Syrupmakers snuff out Tornadoes

Here comes thunder! Reginald Bryant plows through a sea of Monroe defenders. Photo by Bert Wind

The Cairo Syrupmakers (3-0) picked up a big region win Friday night against the Monroe Tornadoes (3-2) 21-0 at West Thomas Stadium. Cairo’s win came against a stubborn Monroe defense that held the Makers to just seven points in the first half.
”After our first drive, we didn’t do the things we needed to do. I thought we executed a little bit better in the third and fourth quarter,” said CHS coach Tom Fallaw. After the Makers took the opening kickoff, the offense took eight minutes off the clock and scored on their first possession when quarterback Angelo Pease scampered in from eight yards out. Logan Gainous, who was 3-3 on extra points on the night, made the score 7-0 with 4:04 to go in the first and the Makers looked well on their way to a smooth win. However, a turnover inside the 10, and a few ill timed penalties killed the Syrupmakers’ next few drives.
Leading 7-0 at halftime, the Syrupmakers kicked off to the Tornadoes to open the second half, and the defense quickly shut them down, forcing the Tornadoes to punt after three plays. However, Cairo’s misfortunes on offense continued after the break. “We did a better job offensively in the second half, but we had some missed passes that hurt us,” said Fallaw.
The change of quarters seemed to bring new life to the Makers as the Cairo offense was able to add two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, one on a 56-yard run by Reginald Bryant with 11:34 to go in the game, and another on a one-yard run by Ronnie Wooten at the 5:12 mark. Bryant took a Pease pitch and scampered down the Syrupmaker sideline for Cairo’s second touchdown of the night.
Cairo’s next drive was much like the opening drive of the night as the Makers effectively went down the field and scored their third touchdown, their second in as many tries in the final quarter. “They’re a good defensive team and we’re not going to take anything away from them, but right now we’re not a very good offensive football team,” Fallaw said.
Defensively, the Syrupmakers dominated the Monroe offense all night. The Cairo “D” allowed the Tornadoes just 25 yards of offense in the first half and only five yards in the second. The visitors crossed the 50-yard line only three times all night.
In spite of the region win and shutout, the Syrupmaker’s head coach said there is still much work to do. One hundred yards in penalties and a sluggish performance on both sides of the ball is a main concern.” I thought our defense played well but they, too, kinda slept-walked through the first half. You didn’t see any big hits, and you didn’t see any kids flying around like we do,” Fallaw said. “I thought in the second half, you started to see a little more tempo to them, and you saw some kids running around, but we’ve got some things to fix, and we’re going to take care of that.”
Reginald Bryant led the Makers with 121 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Ronnie Wooten finished with 58 yards on 9 carries and a touchdown while quarterback Angelo Pease had 44 yards rushing and was 5 of 11 passing for 50 yards.
Cairo had 11 first downs to Monroe’s five and amassed 282 yards of offense, 232 on the ground. Monroe finished with just 6 yards of rushing and 24 passing, as Monroe quarterback Justin Pride completed just 3 of 15 passing attempts.
The Syrupmakers will be on the road this week to play Worth County in another region game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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