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Ariton picks up a big win

The Ariton Purple Cats hosted Abbeville on senior night on Friday in the de facto regional championship game. Ariton toppled the Yellow jackets 55-12 to clinch the region for the first time since 1998.

The pivotal matchup was tightly contested early on with Ariton holding a 13-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Ariton struck quickly, scoring a touchdown on its first offensive play of the game after recovering an Abbeville fumble on the opening kickoff.

The Yellow jackets responded with a touchdown of their own to tie the game at six. On Ariton’s second possession, running back Kape Mcrae scored his second touchdown of the day and the Purple Cats went up 13-6.

Abbeville’s Craig Kinsey quickly answered with a 79 yard touchdown run and pulled the Yellow jackets to within one following the failed two point conversion.

The second quarter belonged to Ariton as the Purple Cats scored three rushing touchdowns while stifling the Abbeville offense. Mcrae scored twice in the quarter while Bryson Peavey scored from one yard out with 1:06 left. Ariton took a 35-12 lead into the half.

Ariton’s second quarter play continued for the rest of the game. The Purple Cat defense held Abbeville to 140 yards of offense in the game. Ariton had 383 yards on the ground alone in the contest.

The Purple Cats scored twice in the third quarter before a late fourth quarter touchdown brought the score to 55-12.

Mcrae scored two of the second half touchdowns, one on the ground and one on a fumble returned for a touchdown. He finished the game with 221 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.

“Our guys were focused well and ready to play,” Ariton head coach Steven Kilcrease said after the game. “We got after it. We played well on offense, defense and special teams. It was a big win for our program.”

Ariton will hit the road next week and play its final regional game at Samson on Friday night. The game will kickoff at 7:00 pm.