CAIRO -- Cairo's quest for the Class AAA championship begins tonight at West Thomas Stadium.

The Syrupmakers (9-1, 5-0) already have a Region 1 title in hand. A first-round playoff victory will have to come against the Jefferson County Warriors (7-3, 4-1).

The Warriors are coming off a 45-17 victory over Benedictine on Saturday and a mini-playoff on Monday. Though his team is exhausted from the extra football it has had to play in the last week, Jefferson head coach J.B. Arnold is excited about the opportunity that lies before his team.

"We've got a good group of kids," said Arnold. "We're glad to be in the playoffs. I think we've earned it."

The Warriors enter the postseason with a 2,000-yard rusher in Jefferey Walker and a defense that's allowed just 55 points in its last six games.

"They like to run the 52 (defense)," Cairo head coach Tom Fallaw said. "They don't come out of it much. They line up in a 50 and slant a little bit.

"They're not going to change that. That's what they're going line up in, and that's what we're going to look for."

Cairo is coming off one of its most productive games offensively against Crisp County. The Syrupmakers finished with 112 yards on the ground while quarterback Brandon Robinson passed for 161. Fallaw insists his offense will not change tonight.

"We're going to take what the defense gives us," said Fallaw. "We've just got to do a good job of executing."

The Syrupmakers' defense continued its solid play against the Cougars, picking off three interceptions, to run its Region 1 lead to 18.

"The type of coverages we run and the amount of time people are throwing the ball against us right now, a lot of times we end up with interceptions because we're standing in the right place at the right time," said Fallaw. "So we're pleased with that."

What Fallaw will be pleased with tonight is Cairo's first playoff win since 2001.

"Cairo's a good football team," Arnold said.

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