It's bad enough that the Syrupmakers have to play the number three team in the state, but they'll have to do it away from Cairo.
"(Early County athletes) are very athletic," says Fallaw. "Early comes off two straight trips to the semifinals. They have a lot of kids back: their quarterback, two linebackers, and two of three defensive backs."
Cairo is following a 3-7 season which, in this football rich town, is unacceptable. Coach Fallaw knows the key to bringing back the confidence is winning the tough games. Case in point: Early Co.
"The tough games bring you good experience; they can also take away your confidence," says Fallaw. "We can't worry about the schedule. Anytime you go to an opposing stadium in South Georgia, you have to know what to expect. It can't be any worse than Thomasville."
The one Syrupmaker that receives most of the headlines is Clifford Hammonds. But the problem is that the secret is out. Hammonds is a stud, and Early Co. knows it.
That's where Rick Brooks comes in. "Brooks is our star," says Fallaw. "As a tenth grader, he was all region. He should have been as an 11th grader, but we were 3-7. He's our tight end and so far he's been great. Hammonds will still be our go-to-guy, but Brooks has played real well."
A season ago, Early County gave Cairo one of its 7 losses in a game where the Syrupmakers fell 28-0. If any team falls 28-0 at Early Co., it'll be a long bus ride back home.