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Syrupmakers host Jordan Friday night

The Cairo Syrupmakers look to improve on last week’s showing against the Bainbridge Bearcats as they prepare to face the 0-2 Jordan High School Red Jackets. The Syrupmakers were plagued by mistakes and turnovers that proved costly in their first loss of 2011 to the Bainbridge Bearcats 17-14 last Friday. The game was Cairo’s first loss at home since September of 2009.
The Makers will face the Jordan Red Jackets this week, a team they defeated last year 37-0. However, the Red Jackets are looking for improvement in 2011. The team returns six starters – three on the offensive line – from a team that went 3-7 last year with victories against Columbus, Kendrick and Spencer.
“We don’t have a ton of experienced guys back,” Jordan coach Dave Nurnberg said. “We had some guys who got a little bit of playing time last year, but it’s nothing like the ton they will get this year. For the most part, it will be a lot of new faces out there.”  
Sophomore Austin McKinnon takes over at quarterback this season for the Red Jackets and, while he is young, the sophomore seems ready to take on the challenge, according to Nurnberg.
“He’s just a natural athlete and a smart guy with good leadership skills,” Nurnberg said of McKinnon. “I know he can handle it. He’s a sophomore, so he is going to have a big learning curve, but he is doing very well by far,” the coach added.
“The hardest thing to replace this year is the leadership on defense. The entire front six basically were seniors. We have one guy coming back, and all but one of our defensive backs were seniors. We still have talent. It’s just that we’re missing that leadership we need on defense,” Nurnberg said.
“Jordan has some speed at the skill positions and has the ability to move the ball well,” said Cairo coach Tom Fallaw.
Cairo and Jordan kick it off this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at West Thomas Stadium.

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