When: Friday, Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Hugh Mills Stadium, Albany
2011 records: Cairo is 5-2 overall, 3-0 in GHSA Region 1-AAA. Westover is 4-3 overall, 2-1 in GHSA Region 1-AAA.
Last week: Cairo defeated Worth County, 33-27. Westover defeated Crisp County, 20-6.
All-time series record: Cairo leads 17-3
First meeting: Cairo 18, Westover 0 (1969)
Last meeting: Cairo 45, Westover 0 (2010)
The Westover Patriots will play not only their biggest game of the 2011 season, but maybe the biggest game in the history of their football program, when they play host to the Cairo Syrupmakers at Hugh Mills Stadium Friday night.
Westover improved to 2-1 in Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Region 1-AAA action with a 20-6 win over Crisp County last week. With that win, the Patriots put themselves in prime position to win their first-ever region championship.
On the other hand, the Syrupmakers needed overtime to stay undefeated in GHSA Region 1-AAA play, as they held off the Worth County Rams, 33-27. In addition to their win over Worth, Cairo has also notched wins over Dougherty (42-13) and Monroe (33-7).
Both teams have played their share of close games so far this season, as the Syrupmakers are 2-2 in games decided by six points or less, including a 7-6 win over Drew in the season opener on Aug. 26. Cairo lost both of its contests, to Bainbridge and Thomas County Central, respectively, by the identical score of 17-14.
As for Westover, the Patriots have struggled in close games, as all three of their losses have come by a combined total of 10 points, losing to Bainbridge (23-20 in triple overtime), Early County (21-19), and Worth County (23-18). They did win one close game over cross-town rival Albany High, 13-7, on Sept. 3.
Cairo has dominated the series against Westover over the previous 20 meetings, with the Patriots’ last win over the Syrupmakers coming in 1993. Westover shut out Cairo, 7-0, en route to a 6-4 record that season. Since 1994, the Syrupmakers have won 11 straight games over the Patriots, including seven in a row dating back to 2004.
With Cairo being the lone unbeaten in GHSA Region 1-AAA action, and Westover being among three other teams (3-1 Americus-Sumter and 2-1 Crisp County) with at least one loss in region play, a win by the Patriots could create a log jam at the top of the region standings. They’ll have to play a near-perfect game, however, to pull off one of the most improbable wins of the 2011 season.
Source: Georgia High School Football Historians Association (www.ghsfha.org)