PREP FOOTBALL: Arab tops Guntersville 34-20 for 1st win over Wildcats since 2012


ARAB, Ala. – After hammering Boaz on the road last week, the Arabian Knights returned home for a massive regional matchup with the Guntersville Wildcats Friday night. The Knights haven’t defeated the Wildcats since 2012 but they made up for lost time Friday night, jumping out to a 34-3 lead over Guntersville and cruising to a 34-20 victory.

Things didn’t start the way the Knights had planned, and Guntersville recovered the game’s opening kickoff to steal a possession right out of the gate. However, Arab’s defense stepped up and forced the Wildcats to turn the ball over on downs. Big gains by Drew Puccio and Drake Franklin oved the ball down the field for Arab on the ensuing drive and Franklin capped things off with a 2-yard run into the end zone to put the Knights up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Now it was Arab’s turn to steal a possession. The Knights recovered the following kickoff deep inside Guntersville territory and the offense went back to work around the 16-yard line. Arab tacked on a field goal a few plays later to pull ahead 10-0. The end of the opening quarter was exciting. The Knights recovered a fumble to regain possession with about three minutes on the clock, but an interception gave the ball back to the Wildcats one play later. Guntersville took advantage of the turnover with a field goal that trimmed the lead to 10-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Arab didn’t allow that score to hold for very long. Around the nine-minute mark of the second quarter, John Ray Wilks intercepted a Guntersville pass and ran it back 41 yards for a touchdown to make it a 17-3 game. The Knights forced another turnover on downs with five minutes remaining in the first half and Arab ran out the rest of the time on the clock before Aiden Wooten tacked on a 26-yard field goal to take a 20-3 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

The Knights continued to dominate when play resumed, extending their lead to 27-3 after a 6-yard touchdown run by Franklin. That’s when the Arab defense got in on the action again. Dylan Morrow picked off a Guntersville pass just a few plays into the next possession and took it 34 yards to the house for another touchdown, making it a 34-3 game midway through the third.

The Wildcats managed to get some points on the board in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early lead and the Knights held on to defeat Guntersville 34-20.

The Arabian Knights improve to 8-1 with the win and will wrap up the regular season at home next week against Hazel Green.

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