In a rematch of a 2016 first-round playoff game, in which Rabun won 55-20 against visiting BEST, this time was no different as the Cats won to the tune of a 35-2 final score.
The offense wasn’t as explosive as usual, but on a cold night in Tiger, Rabun County (12-0) relied on an epic performance by the defense, allowing no points. The two points for BEST (6-6) were on a safety when the offense was forced to start a drive inside their own one-yard line.
Bailey Fisher continued his brilliant season and career with five total touchdowns, including three rushing scores in the first half.
On the play’s third game, Fisher went the distance on a 41-yard touchdown run to put the Cats up 7-0. That marked Fisher’s 20th touchdown run of the season and 50th of his career. The Eagles marched down the field on a huge passing play, and set up what looked to be a tie with a first-and-ten from the 11. The defense, led by Austin Jones, Dawson Henricks, Gavyn Jones and Cole Keener, held the Eagles to nothing, as Austin Jones made a saving tackle on 4th-and-1.
However, BEST Academy would collect a safety when Fisher was tackled in the end zone, making it a 7-2 game. Just before the end of the first quarter, Fisher notched his second rushing touchdown of the game from a yard out, putting the Cats up 14-2.
With just over eight minutes to go in the half, Fisher collected touchdown run number three, an eight-yarder that also gave him a new single-season best of 22 rushing scores.
The 21-2 lead held into halftime, and the offense got warmed up in the third quarter. Fisher and AJ Wheeler kept the chains moving, setting up a Fisher to Braxton Hicks sliding touchdown grab, pushing the lead to 27-2 after a missed extra point.
Moments later just before the end of the quarter, Fisher checked down to Hicks again, who went 18-yards to the end zone, giving Fisher 105th career passing touchdown, which moves him solely into fourth place in state history. Chase Horton ran in a two-point conversion to pad the lead to 35-2, which held to the final tick.
Fisher closed the game with 133 passing yards and two TDs, adding 126 yards on the ground with three more scores.
The Cats move on to play Screven County on the road in the state quarterfinals, making it three straight seasons that the Wildcats are forced to travel for that game, losing a coin flip all three times.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Fisher needs 288 passing yards to reach 9,000 for his career, an elite number. He also needs 29 rushing yards for 1,000 on the season. Three more passing touchdowns will tie his career high for a single season (38). Austin Jones collected his 100th tackle on the season, giving him a rare 100 tackle, 1,000+ all-purpose yards.