The Callaway Cavaliers are going somewhere they’ve never been before.0
With Friday’s 35-14 victory over visiting St. Pius, the Cavaliers are headed to the final four for the first time in school history.
Callaway will face off against defending state-champion Buford in the Class AAA semifnals, and since both teams are number one seeds, they’ll flip a coin this morning to determine which team will be at home.
“It feels great,” said senior offensive lineman Brandon Sutton. “We’re going to the next round, and we’ll get another chance to play. It’s another opportunity to win.”
The Cavaliers got it done with an explosive offense, with quarterback Tez Parks and running back Eddie Culpepper each delivering a pair of touchdown runs, and Dre Martin sealed the victory with an interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers had some things go wrong during the game, turnovers, penalties, questionable calls, but they stayed focused throughout and never lost control.
“The biggest thing I’m proud of is handling adversity, and staying level, and taking care of business,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “That’s what we talk about so many times. I think that’s what this game teaches us. I’m so proud of those young men for handling it, and competing, and winning the ballgame.”
After the Golden Lions drove for a field goal on their opening possession, the Cavaliers answered with an 80-yard touchdown drive, with Parks finishing things off with an 18-yard scoring run.
It looked like Callaway had scored earlier in the possession, but a touchdown catch by Terry Godwin was wiped out by a penalty.
Chase Freeman’s extra point, his first of five, gave Callaway a 7-3 lead.
In the second quarter, after a St. Pius punt, Callaway went 63 yards for another score.
Most of those yards came on a 58-yard run by Culpepper on a nifty option pitch from Parks.
Two plays later, Culpepper’s 4-yard touchdown run made it a 14-3 game with 8:24 left in the half.
After an interception, St. Pius got the ball at its own 20-yard line with 4:56 left in the half, and it drove for a field goal as time expired, and Callaway led 14-6 at the half.
The teams traded touchdowns on the first three possessions of the second half.
A Parks 47-yard run gave Callaway a 21-6 lead 50 seconds into the second half, and St. Pius responded with a touchdown and a two-point conversion to make it 21-14.
The Cavaliers answered with a 59-yard touchdown run from Culpepper, and the lead was back up to 28-14.
That’s the way it remained until Martin stepped in front of a receiver and picked off a pass, and he raced 45 yards for the touchdown, and Callaway led 35-14 with 3:34 remaining, and the celebration was on.
OF NOTE: For much more on Callaway’s historic win, see Monday’s sports section, and check www.lagrangenews.com