Cairo denies Monroe shot at No. 2 seed in playoffs

CAIRO — By the time the final horn sounded at West Thomas Stadium Friday night, some of Monroe’s white jersey numbers were barely visible.

Patches of the stadium turf looked more suitable for a monster truck mud-bogging event then a high school football game.

In the end, Cairo used its powerful ground attack to run past Monroe, 34-0, securing the second seed from Region 1-AAAA with a game left in the regular season. Monroe (5-4, 4-2), with a victory over Worth County next week, will finish as the No. 3 seed.

The loss snapped Monroe’s four-game winning streak.

Rain before the game and during the first half drenched the field, making it a perfect situation for the Syrupmakers’(6-3, 5-1) ground game, which finished with 366 yards, including 191 from Jeremiah Hill and 147 from Bryan Soles.

The Syrupmakers completed just one pass in the game for a yard. With their ground attack in control they did not need to throw.

After Taylor Donalson kicked two first half field goals of 24 and 28 yards, Cairo took a 6-0 halftime lead.

The rain stopped after two quarters, but the soggy field didn’t stop Cairo in the third quarter.

On the Syrupmakers’ opening possession, Hill scored on a 9 yard first at the 7:52 mark of the third quarter.

With the wet turf neutralizing the Tornadoes’ speed and their passing attack, there was almost no chance for a comeback. In fact it was mostly three downs and out on offense.

Soles slopped his way to a 59-yard scamper with 5:58 left in the third quarter, extending Cairo’s lead out of Monroe’s reach. But they weren’t finished.

Reese Wooten intercepted a deflective pass midway through the third, which set up the Syrupmakers with a first down at the Monroe 20. Eight plays later, Hill scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run.