CAIRO — The Cairo High School Syrupmakers will likely go three consecutive weeks without playing a football game after efforts on behalf of school officials to quickly schedule a suitable match this Friday appear to have fallen through.

"We thought we had about three games this week, but they all fell through," said Syrupmakers head coach Steve Devoursney, who was tasked with finding an opponent for Friday.

School officials have been searching for a willing opponent for the Syrupmakers' open date October 9 after their previous two scheduled games against Dothan (AL) and Pelham were canceled due to concerns over the novel coronavirus. 

Devoursney was provided a list of "about 25" teams by the Georgia High School Association with open slots Friday, including Pelham, but was unable to secure a match.

Pelham was unable to reschedule last week's game for Friday because they would not have had enough players, Devoursney said.

With region play set to begin next week against Bainbridge, Devoursney said the two scratched games will likely not be made up later in the year.

An open date October 30 — the Syrupmakers' last scheduled bye of the season — will likely not be filled with a new opponent, though Devoursney did not rule out that possibility entirely.

"If we play our first two (region) games and there are no problems or hiccups and we don't have to move anything, then we might want to play somebody that week, too," he said.

Efforts to schedule a new game for this week began after Pelham pulled out of its October 2 matchup against the Syrupmakers after several Hornets players would have been ruled out due to possible exposure to the virus. That cancelation came on the heels of the Syrupmakers' September 25 game against Dothan being canceled after a Cairo player was found to have tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before kickoff. 

No Syrupmakers players or coaches are currently known to have COVID-19.

One Syrupmaker player is currently quarantined and is expected to return to practice early next week, Devoursney said. No coaches are currently quarantined.

Regular season games that are canceled do not count as forfeits this year, according to GHSA rules.

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