• John Macon Gillespie

Callaway Starts With Big Win

Callaway and Ridgeland were rivals for years when they were in the same division up until a couple years ago. Now, with Callaway playing in 6a and both schools carrying new coaches, they maintain that rivalry. All week, both fanbases tweeted out that they were painting up orange (Callaway) and white (Ridgeland) and talking a lot of noise to each other. Midway through the 3rd quarter, a handful of players got into a scrap on the field and the benches were about to clear, but the coaches were able to hold back their teams and keep the situation under control.

The first quarter would’ve started out great for Callaway had it not been for a 60+ yard run called back for holding. Ridgeland’s scrappy defense would end up stopping them in 3 plays and got the ball back. On the ensuing drive, Ridgeland drove down the field and punched in a rushing touchdown by Ja’kel Haymon. At the end of the 1st quarter, Ridgeland would be up 7-0 on Callaway.

After forcing a fumble midway through the second quarter, Callaway drove down the field and ran one in themselves. They attempted a 2-point conversion but failed. The next series for Ridgeland, they drove down the field until a 41-yard touchdown pass from Cam Mayberry to AJ Stephens. Not so fast though, Callaway’s Gabe Rogers returned the kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown to make the game 14-13 Ridgeland.

In the second half, Ridgeland drove down the field once again and Ja’kell Haymon scored a 10-yard rushing touchdown. Ridgeland missed the PAT so that made the game 20-13 Ridgeland over Callaway. After a few stalled-out drives by both teams, Callaway broke an 85-yard touchdown run with 3:34 left in the 3rd quarter to make it 20-20. After getting the ball back, Ridgeland managed to drive all the way down inside the Charger 20 and got stuffed on 4th and 4 by the stout Callaway defense with 23 seconds left in the 3rd. On Callaway’s first play, they took one 83-yards to the house to make it 27-20.

After another quarter of great defense by both teams, Ridgeland managed to stop Callaway one last time to get the ball back with 1:13 left and try to win the game. Coach Earnest (won state last year with Collins as head coach) was overheard on the sideline saying they would go for 2 if they got the touchdown. Ridgeland managed to make it to their own 45 before heaving one to the endzone in a last-second desperation attempt. Mississippi State commit, Malik Heath, managed to intercept the pass as time expired to win the game for the Chargers 27-20.

It was a hard-fought struggle between two teams who were just not willing to lose to the other. Even with Callaway’s size advantage on the offensive and defensive lines, it was a complete stalemate the entire game in the trenches. In the end, Callaway came out on top.

Players of the game for each team: RB’s L. Thompson and Desmond Sanders (Callaway) and QB Cam Mayberry (Ridgeland)

Next week, Ridgeland will take on powerhouse Clinton and Callaway will take on fellow JPS school, Provine.

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