Game of the Night Preview: Ariton vs G.W. Long

The undefeated rivals will battle it out for one to stay on top of the region.
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 9:06 PM CDT
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ARITON, Ala. (WTVY) - Rivalry bragging rights, a region win and the chance to stay undefeated.

It is all on the line this Friday for Ariton and G.W. Long.

“We’ve got a good football team coming in here,” said Ariton Head Coach Steven Kilcrease. “G.W. Long to me, they’re probably the top of the league in our region and we’ve got to improve, or we won’t beat those guys.”

G.W. Long Head Coach David Watts added, “Most big games between two good football teams, or a rivalry game like this, the emotional part of it will be big to start with. But you know, who executes the best. You know, who makes the fewest mistakes. Those are the things that will be the factors that decide the game.”

Artion on a shut-out spree putting up 140 points over its last three games but the cats are still unsatisfied.

“We’ve got to keep getting better,” said Kilcrease. “We’re not where we need to be and our guys, I think know that. At least I hope they do.”

“The mindset is play hard every day,” said Ariton junior Isaiah Johnson. “You know, play as a team and I think that the way we’ve been practicing lately, I think we can come out with the dub.”

The Rebels are up for the challenge as they look to go 3-0 in year one under David Watts.

“It won’t be easy,” said Long senior Blayne McDaniel. “It will be a really good game. They’re a great football team and we’ll have to play really solid football all around. Not make many mistakes and just play a good game.”

Kobie Stringer added, “Our mindset is just to execute. They have a very good team and we’ve got a very good offense. We just need to execute, and I think we’ll win the game.”

Separated by just 13 miles, the Purple Cats and Rebels’ rivalry runs deep.

“Come out and play as hard as we can you know,” said Johnson. “Try to beat them as bad as they did us last year.”

“It’s bragging rights for the whole year and you just don’t want to lose,” said Stringer.

“Big revenge game from last year,” added Ariton junior CJ McNabb.

But for both teams the focus is walking away with a region win.

“One of us is going to be 3-0 is off to a good start,” said Kilcrease. “You’re sitting pretty good going into the rest of the season.”

Watts added, “I mean Ariton obviously is big because it’s a rivalry game but our focus is on trying to win the region and get those games at home in the playoffs.”

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