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Ariton earns right to play for region title

With their 47-7 win over G.W. Long on Friday night, the Ariton Purple Cats now control their own destiny when it comes to clinching a Class 2A Region 2 championship.

The Purple Cats (5-1, 4-0) enjoyed their first win over G.W. Long since 2008.

“The kids are always really excited after a win, in particular over your rival,” said head coach Steven Kilcrease. “It was a good win and the guys were excited.”

Not only had they lost eight straight games to G.W. Long, they had done so by an average of 51 points over the last four years.

On Friday, the Purple Cats won the battle along the line of scrimmage.

“I think it started with our offensive and defensive lines,” Kilcrease said. “I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage.”

The Purple Cats will spend a week outside of the region when they host Zion Chapel for homecoming on Friday night. After Zion Chapel, the Purple Cats will have a chance to play for a championship when they take on Abbeville, who sits alongside Ariton at 4-0 in the region.

“Our win, along with Geneva County beating Samson, sets up next week’s game as the region championship,” Kilcrease said. “We put ourselves in the position to reach our first goal which is winning a region championship. We have to get through this one first.”

The fact that Ariton has a chance to play for a region championship isn’t a shock for Kilcrease or the coaching staff.

“We thought there was a chance for us to be pretty good,” Kilcrease said. “You just didn’t know. It took us a while to get going, but we have been playing better. We made a lot of mistakes on Friday night though that we need to correct. We have a long way to go to reach our goals and they know that.”