Syrupmakers take on the Jackets again…this time the Yellow ones
Since 2001, the visiting team has had a big advantage in the Cairo-Thomas County Central football rivalry. In those years, the visiting team has defeated the home team each time with the exception of one year. Thomas County Central holds a 16-20-1 advantage in the series that began in 1960.
This year, the Syrupmakers travel to Thomas County Central, but Cairo coach Tom Fallaw knows that doesn’t guarantee a win. “Thomas County Central is Thomas County Central! They are a solid team with a lot of returning athletes that made it to the thirteenth game of the season. They lost to Thomasville early, and then went on an 11 game winning streak,” said Fallaw.
Last year, the Yellow Jackets defeated the Syrupmakers 14-3 at West Thomas Stadium. The Jackets scored once in the first quarter and again in the fourth quarter. Cairo managed just a 23-yard field goal in the loss, despite ending four second half drives in Yellow Jacket territory, one drive ending at the Jacket 5-yard line. Cairo also had three turnovers on the night. “We had our chances last year and just could not convert drives into scores,” said Fallaw. The score stayed fixed at 7-3 until 3:38 to play in the game when the Jackets drove to the Maker 22-yard line and broke a touchdown to win the game 14-3.
This season, the Jackets are 2-0 with wins over Thomasville and Colquitt County, beating the Packers in overtime two weeks ago. With an open date last week, the Jackets have had two weeks to prepare for the Syrupmakers. “We know what they are going to do, and they know what we are going to do. The important thing for us is to not turn the ball over, and to execute,” said Fallaw.
The Yellow Jackets return an experienced offensive line and quarterback Eric Dotson and feature a top recruit in defensive end Ray Drew. The Jackets avenged last year’s loss to Thomasville in their first game of the season, beating the Bulldogs 20-17. In their overtime win against the Colquitt County Packers, the Yellow Jacket offense put up 35 points against the Packers, and the defense came up with a big turnover in overtime for the win.
Friday night’s game also features the “Battle of the Bucket,” as the winner of the rivalry receives the Barnett’s Creek Volunteer Fire Department Water Bucket. Currently, the Jackets possess the Water Bucket with last year’s win.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. this Friday night in Thomasville.