Big game for surging Callaway

Region 4-AAA is often dismissed as one of the weakest in Class AAA football. It hasn’t produced a ranked team all season. But Callaway may be getting ready to change that situation.

The Cavaliers (4-1) have won four straight since losing an opening-night shootout to Class AA powerhouse Heard County. This week Callaway has a region showdown with Central Carroll (4-2), seen by may as the main obstacle to the region championship for coach Michael Wiggins. This will be the first meeting between the two clubs.

Callaway has gotten a strong effort this season from Tez Parks, who took over at quarterback upon the graduation of his brother, Ricky Parks. As Parks has become more comfortable, the Callaway offense has responded with more points.

Callaway has scored no fewer than 24 points in a game and have put five touchdowns on the board in each of the last two weeks. Last week the Cavs scored on their first four possessions in a 35-0 win over Chapel Hill.

The Cavaliers have other guys capable of making big plays. Sophomore Terry Godwin is the top receiving threat and has also shown game-breaking ability on kick returns and as a defensive back. The running backs are led by fullback Devon Rosser and tailbacks Wilson Lindsey, Kel Kyles, Eddie Culpepper and Cortez Leonard.

Callaway has set some high standards since Wiggins arrived in 2005. Over the previous seven seasons, the Cavs have had only two losing records and have made the playoffs six times. Callaway reached the state quarterfinals in 2009 and finished 10-3.

Central has been a difficult team to understand. The Lions will look good one week, as in a 35-20 win over Haralson County or a 35-6 win over BEST Academy (two region wins), but then fail to show up, as they did in back-to-back losses to non-region foes Ringgold and Pike County.

Here are four other top games to watch this week:

Washington County at Jefferson County: Expect a big crowd at Warrior Field in Louisville when No. 3 Washington County comes calling on Friday night. The locals will be curious to see if the Warriors can muster enough defense to stop Waco’s mighty offense. Jefferson County (3-3) will have to dial it up a notch in order to slow Washington County (6-0), which has scored 258 points, 43 per game. Washington County leads the series 8-1-1 and the Golden Hawks won 28-17 last season. Jeffco’s only win came in 1998.

Thomson at Swainsboro: No. 2 Thomson (6-0) cannot afford to overlook Swainsboro (3-2) in this important Region 3-AAA game at Swainsboro’s Tiger Field. Swainsboro must find a way to contain Thomson’s Chris Jordan, who has rushed for 1,195 yards and 10 touchdowns. This will be the first game between the two clubs since 1997. Thomson leads the series 17-12.

Buford at White County: One of the more anticipated games in Cleveland this season has been the appearance by mighty Buford at White County Stadium. It the first time the big, bad Wolves have played White County and gives the home crowd a chance to measure the improvement of their program. The Warriors (4-1) look like they’re ready for the postseason; they came close against No. 8-ranked Blessed Trinity two weeks ago before losing by a pair. But Buford (4-1) offers an entirely different level of pain. How can White stack up against a Buford team that has three straight shutouts and given up only 22 points all season?

Elbert County at Morgan County: Just when No. 10 Elbert County (3-2) appears to have things evened out and has climbed back into the state rankings, the Blue Devils find themselves walking into a hornets nest. Elbert hits the road to play Morgan County (4-1), which lost convincingly at home last week and dropped from the state rankings. An Elbert win means Morgan will likely finish third in the region. Elbert leads the series 6-3-1.

Other games worth watching this week include: BEST Academy vs. Jackson at Lakewood, Rockmart at Haralson County, Decatur at Blessed Trinity, and Franklin County at North Oconee. Don’t look for scores from Region 5-AAA; all those teams are idle this week.

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