Cairo took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, but the Bearcats battled back with a touchdown of their own on their next possession and added a 43-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead as time expired in the half.
“We made too many mistakes – and we got beat,” said Cairo coach Tom Fallaw.
Cairo was plagued by turnovers and mistakes all night long, including an interception on the third play of offense to open the game, and the loss of a fumble to open the third quarter. The Cairo defense held the Cats after both turnovers, but errant snaps and badly timed penalties aided the Bearcats in field position and scoring drives throughout the night. Cairo had three turnovers in the game, one interception and two fumbles, while the Cats had one fumble and an interception in the end zone by T.J. Gurley. Cairo committed 8 penalties for 65 yards, and the Bearcats were flagged seven times for 54 yards on the night.
Cairo’s special teams played well with a big kickoff return by Reese Wooten and a forced fumble on a punt, but could not convert the plays into points. Bainbridge took a 17-7 with 3:38 to play in the third quarter. The Syrupmakers fought back with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Steven Bench to Arthur Robinson with 11:22 to play in the game. Taylor Donalson’s second extra point of the night cut the Bearcat’s lead to 17-14, but that would be all the scoring on the night for both teams.
The Syrupmaker offense finished with 157 yards with 77 on the ground, but could never seem to find a rhythm. “Right now, we are not playing very crisp, not like an experienced football team. That responsibility falls on all of us, we’ve got to come back and get more disciplined and play a better game,” said Fallaw.
The Bearcats tallied 150 yards on the ground, led by Terry Lewis who scored twice and gained 93 yards on 19 carries. Cairo tailback Terrell Cason had 90 yards on 13 carries on the night and scored Cairo’s go ahead touchdown in the first quarter on a 20-yard run. The teams finished with nine first downs each.
Cairo will be at home again this Friday night against Jordan High School in another nonregion game. Kickoff at West Thomas Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.