CAIRO – The Cairo Syrupmakers may not have won on the scoreboard last week against Thomasville but being able to play a game was a win in and of itself.
The Syrupmakers look to take the next step and notch their official first win of the season this Friday night when they host the Escambia (Fla.) Gators at West Thomas Stadium.
“This will be the most athletic group we'll play all year, ain't no question,” Cairo coach Steven Devoursney said. “They've got a four-star running back (Waymond Jordan Jr.), the best running back I've seen since I've been at Cairo. He'll be a handful trying to stop.
“They've also got two four-star receivers. Our defense will have their hands full for sure.”
Jordan transferred from Pensacola Catholic and has racked up more than 3,000 rushing yards during his high school career.
Like Cairo, Escambia only has one game under its belt. The school known for producing NFL rushing legend Emmitt Smith, defeated Gulfport (Miss.) 35-28 in overtime last week.
The Syrupmakers failed to hang on against the Bulldogs a week ago. Thomasville rallied for a 26-21 victory. It was Cairo's first game of the season after having its season opener against Fitzgerald rescheduled for Sept. 17 and its game against Brooks County canceled; both because of COVID-19 protocols.
Devoursney expects to have all but one starter ready for Friday night's clash. The team will need to play better on both sides of the ball if it is to keep pace with Escambia on the Syrupmakers' new turf.
What hurt Cairo defensively against Thomasville was giving up big plays, Devoursney acknowledged.
“That killed us against Thomasville,” he said.
On the other side of the ball, the Syrupmakers’ miscues turned out to be lethal.
“We had four turnovers. We had 13 penalties and gave up a few big plays,” Devoursneys aid. “We did all that in our first game and still had a shot to win the game.”