It was the first of many wins for head coach Jaybo Shaw, who faced a range of emotions on doing it at what was his collegiate stomping grounds in a 34-13 win over Bremen in the Erk Russell Classic in Statesboro on Saturday night. Shaw’s offense was as good as ever, as sophomore Gunner Stockton, the nation’s top QB prize for 2022, lit up the board with three rushing scores and a passing TD.
The Wildcats led 21-0, with the first three drives all leading to a TD. A pair of field goals brought Bremen back into the game. However, the Cats put the game away with a touchdown in both the third and fourth quarter to prevail and avenge the same season-opening matchup from a year ago, in which Bremen had won on a field goal as time expired.
Rabun got on the board on the game’s opening drive when Stockton found Tate Ramey for a 6-yard touchdown pass. Three minutes later, Brody Jarrard had a short-yardage TD run to go up 14-0. The defense continued to shut out the Blue Devils, leading to a Stockton 5-yard diving touchdown early in the second.
Up 21-zip, Bremen finally found some rhythm, and collected 39-yard and 37-yard field goals to end the half and on the opening drive of the third quarter. The third quarter drive took six minutes off the clock, and brought the game within 21-6. Rabun wasted no time to respond, retaliating 25 seconds later on a huge Stockton rush inside the five, followed by a keeper to get in and stretch the lead to 27-6.
Stockton added another rushing score about midway through the fourth to go up 34-6 and put the game out of reach. After running down the clock and missing a field goal in the last minute, Rabun gave the ball back to Bremen. The Blue Devils scored a long touchdown run in the closing seconds to cap the scoring.
Stockton had a hand in four touchdowns, while Jarrard had a solid game and found the end zone once. Tate Ramey tallied the lone receiving touchdown, although senior Braxton Hicks made a sensational catch in the end zone on a long TD that got called back for a penalty.
The Wildcats put up 501 total yards, while Stockton finished 8-of-11 passing for 211 yards and a TD, and had 254 rushing yards with 3 TD.
Rabun County (1-0) moves its focus to next week for its home opener against North Murray.