer down on Providence Christian on Friday in the first round of the AA state playoffs, cruising to a 49-7 victory.

“Our kids came into this game more focused than we have been all year,” Callaway coach Pete Wiggins said. “We did a phenomenal job on both sides of the ball, and I really feel like our kids came out here and wanted to excel tonight.”

It was the Cam Tucker show from the opening whistle until the final buzzer rang in Callaway Stadium to signal a victory. He totaled five touchdowns including four in the first half.

“I was feeling good and ready to play,” Tucker said. “We worked our butts off to play in games like today.”

It was a monster game on both sides of the ball for the senior as he came away with a big sack in the first half alongside numerous other important defensive plays.

Tucker said the Cavaliers heard some noise from the Storm coming into the game and wanted to make a statement.

“We came out here and showed them that they can’t be talking to us like that,” Tucker said, flashing a smile.

The Cavaliers put the gauntlet down from the start as Tucker scampered 50+ yards into the end zone on the first offensive play of the game.

Providence had a quick response and scored on its opening possession as well when Ben Klassen hit Caleb Lee for a 12-yard touchdown on a fourth down.

It looked like the Storm would take their first lead of the game after a Callaway fumble on the ensuing possession set them up at the Callaway 48-yard line. Despite converting one-fourth down, the Storm ended up turning the ball over on downs.

“I think coach (Dusty) Hubbard did an outstanding job calling plays and getting our guys in the right positions,” Wiggins said of his defense’s impressive showing. “Our defensive line really controlled the line of scrimmage and got better as the game went on.”

The game would stay tied at 7-7 until Tucker found the end zone once again on a short touchdown run with 11:23 left in the first half.

The Cavaliers would eventually double their lead on another short touchdown from Tucker, who also picked up a crucial fourth down on the drive to make it 21-7 Callaway.

“Cam Tucker is just absolutely relentless,” Wiggins said. “He power cleaned 295 lbs last week and then came out here and was relentless on the field. He’s strong and fast, and it all starts in the weight room.

“He’s a winner and the exact kind of kid you want on your football team.”

The Cavaliers were not done there as DeShun Coleman threw a short screen pass to Tucker who weaved his way through the defense for a 75-yard touchdown. 

“Anytime you can make an explosive play to give yourself momentum going into the half, it’s huge,” Wiggins said. “Our guys were excited heading into the locker room at halftime.”

The Cavaliers sapped any energy left on the Storm sideline to start the second half when the defense forced a three-and-out and the offense marched right down the field and found paydirt on a 3-yard pass from Coleman to Camren Gunn.

The very next play on defense for Callaway was a sack by Gunn, who made his presence felt on both sides of the ball much like Tucker.

The Cavaliers were not done there and put the game to bed with a Coleman keeper for a touchdown and a deep connection from Coleman to Tucker for the latter’s fifth and final touchdown of the game.

Coleman, a senior, is in complete command of the offense going into his final stretch of games with the Cavaliers.

“I think he has matured so much throughout this season and gets better every week,” Wiggins said. “He is still getting bigger and stronger in the weight room too.”

Callaway will host either Model or Therrell next Friday at Callaway Stadium in the second round of the AA state playoffs The Cavaliers will not know their opponent until Saturday night.