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Syrupmakers face tough test Friday in Gainesville

The Cairo Syrupmakers continue to win in the state AAA playoffs and find themselves traveling to Gainesville Friday night to take on the undefeated and number one ranked Gainesville Red Elephants. Cairo, now 9-3 on the season, must find a way to slow down the Red Elephants, who have raced through their 2009 schedule and are 12-0.
Gainesville’s roster features a number of Division One prospects and commitments. The Red Elephants offense averages over 46 points per game and has given up a little less than six points per game.  Meanwhile, the Syrupmakers, are averaging 17 points a game and giving up a little over 8 points a game.
Loaded with talent, the Red Elephants return quarterback Blake Sims, and he has plenty of experienced offensive weapons at his disposal. With Tailer Jones, Teryan Rucker and Devon Pierce at the skill positions, and a pair of tall receivers in Chris West and Daunte Carr at the wide receiver spots, the Syrupmaker defense will have its hands full. Defensively, Gainesville had to replace starters on the line but one area that is unquestioned is  the secondary, as the Red Elephants have a trio of experienced  starters in Tevin Yarbrough, Carr and Kenya Jackson and a two-year starter in Justin Owens.
The Red Elephants pose the biggest challenge of the season for the Syrupmakers, who are the defending AAA state champions. The Makers have picked up steam in the playoffs and continue to get better and to play better every week. 
“We’ve had great practices and improved a little bit, I think, in every area, but Gainesville has a great team and we will certainly need to play our best Friday night,” said Cairo coach Tom Fallaw.
Gainesville is riding a 16-game winning streak at home, and have trailed only once all season, and that was last Friday night when Gainesville fell behind 3-0. However, the Elephants roared back with 41 unanswered points to defeat Dunwoody.
Friday night’s quarterfinal game begins at 7:30 p.m. in Gainesville. The game can be heard on WGRA radio and on the Internet. The winner of Friday night’s game plays the winner of the Flowery Branch-Carver Columbus game.

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