By: By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
September 5, 2013
When the Callaway Cavaliers have the ball, the end zone never seems far away.
Whether they’re on their own 10-yard line, or just a few inches from the goal line, the Cavaliers have the ability to put points on the board in a hurry.
They showed that in their preseason game against Shaw when they scored five touchdowns in the first half, and their offensive prowess was on display again in the regular-season opener when they steamrolled Heard County 34-0.
With quarterback Tez Parks doing it with his legs and right arm, running backs Devon Rosser and Eddie Culpepper ripping off big runs, and wide receiver Terry Godwin hauling in scoring passes, the Cavaliers have been unstoppable so far.
Throw in a strong offensive line led by senior Brandon Sutton, and Callaway’s offense is the complete package.
It all starts with Parks, who is in his second season as a full-time starter, although he has been getting snaps at quarterback since his freshman season.
In the preseason game against Shaw, Parks showed off his arm with two long touchdown passes to Godwin, and he also had two scoring runs.
Against Heard County, Parks did it mostly with his feet with three touchdown runs while expertly running the team’s option offense.
As good as Parks was as a junior, Callaway offensive coordinator Matt Napier said he’s ready for even bigger things this season.
“He’s definitely improved in every aspect, as we expected him to,” Napier said. “He stepped up and played pretty well in the Shaw scrimmage, and he played really well in the Heard game. He’s a senior, a veteran quarterback, and we’re expecting big things out of him, and he’s delivered so far.
“He’s taking care of the football, and managing all the little things that we do really well. He’s making sure everybody’s on the right page. We’re proud of how he’s played, and we expect some bigger things from him to come as the year goes along.”
Parks is hardly the only big-play threat for the Cavaliers, though.
Rosser punished Heard County for 170 rushing yards, and that included a 54-yard touchdown run.
Rosser took a handoff from Parks, and after busting through the line of scrimmage, he pulled away from Heard’s defense for the score.
“We mix him up. We put him at fullback, and we put him at tailback,” Napier said. “And he’s really a special player. He’s got great vision. He’s got a good feel for what we do being in the system for so long. He’s another extremely hard worker in the weight room, and a leader on our team. He’s one of the strongest guys on our team with just a non-stop work ethic. He’s a great player. We’re blessed to have him.”
As for Parks and Rosser together, Napier calls it “a pretty special combination.”
Culpepper and Cedric Maynard have also done some nice things on the ground against Shaw and Heard County, and while Callaway is primarily a running team, Godwin gives the team the ability to do big things in the passing game as well.
Callaway also has a veteran and gifted offensive line, led by Sutton, a three-year starter.
“From an offensive standpoint, you’re only going to go as far as your offensive line can take you,” Napier said. “He’s the leader of that group. He’s a special player, hard-working.”
As explosive as the Cavaliers are, Napier is anticipating a big-time challenge tonight against a Troup defense that shut out Redan last week.
“They’ve got a big 6-4, 340-pound nose man (Devin Power), they’ve got the (Dikembe) Billingslea kid at three technique, and the two ends (R.J. Hairston and Devonte Cofield) are really athletic,” Napier said. “And the (Daryl) Dunlap kid is all-state, and they’re fast in the secondary. They’ve got kids everywhere. They’re loaded with talent. They’re what you want your team to look like.”