Coach Pete Wiggins and the Callaway Cavaliers are willing to play anybody at any time and in any stadium.
Callaway High is just as physically imposing on the road as it is at home. The Cavaliers just want to play. They want to win, and they want to keep their record sparkling clean.
Wiggins and the Hogansville boys did that on Friday night with a 38-7 region romp over Lamar County. Yes, the Cavaliers won in Barnesville in the Lamar County house with 2,000 fans taking it all in.
“We executed well, and we put the ball in the end zone. We had a good week of practice, and our confidence is growing,” said Wiggins, the head coach of the No. 4-ranked team in the state in Class AA.
Along with that, Callaway is now 6-0 on the football season. The Cavaliers are 1-0 in Region 5. Callaway High is also unscathed and undefeated on the road this season with wins over Handley, Ala. (42-28), Columbus (28-7), Harris County (48-21) and Lamar County.
Bryan Love, the Lamar County head coach, thought his Trojan team could take the Cavaliers down to the wire. But Lamar County never got in the general locale.
“We had poor tackling, and we dropped some passes. Callaway is a good AA team. They’re well coached. They have an established program, and they have a good defensive line,” said Love, the former assistant coach at South Georgia powerhouse Camden County High. The Trojans did not even come close to competing in this game. Lamar County lost the game in the first 24 minutes. Callaway beat the Trojans down in the first half. The Cavaliers played “keep away” as they took a 38-0 lead.
Lamar County had 17 yards of ragged offense in the first half. When the Trojans did cross the Callaway goal line the game was no longer in doubt. Lamar County scored with 6:01 left in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard touchdown run from junior tailback Quay Parks.
The Cavaliers had their reserves in the game at the time. Lamar County got dismantled by the Callaway High defense. The Cavaliers allowed the Trojans 78 yards and five first downs in the region game. Parks had a good portion of that with 33 yards on 14 carries.
Callaway brought out the “ATeam” on offense and defense. The Cavaliers wore down the Trojans with bigger players and more of them. Lamar County got run over and beaten down to a pulp by a Callaway High offense that had 309 yards and 16 first downs.
“The scoreboard said it all,” said Lamar County’s Love.
Well, almost all. The Cavaliers showed some offensive passion with 209 yards rushing and 100 yards passing. Senior quarterback Dylan Johnson completed five of seven passes with two touchdowns for CHS.
Cavalier senior wide receiver Braylon Sanders picked the Trojans pocket with touchdown catches of 51 yards and 13 yards, one in the first period and another in the second quarter.
Lamar County got a workout trying to stop the Callaway running game, too. Cavaliers junior tailback D.J. Atkins did hit a few defensive brick walls in the first quarter, but not so much in the second period. Atkins galloped for a pair of touchdowns in the second stanza on runs of 11 and 29 yards.
Atkins ran between the tackles. He hit the outer edge as well. Atkins muscled his way for 95 yards on 14 carries in this region rout. Atkins is not a skinny, finesse-only running back.
He won’t go down with one hit and didn’t.
“We kept pounding. We had some discipline, and we were focused. We want to win a championship,” said Atkins.
He is one of many Cavaliers who feel no different. Johnson is a prime time playmaker for this Callaway High football team, too. With 47 seconds left in the first half, Johnson ripped off a 29-yard touchdown run to put the game out of reach for the Trojans.
Lamar County was staring down the barrel of a 38-0 deficit. Johnson and Atkins were two reasons why. But the Cavaliers also got a 25yard field goal from junior place kicker Noah Stephens with 31.1 seconds left in the first period.
The Trojans were dismayed and whipped on this evening in Region 5-AA. Lamar County and coach Bryan Love headed back to the locker room after the game with some long faces and a 3-3 record (0-1 in the region).
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer