It’s a long way from Hogansville to Sylvania – 243 miles to be exact.
But Callaway High School plans to make the four-hour trip today. The Cavaliers will take their hopes, prayers and 12-game winning streak to South Georgia for the state football quarterfinals in Class AA.
Screven County is the opponent. That’s the 11-1 Gamecocks that Callaway High will take on in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in the unassuming town of Sylvania. There is going to be some serious grunting and head knocking going on just down the road from Statesboro.
That is all good for the Cavaliers. They feel like they are where they’re supposed to be.
“We are here for a reason. We’re going to play hard, and we need to play hard. This is going to feel like a college game,” said D.Q. Wilkerson, the junior wide receiver and cornerback for the undefeated Cavaliers.
And one other thing, according toWilkerson, “We’re better than those guys.”
To say that Callaway is hyped and at a fever pitch would be an understatement. The Cavaliers are anxious to prove themselves one more time on the road. Callaway has a history of playing well in hostile environments.
The Cavaliers have won five times on the road this year. Callaway High has gotten it done at Handley, Ala., Columbus, Harris County, Lamar County and Temple.
Callaway has been tested by Class AAAA teams and AAAAA teams, and the Cavaliers are still 12-0 on the year.
“We believe in one another. We have faced all kinds of adversity (this season). It is very special to make it to the (state) quarterfinals. Screven has some big offensive and defensive linemen. They are a great football team. We’re going to have to take care of business,” said Callaway High head coach Pete Wiggins.
The Cavaliers do know how to get out of Sylvania with a win tonight.
“We need to play physical football. We need to stay focused. We need to run to the play and tackle. And we need to stop running back No. 21 (C.J. Wright),” said Cavaliers junior defensive back Kobe Jackson.
He will be looking to slow down Wright and bulldog him to the ground. Wright does fill out his uniform with little room to spare at 6 foot and 285 pounds. Wright is a fullback and a massive one. He does like his hamburgers.
This season, Wright has bulldozed his way for 917 yards on 119 carries. He is a touchdown machine with 19 scores.
Callaway High junior defensive end Lichon Terrell has some meat on the bone, too. Terrell is a 6-foot-2, 240pound run stuffer. He is looking forward to meeting up with the Screven County man-child, Wright.
“We’ve got to stick to our assignments. We need to be more physical, and we need to stop that running game,” said Terrell.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer