The rematch of last year’s quarterfinals between the Douglass Astros and the Callaway Cavaliers proved to be far from a nail biter. Instead, it was domination from start to finish by the Cavaliers as they feasted 35-0 Friday night.

Much anticipation and hopes of avenging last year’s 41-20 loss to the Cavaliers in the playoffs were on the Astros mind heading into this game. Many returning players such as running back Quintavious Lockett and quarterbacks Quindarious Sterling and D’Andre Watson were supposed to be the difference and key in this game for the Astros home opener.

Sterling’s subpar play and struggles last week resulted in the Astros starting and relying a lot on Watson this game.

The Cavaliers were without their star running back Charlie Dixon who sat out Friday night’s game due to a foot injury. They would have to rely heavily on the play of quarterback Demetrius Coleman and senior running back LaQuize Gilbert.

No fans were on either side in Lakewood Stadium Friday night but both teams were ready to battle.

Bad ball control halted the Astros opening drive as Watson fumbled giving the Cavaliers great field position to begin the game. They could not capitalize on the ensuing possession though as they went three and out.

Later in the first quarter on the Cavaliers third offensive possession, they scored first. Gilbert rushed in from 12 yards to put the Cavaliers up 7-0 with 23 seconds to go in the first quarter.

Gilbert was not done though. This time with 2:50 left in the second quarter, he rushed in from 12 yards again for another touchdown to increase the Cavaliers lead to 14.

An Astros turnover on the ensuing possession gave the Cavaliers great field position deep in Astros territory. This time, Coleman completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Treyon Tucker to lead 21-0 going into halftime.

The Astros forced a fumble as the Cavaliers marched downfield on the opening drive of the half but were unable to capitalize on the offensive end.
Late in the third, this time Coleman led the Cavaliers downfield and finished the drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown to lead 28-0 with 1:58 left in the third quarter.

Gilbert put the icing on the cake for this game, this time breaking loose for an 11-yard rushing touchdown to extend the lead to 35.

“He had an opportunity,” said Cavaliers head coach Pete Wiggins on what led to Gilbert’s success on the ground. “When he was given the opportunity to play running back tonight, he did a [great] job.”

Gilbert finished with three touchdowns on the night.

The Astros look to rebound and earn their first win of the season as they begin region play against Salem at home next Friday while the Cavaliers will face Thomas County Central on the road.

Photo by: Anfernee Patterson/The Atlanta Voice

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