Callaway 35, St. Pius X 21

LAGRANGE, Ga. – Callaway’s sudden-change plays were more than enough to keep St. Pius X off guard Friday night, when the Cavaliers beat the Golden Lions 35-21 to advance to the state Class AAA semifinals for the first time.

Senior quarterbaclk Tez Parks rushed for 128 yards on just 11 carries, and running back Eddie Culpepper had 143 yards and two touchdowns as the Cavaliers (12-1) beat the Lions (9-4) at their own game – by running the ball.

The Golden Lions scored first, on a 39-yard field goal by senior Thomas O’Leary, on the game’s first possession, but the Cavaliers carried play from that point forward. Parks scored on an 18-yard run off a fumbled shotgun snap to give Callaway the lead for good.

Each team scored a touchdown on what added up to three consecutive possessions to start the second half, but after Callaway went into intermission with a 14-6 lead, the Cavaliers’ back-to-back, two-play scoring drives took the wind out of the Golden Lions’ sails.

Callaway linebacker Dre Martin added a 42-yard interception return in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.

“We practice fast and that pays off for us in game time,” said Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins. “These guys have worked so hard all year to get where we are, and I’m proud of these young men for their dedication.”

St. Pius rushed 55 times for 285 yards, and added 111 passing yards mostly late, but the Cavs were more effective running the ball. They had 321 rushing yards on 31 carries, including several big plays.

Callaway responded with strength after the first St. Pius score, as Parks scored on an 18-yard, busted-play run off a fumbled snap to give the Cavaliers the lead for good, at 7-3, with 57 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Cavaliers held on defense a couple times, and then took a 14-3 lead when running back Terry Godwin scored on a 4-yard run with 8:24 left in the first half. The key to that drive, was Godwin’s 58-yard run to the 5.

St. Pius pulled withing 14-6 as time expired in the first half, on a 22-yard field goal by O’Leary that many Callaway fans clearly believed did not get off before time expired. The key to that drive was an end zone interception by St. Pius defensive back Nick Ruffin with 4:56 left in the half on what was an ill-advised throw by Parks.

Callaway went quickly about leaving little doubt about who was in control in the second half.

St. Pius tried an onsides kick to start the second half, and nearly recovered, but the Cavs came up with the ball.

Parks scored on a 47-yard run on the second play of the second half, and after St. Pius closed the margin to 21-14 with a 3-yard run by quarterback Joey Connors, the Cavs struck quickly again.

Culpepper scored on a 59-yard run on Callaway’s next possession for a a 28-14 lead on just the second play of that drive.

St. Pius, as usual, led in time of possession with a margin of 31:26 to 16:34, but the Cavs made their plays count more.

Martin stepped in front of a Connors pass and returned it 42 yards for a score with 3:34 left in the game to cement matters for the Cavaliers, giving them a 35-14 lead.

“They control the ball, and run a lot of clock. In the first half, I’m guessing we only had 15 plays but we took advantage of them,” Wiggins said. “In the second half, we made some big plays that obviously put points on the board.”

St. Pius X – 3 3 8 7 – 21
Callaway – 7 7 14 7 – 35

SPX – Thomas O’Leary 39 field goal
Callaway – Tez Parks 18 run (Hunter Milliman kick)
Callaway – Terry Godwin 43 run (Milliman kick)
SPX – Michael O’Leary 22 field goal
Callaway – Parks 47 run (Milliman kick)
SPX – Joey Connors 3 run (Chris Wegener pass from Connors)
Callaway – Eddie Culpepper 59 run (Milliman kick)
Callaway – Dre Martin 42 interception return (Milliman kick)
SPX – Nick Ruffin 23 run (O’Leary kick)

7 comments Add your comment

WolfDawg

November 29th, 2013
11:33 pm

Congratulations to Callaway – Now for the coin toss to determine home field!!

Should be a good en next Friday!!

Middle Lion Backer

November 30th, 2013
12:40 am

Was good game and well played by Callaway. Callaway held the Pius FB in check for most of the night but then….Surprise Pius could not stop the Callaway option as the QB Parks ran almost untouched to start the 2nd half for a touchdown. QB Parks also had a few other runs where he ran around the defensive ends of Pius again untouched.
Nice season for St. Pius X 9 wins 2 of those being in the playoffs is not too shabby. Congrats !

SPXFAN

November 30th, 2013
1:24 am

Great season, already looking forward to next year in AAAA. Thanks to the seniors for all the memories.

kidsballcoach

November 30th, 2013
11:06 am

Great effort by the Golden Lions and an awesome Sr. Class. Thanks to the SPX Family for the HUGE turnout and support. Great Job to all. Callaway is a good team with lots of talent and played a great game, Good Luck! SPX stayed with them to the end and never quit. GO Golden Lions!

Son Of Waco

December 1st, 2013
6:28 pm

Hmm could SPX defense have been missing that Glass dude this round???? I still think we would be playing in our 2nd state title game if it wasn’t for him…

Bitter much?

December 2nd, 2013
8:06 am

@Son of Waco
You obviously have never played high school football. Every year the teams have different players. Comparing the 2013 Callaway team to the 2012 WACO team is the most un-intelligent concept of comparison I have ever seen. I am actually shocked you even have internet in the cow pasture. Maybe you should just stick to grazing and don’t stress that brain out by trying to think of excuses for why you lost a game over a year ago.

Son Of Waco

December 3rd, 2013
6:24 pm

Just watched the game and SPX was missing a sure tackle safety in the back of their defense, but hey what I know…