Valley Preps

Simple mistakes costly for Columbus in loss

Columbus moved the ball just fine on Thursday night at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium.

It picked up big chunks of yardage on the ground from the outset, putting pressure on a Callaway defense that didn’t seem to have an answer for the run. But the Blue Devils couldn’t avoid the simple mistakes, penalties and turnovers that ultimately cost them the game.

Columbus fell to Callaway 28-7, dropping its second straight game and falling to 1-2 overall on the young season. After scoring 62 points in the season-opener, the Blue Devils have scored just seven combined in their two losses against Upson-Lee and Callaway.

“We’ve got to find ways to get into the end zone,” coach Phil Marino said after the game. “Just like last week, we were up and down the field, but then just shot ourselves in the foot too many times. (Callaway is) good, but I don’t think they’re any better than we are.”

On its opening drive, Columbus went from 17-yard line to 17-yard line, covering 66 yards but failed to score. The Blue Devils ran 13 plays on the drive but couldn’t convert a fourth down after a holding call had put them behind the sticks two plays earlier.

On the third play of the ensuing Callaway drive, the Cavaliers were on the board with a 63-yard touchdown run by D.J. Atkins.

Later in the half, after Columbus had tied the game on a 14-yard run by Karlton Williams and then fallen back behind 14-7, the Blue Devils offense had another opportunity with just over seven minutes remaining before intermission.

On the first play of the drive, the Blue Devils fumbled the ball but recovered it for a 3-yard loss. On the next play, they fumbled again and Callaway recovered at the Columbus 31. It took Callaway one play to connect on a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dylan Johnson to wide receiver Braylon Sanders.

“I feel like we can move the ball against anyone, we’ve just got to get into the end zone,” Marino said.

Columbus finished the game with 225 yards rushing but couldn’t mix in the pass very well. Marino said he’s happy with the way sophomore quarterback Caleb Bailey runs the offense, but that they need to start completing passes when they take those chances.

“That’s just going to open up our offense that much more if we can do that,” he said.

The Blue Devils defense was strong for a majority of the game. It allowed just 303 yards for the entire contest, only 98 of which came through the air. The unit gave the offense plenty of opportunities, but the offense couldn’t capitalize.

Callaway did, though, picking up a majority of its yards on its four scoring plays. It had touchdown runs of 63 and 51 yards for Atkins and passes of 13 yards and 31 yards from Johnson to Sanders. Those plays accounted for 158 of the team’s 303 total yards.

Despite the loss, Marino said it has been encouraging that the defense has played well and the offense moved the ball consistently against two top-tier opponents the past two weeks. If they can begin to limit the mistakes, he likes where the Blue Devils are going into region play.

“That’s why I scheduled these tough games,” he said. “We wanted to see what we had against these guys to prepare us for the region.”

Key play: Trailing just 14-7 and having moved the ball well early on, the Blue Devils lost a fumble on the second play of its drive in the second quarter. Callaway capitalized with a 31-yard touchdown pass on its first play of the ensuing drive, extending its lead to 21-7 and never looking back.

Difference makers: D.J. Atkins, running back, Callaway, rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns, pacing the Cavaliers offense for the entire night.

Braylon Sanders, wide receiver, Callaway, caught just two passes, but both were for touchdowns. One was a 13-yard score and the other a 31-yarder.

The Columbus offensive line paved the for 225 yards rushing on the ground.

Individual stats: Karlton Williams, running back, Columbus, rushed 12 times for 66 yards and a touchdown; Mark Anthony-Dixon, running back, Columbus, rushed two times for 47 yards.

Coach quote: “(Callaway is) good, but I don’t think they’re any better than we are,” Marino said.

 

Thursday at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium

Callaway

7

14

7

0

28

Columbus

0

7

0

0

7

First quarter

Ca — D.J. Atkins 63 run (Noah Stephens kick); 4:39

Second quarter

Co — Karlton Williams 14 run (Patrick Kitchens kick); 10:59

Ca — Braylon Sanders 13 pass from Dylan Johnson (Kitchens kick); 7:18

Ca — Sanders 31 pass from Johnson (Kitchens kick); 6:17

Third quarter

C — Atkins 51 run (Stephens kick); :37

Records: Callaway, 3-0; Columbus, 1-2. Next: Callaway, Sept. 16 vs. Upson-Lee; Columbus, Sept. 16 vs. Shaw at Kinnett Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Callaway 28, Columbus 7

Thursday at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium

Callaway

7

14

XX

XX

28

Columbus

0

7

0

0

7

First quarter

Ca — D.J. Atkins 63 run (Noah Stephens kick); 4:39

Second quarter

Co — Karlton Williams 14 run (Patrick Kitchens kick); 10:59

Ca — Braylon Sanders 13 pass from Dylan Johnson (Kitchens kick); 7:18

Ca — Sanders 31 pass from Johnson (Kitchens kick); 6:17

Third quarter

C — Atkins 51 run (Stephens kick); :37

Records: Callaway, 3-0, 0-0; Columbus, 1-2, 0-0. Next: Callaway, Sept. 16 vs. Upson-Lee; Columbus, Sept. 16 vs. Shaw at Kinnett Stadium.

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