Bainbridge mantra of improving each day carries over into Cairo rivalry week

Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Rivalry games can go in a lot of different directions. Because of the emotions and history behind the matchups, it’s not always the better team that comes away with the win.

Bainbridge might have won last season’s game against Cairo 49-22, so it’s expected the Syrupmakers will play hard Friday night.

But Bainbridge will have to play harder. Players will have to do their jobs, said coach Jeff Littleton.

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“The biggest thing is to make sure they focus on their job during the week,” said Littleton. “Like I told them yesterday, I know they are going to play hard. They always do against Cairo. The problem is we have to make sure we focus on doing our job during the week so that it becomes easy on Friday night.”

The Bearcats beat Seminole County (0-1) 35-0 last Friday night to open the 2018 season. Lots of players saw game time. A couple others, offensive linemen Brad Mitchell and Jacob McLaughlin, are still rehabbing leg injuries. Though they’re practicing, they aren’t 100 percent.

The need for Bainbridge players to do their jobs is high.

Cairo’s offense centers around dual-threat quarterback Matthew Peters (1), who threw for 1,083 yards last season and rushed for another 268 yards. He scored 13 touchdowns through the air and had two on the ground.

Tailbacks Jamarcus Vicks (48) and Tay Solomon (20) will carry the rock for the Syrupmakers, while wide receivers Marquii Lovejoy (19) and Cameron Goosby (3) are Peters’ favorite targets.

“Defensively they have a lot of speed,” said Littleton. “They do a good job of getting to the football and tackling. We are going to have to execute offensively and defensively to make sure we are competitive.”

Littleton added that this year’s Cairo team returns a large batch of starters with plenty of playing time under their belts. Recent versions of the Syrupmaker team have looked young, but Littleton and the Bearcats are expecting an experienced squad come Friday night in Centennial Field.

The Bearcats kick off against the Syrupmakers at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Field.