ARITON, Ala (WDHN) — Back in early September, the Ariton Purple Cats were flying high. They started the year out 2-1 but then would go on a four game losing streak, which would put them at 2-5 on the year and 1-3 in the region.
Ariton plays in a region that may be the toughest in the entire Wiregrass. Sitting in fifth place heading into their October 8th game against Zion Chapel, the Purple Cats were trailing the Elba Tigers by two games.
Then Ariton beat Zion Chapel and got some help from Abbeville who beat Elba that same night.
Behind just one game in the region, Ariton faced Elba last Friday night in a presumable winner take all game. Ariton has made the playoffs for five straight years but Elba has not missed the playoffs since 2006.
The Zumstein was rocking and the atmosphere last Friday resembled that off a playoff game.
In the end, Ariton pulled off the win, 45-32, and took firm hold of fourth place in the region. They are now in a spot that looked pretty bleak about six weeks ago.
“We felt like we were close in a couple of games but we just couldn’t make that play we needed to. We felt like were close and we just kept plugging away,” head coach Steven Kilcrease said.
Friday night, Ariton plays Cottonwood to clinch a playoff birth.