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2A Semifinals Preview: Rabun one game away from going to the Benz!

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The Wildcats (13-0) have secured every pre-season goal to this point, and have crossed every historic milestone off the list:

Region Championship (4th straight) – CHECK
Undefeated Regular Season (2nd straight) – CHECK
State Playoff Trip (6th straight) – CHECK
Quarterfinal Run (3rd straight) – CHECK
State Ranked (5th straight season) – CHECK

Don’t let that fool you — the Cats are not celebrating just yet, and they aren’t resting on their accomplishments. These guys are hungry for two more wins. Just how impressive was last week’s win at Screven County? Well, the Gamecocks had the third best offense in the state and second best defense in Class 2A. The Rabun defense shut them out the entire second half, and Bailey Fisher and the offense tore through the defense for 42 unanswered points in a 56-14 road win some 200 miles away from home.

This time, Brooks County (12-1) will be forced to travel 200 miles to Rabun County in hopes of ending their 4-game losing streak when playing in the semifinals. However, the Trojans won a state title back in 1994, so they have the pedigree.

This is Coach Lee Shaw’s third state Semifinals appearance, going 1-1 in two career semis. In 2008, his Flowery Branch team punched a ticket to the Georgia Dome after taking down LaGrange on the road [HIGHLIGHTS]. The Falcons fell narrowly to Cairo in the title game, with Shaw’s son Connor at QB. The following season, 2009, Flowery Branch and Connor Shaw again made an historic run to the Semifinals, falling to region rivals Gainesville at City Park in a heartbreaking finish — perhaps the best game of all time [HIGHLIGHTS]. Interestingly enough, we have been to both of those Shaw Semifinal games, and will be at this one as well.

OUR PREDICTION: Rabun County is going to the Benz! There’s just too much firepower, the Wildcats are relatively healthy other than the expected wear and tear of this type of season, and this team is INCREDIBLE! MaxPreps has Rabun favored by 17. From what we hear, Brooks County might be the fastest team the Cats have played yet, so it might be a bit closer, although we wouldn’t be surprised if Rabun wins by 21 or by 7.

RABUN’S PLAYOFF JOURNEY
RND 1: vs Chattooga: W 49-6
SWEET 16: vs BEST Academy: W 35-2 [HIGHLIGHTS]
QUARTERFINALS: @ Screven County: W 56-14 [HIGHLIGHTS]


STATS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Big milestones await Rabun’s Bailey Fisher in the Semifinals. At 8,953 career passing yards, 47 more puts him at a robust 9,000 to become the 8th such player to reach that number EVER in Georgia. He has 2,911 on the season, a career-high, so 89 more yards gets him to his first 3,000-yard season. He has 39 passing TDs, also a career-high. One more gives him an elite 40-passing-TD season. For his career, he has 109 passing TD, sitting in fifth place on the all-time list. He’d need to reach 119 to go into fourth place. Lastly, Fisher has 2,911 career rushing yards, so 89 yards on the ground gets him to 3,000 for his career. If he gets just 136 total yards, he’ll eclipse 12,000 career yards of offense. Cole Keener needs just 25 receiving yards for 1,000 on the season.

SEMIFINALS MATCHUP

#1 RABUN COUNTY (13-0) vs #2 BROOKS COUNTY (12-1)

Here’s everything you need to know for our Game of the Week:

TIME: 7:30 pm kickoff
PLACE: Frank Snyder Memorial Stadium (Tiger, GA)
LAST MEETING: N/A
ALL-TIME RECORD: N/A
RECORDS: Rabun County (13-0; 6-0 Region 8-AA); Brooks County (12-1; 3-1 Region 1-AA)

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING:

These teams have never met — what better time than now? This pits one of the state’s all-time top offenses in Rabun County (49.1 pts/game; 638 total) against Brooks County’s elite defense (9.4 pts allowed/game). On the flip side, the Wildcats’ defense (9.6 pts allowed/game) is equally dominant, while the Trojans’ offense (36.2 pts/game) packs a punch, too.

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TEAM LEADERS/PLAYERS to WATCH (stats according to MaxPreps)

RABUN COUNTY:

PASSING
Bailey Fisher: 2,911 yds, 39 TD, 4 INT (71% passing)

RUSHING
Bailey Fisher: 1,119 yds, 25 TD
Brison Beck: 634 yds, 7 TD
Mason Sprinkle: 213 yds, 2 TD
AJ Wheeler: 198 yds, 2 TD

RECEIVING
Cole Keener: 975 yds, 13 TD
Braxton Hicks: 706 yds, 11 TD
Austin Jones: 522 yds, 5 TD
Chase Horton: 259 yds, 5 TD
Dillyn Nichols: 248 yds, 2 TD

DEFENSE
Gavyn Jones: 123 TKL, 11 TFL, 1 SACK, 2 FR
Austin Jones: 114 TKL, 8 TFL, 4 INT
Dawson Henricks: 102 TKL, 13.5 TFL, 2 SACKS
Jackson Webb: 89 TKL, 9 TFL, 8 SACKS, 2 FF
Austin Sosebee: 77 TKL, 13.5 TFL, 5 SACKS
Tanner Jarrard: 67 TKL, 12 TFL, 7 SACKS, 3 FF, FR
Cole Keener: 41 TKL, 7 INT

BROOKS COUNTY:

PASSING
Mac Perry: 1,150 yds, 10 TD, 5 INT (59% passing)

RUSHING
Jonathan White: 1,029 yds, 14 TD
Mac Perry: 319 yds, 2 TD
Rahjon Holden: 316 yds, 8 TD

RECEIVING
Deon Fountain: 500 yds, 5 TD
Khalid Humphreys: 205 yds, TD

DEFENSE
Rahjon Holden: 59 TKL, 7.5 TFL
TJ Bivins: 59 TKL, 8 TFL
Tae’aviion Gray: 33 TKL, 8.5 TFL, 5.5 SACKS
Michael Edmonds: 3 INT, 3 FR

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