THOMASVILLE — Following the departure of 20 seniors, Cairo entered the 2006 season with plenty of questions.

After a 21-0 loss to Colquitt County in a scrimmage Thursday night at West Thomas Stadium, questions remain for the Syrupmakers.

“We did some good things and we did some bad things,” Cairo coach Tom Fallaw said. “It’s kind of what we expected.

“We found out a lot of things about us tonight and we’re going to get better from it.”

One of the key positions the Syrupmakers needed to fill entering the year was at quarterback. Despite missing the past week and half of practice, senior Mike McGee stepped under center against the Packers. Sophomore Angelo Pease missed the scrimmage with an injury.

McGee’s varsity debut was inconsistent. McGee completed his first two passes, gaining first downs on each. However, some protection problems led to an interception on the first play of the second quarter, McGee’s second pick of the night.

McGee was drilled by Colquitt’s Javaris Jackson as he released the ball that ended in the arms of Georgia commit Vance Huff.

“He’s had an arm problem and he’s kind of coming back throwing the ball,” Fallaw said. “The protection wasn’t good all night and we kind of got out-physicalled out front. We’ve got to get better up front and protect him better and that will get his confidence up.”

McGee finished the night 5-of-15 for 48 yards.

Cairo wasn’t able to muster much on the ground, either. In an attempt to replace 1,000-yard rusher Fabian Cooper, the Syrupmakers churned out only 18 yards on 17 carries in the three varsity quarters. Senior Chris Teal led the way with 19 yards on a third-quarter draw after breaking two tackles in the backfield.

Teal also provided some thrills in the return game, busting a 64-yard kickoff return early in the third quarter. He also added a 33-yarder.

For most of the first half, Cairo’s defense matched its counterpart punch for punch. The Packers were forced to punt on two of their first three drives with Cairo senior defensive back Pat Brown intercepting a Chandler Hudson pass on the second drive at the Cairo 7.

However, the Packers used a short field to grab a 7-0 halftime lead on a six-yard scamper from B.J. Howard.

“I thought the first half was even,” Fallaw said. “They came on that drive there at the end. We had some young kids filling in right then, trying to see if they can play. We’re young on defense and they’ve got to figure out the speed of the game a little bit.”

Colquitt added a 45-yard touchdown pass from Hudson to Dontrell Johnson and a four-yard scoring run from Orion Ponder in the third quarter.

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