CAIRO — The Cairo Syrupmakers shook off a poor start — and took a huge step toward several of their goals.
Cairo scored 39 unanswered points and won for the sixth straight time, routing Americus-Sumter 39-12 Friday night at West Thomas Stadium.
The Syrupmakers improved to 6-0 in Region 1-AAAA, with two games left, and 6-2 on the season. Americus-Sumter fell to 3-3 in the region and 3-5 for the year.
Down 12-7, Devario Smith took an errant punt 49 yards for a touchdown. Jarion Carter scored on the two-point conversion to put the Syrupmakers ahead 15-12 late in the second quarter.
Cairo never trailed again.
Matthew Peters broke free for a 60-yard gain to the Americus-Sumter 1-yard line and scored on the next snap. Noah Jones’ point after gave Cairo a 22-12 cushion late in the third quarter.
On the Syrupmakers’ next possession, Peters hit Marquil Lovejoy with a 35-yard touchdown pass. Another Jones’ PAT pushed the lead to 29-12.
Cairo bottled up Americus-Sumter and took over after a short punt, setting up Nick Gosier’s 6-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth.
Jones tacked on a 24-yard field goal for the final tally.
Kierston Harvey’s touchdown pass on the Panthers’ first possession put Americus-Sumter on top just 3:23 into the game.
The Panthers made it 12-0 on an interception return for a touchdown with just over 3 minutes to go in the first quarter.
The Syrupmakers finally got untracked, and Peters’ 4-yard scoring run with 2:48 left in the half got Cairo on the board.
Cairo will play Shaw on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at Columbus’ Kinnett Stadium.