LAGRANGE – The Callaway Cavaliers were one heart-breaking defeat away from a third consecutive region championship.
After winning their first four region games a year ago, the Cavaliers only needed a home win over the Central-Carroll Lions to make it a three-peat.
They came close.
The Cavaliers lined up with seconds remaining for what would have been a game-winning field goal, but the Lions came through with the block, and they returned it all the way to the end zone for for the game-winning touchdown.
The Lions won that remarkable, memorable game 30-24 to claim the Region 5-AAA championship, while the Cavaliers settled for second.
This week, the Cavaliers will begin the process of trying to climb to the top of the region once again.
After taking last week off, Callaway will be at home on Thursday for its Region 5-AAA opener against Cedartown.
That will be the first of four games in three days at Callaway Stadium.
On Friday, Troup will open its Region 5-AAAA schedule against Woodward Academy, and LaGrange will play Carver on Saturday.
There will also be a college game on Saturday, with LaGrange College opening its USA South schedule against Greensboro
In eight-man football, Lafayette Christian School will face a key region road game against Cross Pointe Christian on Friday.
Callaway (4-1) will bring a four-game winning streak into Thursday’s game, while Cedartown (0-5) is still looking for its first win.
The Bulldogs have had some close calls.
They were blown out in their first two games, but their past three losses are by a combined 22 points.
Callaway and Cedartown have one common opponent.
Callaway beat Heard County 20-17, and Cedartown lost to Heard County 24-15.
Troup’s assignment this week is a difficult one.
Woodward Academy is 5-0, and it has scored 34 or more points in four of its five games.
Troup (0-5), which didn’t play a game last week, is still chasing its first win of the season.
A year ago, Woodward Academy beat Troup 42-24.
LaGrange (3-3) will have an extra day to prepare for Saturday’s Region 1-AAAAA showdown against Carver.
The Grangers are 1-1 in the region after falling to Columbus 21-13 last week.
Carver (4-1), which was off last week, beat Columbus 30-3 in its region opener.
LaGrange lost to Carver 48-31 last year.
Lafayette Christian School (4-3) is 0-1 in the region, and it likely has to win at Cross Pointe on Friday to keep its playoff hopes alive.
THIS WEEK’S GAMES
Cedartown at Callaway, 7 p.m.
Woodward Academy at Troup, 7:30 p.m.
Lafayette Christian at Cross Pointe, 7:30 p.m.
Greensboro at LaGrange College, 2 p.m.
Carver at LaGrange, 8 p.m.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports