Syrupmakers face tough challenge with Westover

The Cairo Syrupmakers (2-2, 1-0) return to West Thomas Stadium this Friday night to face the Westover Patriots (2-2, 1-0). The Syrupmakers and Patriots have identical records coming into this Friday night’s region clash. Cairo defeated Crisp County Friday night 31-0, while the Patriots were 17-14 winners over Monroe last Saturday night.
Westover poses a big challenge this week, according to Syrupmaker head coach Tom Fallaw. “They have athletes all over the field and have proven they can win on any given Friday night,” said Fallaw. The Patriots opened the 2012 season with a 33-29 win over region 1-AAAAAA Tift County, and beat a Monroe team last week that many people have picked to finish near the top of region 1-AAAA.
Westover’s two losses have come to very explosive teams in Jonesboro and Lee County. Jonesboro’s only loss of the season came at the hands of Griffin, and Lee County remains undefeated on the season at 4-0.
Last season, the Patriots lost a few close games because they had no kicker. This season, Westover has solved that problem. Patriots’ kicker Tanner Stumpe kicked a 43-yard field goal with 3:19 left Saturday night that proved to be the difference as Westover hung on to beat city rival Monroe, 17-14. The Patriots jumped out to a 14-0 lead over the Tornadoes, but were tied at 14 when Stumpe kicked the winning field goal.
Last year, Westover jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead over the Syrupmakers, before Cairo responded with four unanswered touchdowns in the second half, to pick up the win 28-20. “We can’t afford to allow them that kind of lead this season, they have a lot of players back with the ability to stay focused and put teams away,” said Fallaw.
Cairo’s defense will be  tested by a pass happy team that has put up a lot of points this season. Last week, the Maker defense intercepted four Crisp County passes, returning two of the picks for touchdowns.
Kickoff for Friday night’s home game is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WGRA-790Am and www.wgra.net on the Internet.

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