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Ariton looks to secure playoff berth on Friday

The Ariton Purple Cats look to win their last game of the regular season and become playoff eligible when they play Cottonwood on the road on Friday night in Cottonwood.

A win earns the Purple Cats (4-5, 3-3) a spot in the playoffs, as well as giving the team a shot at the region title.

“A win would get us in, and considering how things went…it would be a huge accomplishment,” said head coach Steven Kilcrease. “You never know what will happen in the playoffs, so we just want a shot at it.”

The Purple Cats won their second-straight game last week against Elba 45-32; the win coming after their shutout of Zion Chapel the previous week broke a four-game losing streak for the Purple Cats. 

The Bears (1-5, 1-3) are coming off a 44-21 win against Zion Chapel, their first win of the season. The game against Ariton will be their second road game in three weeks. 

Two of Cottonwood’s losses have come by 3 or fewer points, with a 27-28 defeat against Samson in overtime, and a 34-37 loss against Northside Methodist.

These two teams met last year, with Ariton taking a decisive 36-0 win.

The Purple Cats have been practicing hard this week with newfound motivation after their latest win.

“This week of practice has been a really good one,” said Kilcrease. “All the players came back really energized after their last win, and that translated well into practice.” 

Kilcrease needs his team to play physical football, as well as taking advantage of Cottonwood mistakes. 

‘We’re going to have to win the game up front in the trenches against a big Cottonwood line,” said Kilcrease.  “We won the turnover battle last week, and we’re going to have to do that again.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.