SYLVESTER -- The Cairo Syrupmakers are still getting their kicks on Friday nights. Class AAA's 10th-ranked team blocked two punts and prevented a third one from being launched in a 30-13 Region 1-AAA pasting of the Worth County Rams.
Syrupmakers head coach Tom Fallaw credits assistant Josh Schuyler for his team's penchant for creating special teams chaos.
"He comes in every Sunday and devotes about five hours just looking for weak points," Fallaw said. "He tells us if we can block one, where we can return one and where we need to place our kickoffs. He does a good job."
The Syrupmakers blocked three punts in their season-opening win over the Cook Hornets.
"We really haven't changed anything from last year," Fallaw said. "It's just that now the players have decided they can do it. We hadn't blocked any before that game, even at practice. Now the kids see how blocked punts can turn a game around."
Robert Thornton and Brandon Robinson shared credit on the first blocked punt Friday night.
It set up a 31-yard field goal by Trey Johnson that was the first score of the contest. Robinson got the second block by himself. It was recovered in the end zone by Antonio Hardy, giving Cairo a 16-13 third-quarter lead.
In the final period, Thornton tackled the Rams punter before he could kick the ball. Two plays later, Robinson fired a 32-yard touchdown pass to Kagney Ponder that clinched the game.
INJURY WORRIES: Fallow refused to put too much emphasis on the victory that upped his team's record to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in 1-AAA.
"The main thing we talk about is winning the next game," he said. "It's way too early to worry about clearing hurdles or anything like that. We have to tee it up next Friday (against Dougherty) and make sure we go 1-0."
Fallaw's emotions were tempered by a concern for injuries. Offensive lineman Blake Smith and running back Danta Harrell had ice taped to their ankles after the game.
"We've got to make sure we are OK, and we have to play through some of these things," he said.
"You are going to have aches and pains that will affect you this time of the year. We have to make sure we keep going at the best of our ability and have kids step in there who are ready to play."
DEFENSIVE GEMS: Cornerback William Jackson thwarted a first-quarter Worth County drive by recovering a fumble at his 1.
End Monterious Moore fell on a loose ball at the Rams 27 in the third quarter, setting up Cairo's first touchdown.
Moore, with assistance from Marty Jones, also notched a key fourth-and-1 stop at the Worth County 40 late in the third period.
They tackled running back Bernard Hope in his tracks on a drive up the gut.
Chris Teal added an interception in the final period.
This Week's Circulars
- Cairo puts in new measures against virus spread
- Residents charged with fireworks violations
- Ochlocknee man dies in Gwinnett County crash
- Stolen gun recovered in traffic stop
- Shooting range manager, assistants appointed
- Fake city checks caught up in scam
- 19 new COVID-19 cases in Thomas County
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