LAGRANGE — The Callaway Cavaliers rolled in their opening game of the 2009 Class AA playoffs with a 47-7 victory over Riverside Military Academy Friday night at Callaway Stadium.
While it took awhile to get rolling, it turned out to be quite similar to the rest of Callaway’s wins during its current nine-game winning streak.
Running back Marquis Terrell got his yards (188), quarterback Quan Bray led the Cavaliers’ high-octane attack, and the defense allowed next to nothing.
"(Riverside) has a good football team and we knew that coming in," said Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins. "Our kids kept fighting, just like they always do, and we were able to get rolling and put up a lot of points."
It wasn’t easy at first for the Cavaliers (9-2).
While Bray found Quantavius Leslie for a 41-yard touchdown on Callaway’s first offensive play, the Eagles (5-6) drove the field in nine plays to tie the game at 7-7 with a 4-yard run from quarterback Lucas Bersin.
Riverside’s touchdown came after Callaway fumbled.
Bersin found 6-foot-7 tight end Brandon McKinney on several occasions, and kept moving the chains for Riverside.
After the Eagles’ touchdown, senior defensive back D.J. Rutledge returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a score to put Callaway ahead 13-7.
"I don’t know why they kicked it to me," Rutledge said. "I’ve already returned five kicks this year."
With the ball again, Riverside drove six plays before punting, but a fumble gave possession back to the Eagles.
In the first quarter, Riverside had 22 offensive plays to Callaway’s three, but the Cavs still held a 13-7 lead heading into the second.
"Our defense played extremely well," Wiggins said. "We gave up one touchdown on a short field."
Terrell added a 20-yard scoring run midway through the second, and a two-point conversion pass from Chris Laye to Debo Davis gave Callaway a 21-7 halftime lead.
The turnovers, which plagued Callaway in its two losses to Troup and Lovett, were easy for the Cavaliers to put behind them.
"When that happened, we couldn’t do anything about it," Bray said. "We just had to keep our heads up and play."
Added Rutledge: "Coach told us to keep playing ball. He said to keep our heads up and do what we know how to do — play football."
The second half was all Callaway.
Fullback Randy Bailey had a 1-yard touchdown run after Bray completed a 20-yard pass to Sterling Benford and scrambled for 19-yards on the first drive of the second half.
That’s when Terrell took over.
The junior had scoring runs of 84 and 66 yards, and both were made possible by simply outrunning the entire Riverside defense.
"(Terrell) has tremendous vision," offensive coordinator Matt Napier said.
"Combine that with some speed, and he’s turning into something special."
Of course, Terrell couldn’t have done it without the superb blocking of his teammates. On his 84-yard run, Benford made a huge block that sent Terrell on his way.
Bray also notched a 1-yard scoring run midway through the third quarter. He completed 3-of-6 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 131 yards.
The win puts Callaway into the second round at home against Westminster, which defeated Armuchee 28-6 on Friday.