Panthers fall to the Syrupmakers

Published 12:40 am Saturday, October 20, 2018

By Staff Reports


CAIRO, GA – The Americus-Sumter Panthers, fresh off a hard-fought region win over Northside (Columbus), went down close to the Florida boarder hoping to defeat the Syrupmakers of Cairo. Unfortunately, turnovers and mistakes on special teams doomed the Panthers’ chances of winning as they fell to the Syrupmakers 39-12.

ASH opened the scoring when quarterback KJ Harvey threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Montrellis Wilson. The extra point attempt was no good, but the Panthers had a 6-0 with 8:27 left in the first quarter.

The Syrupmakers moved the ball into Panther territory, but had to settle for a 45-yard field goal attempt. However, the field goal attempt was no god, and the score remained 6-0 Panthers with 6:48 left in the first quarter.

Americus-Sumter wide receiver Lemario Larry runs with the ball after catching a screen pass against Cairo.
Photo by Coleman Price

On the Syrupmakers’ next possession, ASH defensive back Jacoby McCuller intercepted a pass and ran it back 26 yards for a touchdown. Harvey tried to connect with Sam Crumbley on the two-point conversion attempt, but it failed. Nevertheless, the Panthers led Cairo 12-0 by the end of the first quarter.

The Panthers began the second quarter with a 60-yard punt by Angel Chavez-Nava. However, Cairo moved the ball all the way into the red zone of Americus-Sumter. A few plays later, Cairo quarterback Robert Matthew Peters scored from three yards out to put the Syrupmakers on the board. The PAT was good, and the Panthers’ lead was cut to 12-7 with 2:48 left in the first half. Cairo tried an on-side kkick, but it failed as it was recovered by the Panthers near midfield. However, the Panthers were not able to mount a drive and were forced to punt. With 51.7 seconds left in the first half, Chavez-Nava’s punt was blocked and picked up by De’vario Smith of the Syrupmakers. Smith took the ball and scored. The PAT was good and the Syrupmakers led 15-12 at halftime.

Americus-Sumter tried an on-side kick to start the second half, but it failed, giving Cairo excellent field position. However, Peter’s pass was intercepted by Jacoby McCuller of ASH with 11:54 left in the third quarter. The Panthers had a chance to mount a scoring drive. However, the Panthers fumbled the ball at their own 26-yard line and it was recovered by Cairo’s De’vario Smith. The Syrupmakers moved the ball down to the ASH 16, but the Panther defense forced them into a 4th-down situation. The Syrupmakers faked a field goal, but the Panthers snuffed it out and the ball went over to Americus-Sumter on downs.

The Panthers moved the ball to the Cairo 49 and tried to go for it on fourth down. However, the Syrupmakers stopped ASH on 4th down, and the Panthers turned the ball over on downs.

The Syrupmakers went right to work on offense as Peters ran a quarterback keeper for 47 yards all the way down to the one-yard line of the Panthers. Peters then scored from one yard out to give Cairo a 22-12 lead by the end of the third quarter.

ASH quarterback KJ Harvey handing the ball off to running back Montrellis Wilson.
Photo by Coleman Price

With 11:03 to go in the game, the Panthers were about to get the ball back as they forced Cairo to punt. However, the ASH punt returner muffed the punt and the ball was recovered by the Syrupmakers at the Panthers’ 38-yard line.

Cairo took advantage of the muffed punt. A play later, Peters threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Marquil Lovejoy to put the Syrupmakers up 29-12 with 8:47 to go in the game. Cairo scored again when Nick Gosier scored from six-yards out. The PAT was good, and the Syrupmakers had a 36-12 lead. Cairo added three more points on a field goal with 1:42 left in the game to make the final score 39-12 in favor of the Syrupmakers.

Americus-Sumter falls to 3-6 overall and 3-4 in Region 1-AAAA. Cairo improves to 7-2 overall and is a top the standings of Region 1-AAAA at 7-0.

Panthers will try to rebound from the loss when they host Westover on Homecoming Night next Friday night, October 26. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.