Straughn draws visit from Ariton in annual homecoming matchup
Published 2:45 pm Thursday, September 22, 2022
Following another big home region win, Straughn (4-0) welcomes alumni back this week for a homecoming challenge against Ariton (4-1) Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m.
The 2023 Homecoming Queen and court will be presented beginning at 6:20 p.m.
This matchup brings the two teams together for the first time in 29 years and ninth time overall. The Purple Cats have a 5-3 series edge against the Tigers.
“Ariton is really talented and one of the better teams in 2A. They have one loss to Highland Home by one point at their place. It was a game Ariton could have won because they were ahead by two scores late. They have the best quarterback/running back combo we have seen, so we must have a great week of practice,” Head Coach Ashley Kilcrease said.
This year’s team understands homecoming festivities cannot become a distraction. “Most coaches will tell you homecoming games are scary because the week is so different. Many times, teams lose their focus, but I don’t look for this team to do that. We have really good leadership, and I expect them to make sure we are prepared mentally for our part of homecoming, which is Friday night at 7:00.”
Kilcrease was proud of how fast Straughn started last week. “We took advantage of mistakes made by Ashford and scored on defense. It was exciting seeing the entire defense out in front leading the way for Saxby Radford’s interception return. We must continue to make things happen on defense and force turnovers,” he said.
The Purple Cats posted a 49-0 shutout win over the Tigers at home in 1993. Both teams had region wins in front of their home crowds last week as Straughn routed Ashford, 41-12, and Ariton downed Zion Chapel, 35-0.