On Thursday, they held their final practice of the week on an unseasonably warm morning before enjoying an early Thanksgiving lunch together.
Now, it’s time to go play football.
Today at Callaway Stadium in the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs, Callaway and Washington County will mix it up in a matchup of two red-hot teams.
The Cavaliers (10-1) have won 10 straight games since a season-opening loss to Heard County, and Washington County (10-1) has lost just once as well, and that came against Thomson, the state’s top-ranked Class AAA team.
Something will have to give when these two powerhouses collide on the artificial turf of Callaway Stadium.
“They have a great-looking football team,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “They’re physical. They’re big up front on both sides of the ball. They run to the ball well. They have a lot of tradition, but this is a game we look forward to. We look forward to an atmosphere that we’ll have at Callaway Stadium Friday night for Washington County.”
The Cavaliers are feeling good about their prospects.
They’re playing their best football of the season right now, and they’re coming off a 49-7 thumping of Tatnall County in last week’s first-round playoff game.
In their past five games, Callaway has outscored its opponents by an average score of 44-10.
“Washington County is as good a football team as there is in AAA. They have a lot of tradition. Coach (Joel) Ingram does a great and his staff and his kids,” Wiggins said. “But we’re excited about this opportunity. Our kids believe they can win. We’re going to go out and give it all we’ve got. We got to limit our mistakes. When opportunities happen, we have to take advantage of them.”
The Cavaliers have been dominant on both sides of the football.
The Cavaliers gave up 43 points in the season opener against Heard County, but they’ve been strong since, and they’re only allowing 13 points a game this season.
On offense, Callaway has been scoring points in bunches.
With junior quarterback Tez Parks leading the way, the Cavaliers are averaging close to 40 points per game.
In last week’s win, Parks threw a touchdown pass to Terry Godwin, and he also ran for two scores.
Devon Rosser added a pair of touchdown runs, including one that covered 71 yards, and Cortez Leonard had a 50-yard scoring run.
Wilson Lindsey, a big-play running back, also had a scoring run against Tatnall County.
Eddie Culpepper teams with Lindsey to give Callaway two explosive running backs to take the pitch from Parks in the triple-option offense.
Washington County is no slouch when it comes to putting the ball in the end zone, either.
The Golden Hawks had two running backs with more than 100 yards last week, Melvin Hill (113 yards) and Jukilo Johnson (105 yards).
And while the Hawks don’t throw it much, they make the most of their chances.
Against Pike County, William Walker threw six passes, and he not only completed each of them, but they each went for touchdowns.
Those six passes covered 188 yards.
Walker is also a threat with his feet, and he has a chance to throw for 1,000 yards, and run for 1,000 yards.
It is a tough challenge, but the Cavaliers are ready.
“It’s a great group of kids, and they do believe. They practice like they believe,” Wiggins said. “Our tempo is great, it has been all week. It’s been a great season for us.”