October 30, 2007
Albany -- The Monroe/Cairo football game was set up as the biggest game on the region schedule all season, with the game likely deciding the region championship for the second straight year.
Last year the Tornados beat the Syrupmakers by one point in overtime, winning their first region title.
The match-up again looms large this season, despite the fact Monroe picked up a region loss Saturday against Westover, and Cairo remains undefeated.
The Tornados can still win the region if they win out, and the coaches don't expect any of the luster to be gone from the game.
"It still means the same," says Cairo coach Tom Fallaw. "We know the winner of this has the advantage of winning the region championship. Our goal all year has been to win a region championship, and the kids kind of have that opportunity this week, so we'll see how we do."
Monroe coach Charles Truitt adds, "We have a chance to still fight and win the region. At the beginning of the year we knew we'd have to beat Cairo to win the region title. We have to go play a tough ballgame in their home town, and hopefully we can bounce back and have a good game."
If the Tornados can beat Cairo, and then Monroe, Westover, and Cairo all win their final games, the Tornados will own the region tiebreaker, based on their record against other teams in the AAA classification.
A Cairo win will wrap up the region title for the Syrupmakers, who may be thinking about last years 19-18 loss in overtime.
"I know they have revenge on their minds," says Truitt. "They probably feel like they shouldn't have lost that game last year, and our kids feel like we should have won the game. Hopefully it won't be that close this year, and hopefully we come out on top."
Fallaw adds, "If you try to make revenge games out of losses and wins, it's different teams in different years. I don't know if any of that holds true. Maybe for coaches, I know we think about it. But they have a different team, and so do we."
The Tornados and Syrupmakers kick off Friday night at 7:30 pm in Cairo.