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Game of the Week Preview: Rabun County vs Union County

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The BLITZ Game of the Week is a game of the year type matchup, featuring four-time defending Region 8-AA Champions and #2-ranked Rabun County, and #9-ranked and undefeated Union County.

RABUN COUNTY

Since the season-opening loss to #9 Bremen at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro (Georgia Southern), the Wildcats have been on a tear. That includes scoring no less than 41 points in every game since, including a trio of 60-point outbursts (68 vs Banks, 63 vs Social Circle & Oglethorpe). The starters have not had to play a full game in quite some time. Coach Lee Shaw’s well-oiled machine is unphased by this newest challenge of facing an unbeaten rival for an 8-AA Region Title. Can Rabun make it five straight? If Gunner Stockton, Braxton Hicks and Brison Beck take care of the football, and if Austin Jones is healthy enough to go, the Cats like their chances here.

UNION COUNTY

SKINNY AD - DCMM GIFPierson Allison has been unbelievable, putting together a Player of the Year style season and leading the Panthers to a 9-0 record and #9-ranking. Union has not been held to below 30 points save once against Elbert County. Every other game this year, including a 59-0 win over Oglethorpe two weeks back, the Panthers have topped 35 points. The defense has been just as awesome, holding opponents to a region-best 87 total points (10.8/game), which includes five games of a TD or less. Union has 11 straight wins, a school record.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping WEEK 11. BLITZ will also share highlights with Fox 5’s HIGH 5 Sports, so the highlights will play on Channel 5 at 11 PM. You can also follow us on Twitter (@BlitzSportsGa) for live score updates.

2019 Jacky Jones GIF

OUR PREDICTION

This has all the makings of a Game of the Year. Two close rivals, both ranked in the top 10, one of which is undefeated, the other the #2-ranked team and defending four-time region champs…all on a cold, perfect November Friday night under the lights. These offenses are the very best in Class 2A, with Rabun averaging 47.3 per game and Union 44.6. Both defenses are also very good, with Union allowing only 10.8 per game and Rabun 15.4. While Union is great with coach Brian Allison at the helm and son Pierson under center (and plenty of weapons around), we don’t think Rabun is willing to let go of the Region Championship tag anytime soon.  FINAL VERDICT: Rabun Wins

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 pm kickoff
PLACE: Frank Snyder Memorial Stadium, Rabun Co HS / Tiger, GA
LAST MEETING: 2015; Rabun County 49, Union County 3
ALL-TIME RECORD: Rabun County 35, Union County 16
RECORDS: Rabun Co Wildcats (8-1; 5-0 in 8-AA); Union Co Panthers (9-0; 5-0 in 8-AA)

2019 Bob & Teds GIF

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

What a way to renew the long-time rivalry. The last two times these teams met (2015 and 2014), it was to determine a region title. After a two-year break when Union went up to 7-AAA, the Panthers are back and better than ever for this must-see game. Rabun has won the last four, all under Coach Lee Shaw, by a combined 174-62. Prior to the four Rabun wins in the series, coach Brian Allison helped lead the Panthers to four in a row going back to 2008. The Panthers won the previous meeting as well, which started a five-game win streak in the series. These teams have met on and off since 1958. Rabun won the first nine overall and 12 of the first 13. From 1958-1989, it was an annual meeting. After a long hiatus, the rivalry renewed from 1996-97, and 2000-2015, and now a new era begins as we dub this “Chapter Four” in the series.

Crump GIF 2018
TEAM LEADERS (2018 STATS as available)

RABUN COUNTY

PASSING
Gunner Stockton: 1,924 yds, 23 TD, 4 INT, 126/187 (67%)

RUSHING
Brison Beck: 952 yds, 16 TD, 8.1 YPC
Gunner Stockton: 471 yds, 11 TD, 7.2 YPC
Brody Jarrard: 231 yds, 2 TD, 7.5 YPC
Landon Woodard: 136 yds, 1 TD, 4.7 YPC

RECEIVING
Braxton Hicks: 541 yds, 9 TD, 31 rec
Austin Jones: 522 yds, 5 TD, 25 rec
Dawson Lathan: 266 yds, 3 TD, 19 rec
Sam Adams: 213 yds, 3 TD, 19 rec
Brison Beck: 157 yds, 1 TD, 14 rec

TACKLES
Mason Sprinkle: 66, 2 TFL
Jackson Webb: 63, 18.5 TFL, 10.5 Sacks
Trent Miller: 58, 4.5 TFL
AJ Wheeler: 54, 4.5 TFL
Austin Sosebee: 49, 10 TFL, 5 Sacks
Andrew Lovell: 46, 3 TFL, 1 Sack
Austin Jones: 43, 6 TFL
Zach Ferguson: 42, 6.5 TFL, 3 Sacks
Phillip Roberson: 33, 10 TFL, 5 Sacks

INTERCEPTIONS
Dawson Lathan, 3
AJ Wheeler, 2
Hunter Dills, 2
Hogan Woodard, 2
Austin Jones, 1
Braxton Hicks, 1
Sam Adams, 1

UNION COUNTY

PASSING
Pierson Allison: 2,474 yds, 20 TD, 3 INT, 146/211 (69%)

RUSHING
Pierson Allison: 597 yds, 8 TD, 9.6 YPC
Chad Buzzard: 521 yds, 11 TD, 5.1 YPC
Jonah Daniel: 415 yds, 7 TD, 11.5 YPC

RECEIVING
Sawyer Drake: 746 yds, 6 TD, 37 rec
Kyle Morlock: 608 yds, 6 TD, 37 rec
Kanon Hemphill: 491 yds, 3 TD, 30 rec
Cayden Rich: 327 yds, 1 TD, 21 rec
Chayton Schafer: 209 yds, 3 TD, 14 rec
Chad Buzzard: 51 yds, 1 TD, 4 rec

TACKLES
Sloan Sutton: 101 tackles, 10 TFL, 5 Sacks
Jackson Colwell: 93 tackles, 12 TFL, 2 Sacks
Chayton Schafer: 67 tackles, 12 TFL
John Mancuso: 61 tackles, 4 TFL
Hunter Kelly: 42 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 Sack
Noah Underwood: 36 tackles, 4 TFL

INTERCEPTIONS
Chayton Schafer, 3
Ean Harkins, 2
John Mancuso, 1
Noah Underwood, 1
Alec Scott, 1

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