Senn’s big night propels Ariton past Wicksburg, clinches playoffs

Published 8:57 am Monday, October 23, 2023

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On Friday night, the Ariton Purple Cats (5-4, 4-2) clinched their spot in the Class 2A Playoffs with a wild 49-42 win over the Wicksburg Panthers (4-4, 4-2).

Ariton senior Ian Senn was nearly unstoppable for the Purple Cats, earning 506 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns in the win. Senn completed 18-of-30 passes for 227 yards and five touchdowns, while also piling up 279 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Senn also converted a pair of two-point conversions and earned eight tackles on defense.

With Ariton trailing 28-20 at halftime, Wicksburg intercepted an Ariton pass and returned it 64 yards to put the Panthers up 35-20. After Ariton turned the ball over on downs, Wicksburg seemed poised to break the game open but the Ariton defense held and forced its own turnover on downs.

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Senn started the rally with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Leger to cut the lead to 35-27 late in the third quarter. Senn then threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Caple and Senn’s two-point conversion tied the score 35-35 going into the fourth quarter.

After another fourth down stop for the Ariton defense, Senn scored on a 23-yard run to give Ariton a 41-35 lead with 7:22 left. Wickbusrg answered with a 6-yard touchdown run to retake the lead 42-41 with less than five minutes remaining.

Ariton marched deep into Wicksburg territory with under two minutes to play and Senn capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion to give the Purple Cats the 49-42 lead. The Ariton defense earned yet another fourth down stop to secure the win and a playoff spot.

Also having a big night for Ariton was Lawson Leger with five catches for 117 yards and three touchdowns, while Jayden Caple caught five passes for 58 yards and a score. Mylers Tyler also caught five passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. Tanner Johnston led the Ariton defense with 12 tackles and one tackle-for-loss, while Tyler earned 11 tackles and Tristan McGuire tallied 10 tackles and a tackle-for-loss.