FITZGERALD -- After four straight games on the road to open the season, the Cairo Syrupmakers will add new meaning to a homecoming tomorrow night when they host the Fitzgerald High Purple Hurricanes.
"They are playing at home for the first time this season. They will be excited about that and it concerns me," said Fitzgerald coach Robby Robinson.
Cairo is 1-3 on the year. The Syrupmakers opened the season with a 14-6 loss to Cook, coach Tom Fallaw's team then defeated Thomasville, 20-14. In its last two games, Cairo has lost to Early County, 21-13, and to Colquitt County, 19-14.
"They are a good team that seems to be coming into their own. They also have one of the better defenses we would have seen this year," said Robinson.
Senior defensive end Rico Brooks leads the Cairo defense.
In an interview with the Thomasville newspaper earlier this season, Fallaw said, "if there's a better defensive player than Rico Brooks down in this area, I'd like to see him. A lot of people don't know about him. He's an unselfish football player."
In the same interview, Fallaw said about his team, "even though we're sitting here 1-3 and a little frustrated, our kids know that it's a season, not a game, we've talked about that from the beginning. We feel like we're ready for the real season that begins with the region schedule and the first home game which is Fitzgerald."
Going into the contest against Cairo, the Hurricanes will be hoping to end a two-game losing streak. After losing to Hawkinsville on Sept. 26, Fitzgerald fell last week 14-0 to the Crisp County Cougars.
"We could get nothing going offensively against them. There were times when the line blocked well and the running backs could not hit the holes or the quarterback had trouble finding a receiver. Then there were times when the running backs found the right holes, but the line did not do a good job of blocking," said Robinson.
Even though the offense failed to put up a point against Crisp, the Fitzgerald coach seemed happy with the play of his defense against the Cougar offense, which was led by a Division I prospect at quarterback, Joe Joe Brown. The defense only allowed one score as the other touchdown came when Crisp intercepted a Fitzgerald pass late in the game and returned it for a touchdown.
"I as very pleased with the play of our secondary. We didn't have a lot of sacks, but we were also able to put consistent pressure on the quarterback with our front six," said Robinson.
Joe Dee Pitts had a big game on the line for the Hurricanes. According to Robinson, the junior had 10 solo tackles, three assists, three tackles for loss yardage and one quarterback sack.
Besides Pitts, the Fitzgerald coach also lauded the play of defensive back Johnny Bly, who had an interception, and defensive lineman Michael Mann.
The game was listed as an 8 p.m. start on Fitzgerald's schedule to begin the season, but according to Robinson, the time has been moved back to 7:30 p.m.
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