Florala vies to ‘contain’ Ariton Friday

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Florala coach Stan Gooden said Wednesday that the “key” for his team to get a homecoming win over Ariton on Friday night is to contain Division I prospect Craig Sanders.

Sanders, who recently switched his commitment from Alabama to Auburn, is a 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive end that plays on both sides of the ball, Gooden said.

“He basically carries the team right there on his shoulders,” Gooden said. “So, not to take anything away from the other kids, he’s just a special player and he’s going to go to the next level and play on Saturdays.

“He lines up all over the place,” he said. “He may be at linebacker, he may be at defensive end and he may be at nose guard. He plays the whole field. If we had a player like that, we’d play him the same way.”

Last week, Florala suffered a 53-6 home loss to region opponent Geneva County.

Gooden said despite the final score, his team played a “complete” first half.

“I know the score doesn’t indicate how the game went a whole lot,” he said. “But, we played a lot better, especially the first half. We had two or three drives when we were moving the ball we had some penalties that backed us up and kind of stopped those drives.

“We still made a few mistakes there but overall it was an improvement from the week before,” he said. “I think we’ll see more improvement this week, with it being homecoming.”

Right now, Ariton is sitting at a 2-5 record, including 2-3 in Class 1A, Region 2. Florala is 1-6, and 0-5 in region play.

Gooden said practice this week has gone well especially given the circumstances surrounding homecoming activities.

“It’s homecoming this week and this is our seniors’ last chance to play a homecoming game,” Gooden said.

“They’ve got to understand when it’s time to go to work, it’s time to go to work,” he said. “It’s when it’s time to put your work clothes on and get after it. If we can go out in the first half and compete, we’ve just got to find a way to carry that on through the second half.”

Kickoff in Florala is at 7 p.m.