ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — This week’s Extra Point Game of the Week is a battle of two of the top team in Class 2A region two.
The undefeated Ariton Purple Cats go into 7-1 Elba Tiger territory for a matchup with major region implications.
Last season this game determined who took the fourth spot in the playoffs, this year the winners set themselves up well for a region title.
“I think they’ve got a really good ball team,” Ariton junior Landon Tyler said. “I think if we come out and play like we have every week just going 1-0 in the region every week then we can come out here and get this win.”
“They’ve got some really good players, but overall I think that we’ve got it,” Elba senior Peyton McCart said. “Them being undefeated really has nothing to do with it. It’s just a matter of coming there and just playing our game.”
Ariton beat Elba 45-20 last year ending the Tiger’s playoffs hopes.
Elba hadn’t missed the playoffs since 2006 so this year the Tiger’s are out for revenge.
“They don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Elba Head Coach Marc Sieving said. “They’re sound on offense and defense. They’ve got a lot of playmakers, so we’re going to have our hands full, but we feel like we’ve put ourselves in a good position here.”
The Purple Cats are undefeated in the region and the Tigers are 4-1.
Elba’s only loss is to G.W. Long who Ariton beat in week four.
“I think they’re going to come hungry,” Ariton junior Andyn Garris said. “They want to knock us, you know, give us our first loss. I just think we need to come prepared and just take care of business.”
The Purple Cats know the key to a win Friday night is shutting down big plays.
Last week Elba put up 82 points on Abbeville.
“They’re very explosive on offense that we’ve got to slow down and find a way to get it done,” Ariton Head Coach Steven Kilcrease said. “That’s going to be the key.”
Ariton hasn’t been 8-0 since 2004, but they won the region in 2019.
Elba on the other hand hasn’t won the region since 2016.
“Last year we were kind of disappointed so we’re making sure it doesn’t happen again this year,” McCart said. “I think we feel like we’re a lot more focused than we were last year.”
“We’re going to play with a chip on our shoulders,” Elba senior Whit Shehee said. “We’re going to have to go out there and win every single play.”
The Tigers are confident in their home team crowd for Friday night’s big game, but that doesn’t scare the Purple Cats.
“We’re not really worried, but I think they’re going to bring a good crowd,” Tyler said. “I know our fans and I know we’ll bring a good crowd too, so I think that’ll help us out too.”
The Purple Cats and the Tigers face off Friday night at 7 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.