Purple Cats hope to extend Tiger’s losing streak

Published 6:11 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Ariton Purple Cats have won five consecutive games heading into their road game against the Barbour County Jaguars on Friday night.

After being hampered by injuries in the first handful of games this season, the Purple Cats are rapidly getting healthy and it has translated to wins on the field.

“We are playing pretty good ball,” Purple Cat head coach Stephen Kilcrease said. “I feel like we have gotten better and better each week. We had several guys out due to injury. I think what that has done is given us more depth. I think it paid off this last Friday. We were as healthy as we have been all year. This week we will be just about full go with everybody.”

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The Purple Cats picked up a big win over region rival Abbeville last week. Although the offense struggled early, Kilcrease said the defense played a major role in their win on Friday night.

“I thought defensively we looked good the entire night,” Kilcrease said. “Coach Dunn had an excellent plan on the defensive side of the ball. We gave up one play, a 40 or 50- yard running touchdown. Other than that, I think we gave up 120 yards of offense.

“It was a huge win for us. Abbeville got the better of us last year and won the region. We knew we had to beat them to have a chance at it.”

The win gave the Purple Cats their fifth consecutive wins following an 0-2 start. Ariton entered the season with a lot of question marks due to having to play a lot of young and inexperienced players.

“We didn’t really know,” Kilcrease said. “We lost some key guys. We didn’t know early how we were going to be because we are playing so many young kids. We still haven’t reached our potential. I think we can be a good football team, but I also know we have some tough games ahead of us. We just have to keep getting better.”

This week, the Purple Cats travel to take on a Jaguar team that is still in search of their first win. They are 0-6 on the season and they haven’t won a game since October 18, 2013. They have been shut out three times this season and have been outscored 386-76.

“They have four to six guys that can take it to the house at any point,” Kilcrease said. “Special teams concern me big time. They are athletic enough to where they can cause some problems. They are playing better than they were earlier in the year. At some point, things are going to turn around for them. I just hope it’s not this week. We can’t look past them and our kids have done a good job focusing on them.”

The Purple Cats defeated the Jaguars 53-0 last season in Ariton.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Clayton.