Ariton downs Florala in football opener

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A slow start pulled the Florala Wildcats into a 50-18 defeat Friday night in Ariton.

“This was much improved Ariton team,” Wildcats’ coach Brad Rhodes said. “They had 50-plus on their sideline, and they were fast.”

The Wildcats gave up a 60-yard touchdown on the first play of the game, and gave up four touchdowns on the evening of more than 50 yards.

“We didn’t play terrible,” Rhodes said. “We have got to stop giving up the big plays, though. We would go through spells where we would play good, and then we would give up a big play.”

Offensively, the Wildcats found success running the ball, and piled up more than 300 yards on the ground.

Rhodes said that the Wildcats moved the ball into the redzone four times without coming out with a point.

“When we get in the redzone, we have got to do a better job,” Rhodes said. “There were four times that we got inside the redzone and we didn’t get a single point out of it.”

Avery McNeil led the way for the Wildcats on the ground as he picked up 217 yards on 16 carries. McNeil also scored both of the Wildcats’ touchdowns.

“I felt like we got better from week one to week two,” Rhodes said. “I was pleased with the effort that I saw. The kids never gave up, and battled the entire game.”

Elijah McDaniel led the Wildcats on defense with nine tackles.

Florala will return to action on Friday when the travel to Georgiana to clash with the Panthers.