CAIRO -- After a sluggish first half Friday night against the Cairo Syrupmakers, the Ware County Gators scored 14 points on two drives, compiling 116 yards to roll to a 24-0 win.
"We were trying to run no-huddle and get our passing game going," Ware County head coach Dan Ragle said. "We were just out of sync. I give all the credit in the world to Cairo. They've got an awfully tough defense."
But the Gators found a chink in the Syrupmakers defensive armor in the third quarter. On their first possession, the Gators drove 49 yards down the Cairo 7-yard line.
On second-and-goal, quarterback Steve Daniels rolled to his left and found, at the last moment, running back Je'Mario Barkley for the score.
After the Syrupmakers went three-and-out on their next series, the Gators struck immediately. Daniels found Cedric Jones all by himself. He scampered down the right sidelines for a 60-yard touchdown.
Offensively for Cairo, the Syrupmakers drove for 52 yards on their initial possession of the game, but never could find rythym, whether it be with their passing game or on the ground.
"When you start inside your 20 the whole time, you're not going to have a lot of success," Fallaw said.
Cairo's last four possessions in the first half all started inside their 20-yard line.
A turnover hurt the Syrupmakers on their third possession of the game.
Cairo quarterback Brandon Robinson rolled to his right and did not see Ware County's Leodis McKelvin, as he sneaked his way into Robinson's passing lane and intercepted the pass. He motored his way for the touchdown, giving the Gators a 10-0 lead at halftime.
"That was a big, big lift for us," Ragle said.
"You can't measure how big that interception was. Even at that point they were still in the ball game."
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A retired art teacher at Brookwood School, Brenda Lucas Hatcher, 78, died July 6, 2021. Service is Sunday, July 25, 2:30p.m., Berry Funeral Home. Online guestbook and complete obituary at www.berryfh.com. Berry Funeral Home, Elberton, in charge.