Ariton overcomes large deficit in win

Published 7:42 pm Monday, September 23, 2019

The Ariton Purple Cats overcame 20 point deficits twice in their 55-40 win over Daleville in a key region game last Friday night.

The win gave the Purple Cats their third win in a row. They are 3-2 overall.

The Purple Cats found themselves down 26-0 late in the first half and down by 19 in the third quarter before mounting a comeback. The Purple Cats rattled off 34-straight points to earn the win.

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“I kept telling them ‘Let’s try and get a score.’ I just told the coaches we needed something positive to happen and we did,” said Ariton head coach Steven Kilcrease. “It seemed like we would score and then they would score. I have never been as proud of a group as I was on Friday night.”

The Purple Cats spent an entire summer working for games like Friday night. Kilcrease believes all the hard work made Friday night’s comeback possible.

“All these hot days they kept plugging away and it paid off,” Kilcrease said. “You have to have breaks go your way. We didn’t have any of those in the first half and it flipped in the second half. A lot of things went our way and we took advantage of it.”

The importance of the win was magnified due to the fact that it was a region game for the Purple Cats. The win kept the Purple Cats undefeated and on top of Class 2A Region 2. Before region play began, the Purple Cats opened up against Goshen and Dale County in two non-region games that Kilcrease thinks his team benefited from.

“I thought it did us a lot of good to play Goshen and Dale County,” Kilcrease said. “We could have scheduled a team we knew we could beat, but we didn’t’ want to do that and I think it has helped us once we got into region play.”

The Purple Cats finished with 618 total yards; 336 yards came on the ground.

Blake Carroll led the Purple Cats with 160 yards on 21 carries and had five touchdowns. Hayes Floyd had two carries for 74 yards.

Quarterback Ian Senn completed 12 of his 23 passes for 282 yards and had three touchdowns. Both Cade Webb and Floyd hauled in five catches. Floyd had two touchdowns, while Webb had one.

The Purple Cats will step out of region this Friday night to take on Slocomb before hitting the stretch run of their region schedule the week after.

“If we can get everybody healthy, I think we are going to be a hard team to beat down the stretch,” Kilcrease said. “There is a lot of football left to be played, but I like our football team. They are playing with confidence.”