It’s playoff time in Cairo, and the Syrupmakers are hosting Round One again this year. Cairo faces the number four seed from region 2-AAA, the Troup County Tigers. Cairo coach Tom Fallaw says don’t let the Tigers’ 4-6 record fool you. “This is not your typical fourth seed team, the Tigers have lost some close games to some of the top teams in the state,” said Fallaw.
Troup lost to Dunwoody High, 14-7, and Baldwin High School 9-7, and both are undefeated at 10-0. They also have close losses to Washington County and LaGrange who are both 8-2 on the season, and a loss to Carver of Columbus, last year’s AAA state champion.
To say the Tigers are big would be an understatement to say the least. Chris Burnette, a six foot four inch 290 offensive lineman is already committed to the University of Georgia. Joining him on the line are 230-240 pound lineman all the way across and a 240 pound fullback as well. The Tigers also have Tay Irvin who anchors the defensive line at 305 pounds along with defensive lineman Denzel Turner who weighs in at 270 pounds and at defensive end is LeAndre Crawford at 6’3″ 330 pounds.
Cairo comes into Friday night’s play off game undefeated at 9-0 and region. The Makers will battle Troup’s size with speed, including quarterback Angelo Pease, and running backs Reginald Bryant and Ronnie Wooten and receivers Dewayne Isom, Chris Adams and J.J. Wilcox. Bryant has over 5000 yards rushing and 69 touchdowns during his career at Cairo. One more touchdwon and Bryant joins the likes of Hershel Walker, Debrale Smiley and Robert Toomer on the career touchdown list in the state.
The Cairo offensive line is led by Anthony Brown and Brian Gainor, along with center Justin Palmer, and Jesse Grant.
Defensively, the Makers lead just about every category in the region. Anchoring the defensive line is Montavious Williams who is committed to Troy State University, Williams is also playing some on the offensive line. Cairo also has Jake Elkins, one of Cairo’s leading tacklers, along with Logan Bennett who has been terrorizing quarterbacks all season. Working their way back from the injured list are Terrell Perkins, Dewain Robinson, and Johnathan Shine, who got some playing time last week against Westover. Also playing well for the Makers is Anthony Brown, Ronnie Black, Lester Harrell, Bryce Thornton, Alex Brown, Allen Ashe, Marcus Davis, and Scooby Bodiford.
The Syrupmakers have a solid special teams group with seniors Logan Gainous and Garret Godwin. Gainous handles the field goals and extra points, while Godwin punts and kickoffs.
The Tigers are averaging 18 points a game, and giving up a little over 9 points a game, while the Syrupmakers are averaging almost 30 points a game and giving up about 6 points, with several of those points coming late in the game after the Makers began subbing.
Round one of the state AAA playoffs begins at 7:30 at West Thomas Stadium. Tickets are now on sale at Cairo High School. All tickets are $8.