COVINGTON - When talking football on any level, whether high school, college or professional, intimidating mascots are not uncommon.
Bears. Lions. Panthers. Giants. Steelers. The list goes on and on.
Then you have the Cairo Syrupmakers, Eastside's opponent Friday in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, a clash of two top-seeded teams.
Named after the production cane syrup craze in Cairo from the early 1900s to late 1990s, the Syrupmakers (11-0) have created a sticky mess for opponents this season.
Regardless of their nickname, they are not ranked No. 1 in Class AAA for nothing.
Led by coach Tom Fallaw, Cairo, located in Grady County, has also enjoyed a spectacular season, as has No. 10 Eastside.
Last week, Cairo defeated Burke County 41-28 after annihilating Troup in the opening round 48-0.
Interestingly, the 28 points Burke scored against Cairo using the spread offense - the same system Eastside runs - was the highest total it has allowed all season
The Syrupmakers, who are 7-0 at home this year, are averaging 32.5 points per game while allowing a mere 7.1. Their average margin of victory is by a ridiculous 25.4 points per game.
Whether those numbers would be higher if Cairo played 12 games this year is unclear. Its first game against Bainbridge was canceled due to inclement weather.
Nevertheless, Cairo will have that opportunity soon enough against visiting Eastside.
It is the second straight year that the Syrupmakers have reached the third round of the playoffs.
For the Eagles, the journey will seem like traveling to Cairo, Egypt, instead since it is nestled approximately 250 miles south of Covington.
Kickoff begins at 7:30 p.m. at Cairo High School.
Jason Murdock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.