Bainbridge faces next big test against rival Syrupmakers

Published 5:59 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Cairo graduated lots of top talent last year, but are always a force to be reckoned with. In a rivalry game, that’s especially true.

The Syrupmakers went 11-2 last season and have started this year 1-1, like the Bearcats. Despite some perceived inexperience, coach Jeff Littleton is preparing his team for a game against a tough team.

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“They play hard and get after you,” Littleton said. “They run the ball better and they throw the ball well. They play tough defense.”

Cairo is working hard to fill the void left by a host of seniors, including Walter Grant, who now plays for Georgia. Two defensive starters remain on the Syrupmakers’ squad from last season, linebacker Tahj Vicks and safety Jamel Chin, both seniors.

On offense, senior quarterback Jackson Hand has the starting spot. Hand is 6-foot-1, 200 pounds and can throw the ball well. Littleton said they also work in another quarterback, Robert Peters, who runs the ball well.

“It’s tough,” Littleton said about preparing for two quarterbacks. “They have different qualities and different things they bring to the table. Anytime you have a running quarterback, you have to be able to do some different things on defense to be able to stop that.”

Junior Jamarcus Vicks is the starting running back. He rushed for 342 yards and two touchdowns last season. Although there are no returning starters at wide receiver, Cameron Goosby has the most experience at the position and will be a threat.

Bainbridge is hot off a big 43-33 win over Lincoln, where running back Dameon Pierce rushed for 313 yards and five touchdowns to carry the Bearcats to the win. Quarterback Mark Loeffler and the roster of receivers also had a good night and have shown improvement from week one. Loeffler through a touchdown pass to Adrian Cooper to put Bainbridge up 7-0 on the first drive.

Despite some injuries on defense during last Friday’s game, the Bearcats should be back in full force for this week’s rivalry game. Kickoff is at 7: 30 p.m. in Cairo.