What was a 7-7 ballgame late in the second quarter suddenly took a wild turn. A Braxton Hicks interception in the red zone swung momentum midway through the second, and Gunner Stockton’s go-ahead TD pass to Tate Ramey gave Rabun all the padding it would need on what became a 44-7 win.
The touchdown immediately invited lightning, which delayed the game for nearly an hour as the rain came down hard. Teams returned to play 5:08 to close out the official first half. On the final play with seven seconds to go before heading back into the locker room, Hudson Spurlock couldn’t hold on to the wet ball, and Rabun’s Mason Sprinkle provided the scoop-and-score to give the Cats a 23-7 lead. Moments prior, a bad snap went into the back of the end zone for a safety.
Stephens County (1-3) was taking on a state-ranked program for the third straight time (Hart County, Athens Academy, Rabun County). The #2-ranked Wildcats (3-0) came out a bit cold before taking control just before the break. Stockton had an early 5-yard TD run late in the first, but Stephens retaliated, opening the second quarter with a 4th-down TD trick play. Spurlock gave to Gamarion Carter on a reverse. Carter flipped it to Mardy Lanier, who connected with a wide-open Spurlock from 24 ticks out to tie the game.
Coming out of the half, things got a bit more crazy. The kickoff to the Indians was bobbled, and Hunter Moore grabbed the ball out of the air and took it to the house to give the Wildcats a 30-7 lead with 11:52 left in the third. On Rabun’s next drive, Stockton found a wide open Sam Adams for the 37-7 lead. The Cats added another for good measure, taking the 44-7 victory.
Stockton topped 1,000 yards on the season in just his third game, as he came in with close to 500 passing and over 300 rushing yards. Adams and Ramey both collected their second TD receptions on the season, while Rabun increased its offensive average to 38.7 per game, while Stephens’ average dropped to 20.3. The Wildcats’ defense dropped its average to 9 points per game allowed. The win for Rabun gives it a fourth straight in the series over the Indians, and moves the Wildcats to 6-4 in 10 all-time meetings.
The Indians return to action next Friday at rivals Habersham Central, while Rabun County hosts Putnam in its Region 8-AA opener.
Digital Copy of Highlights – Stephens vs #2 Rabun
Digital Copy of Highlights - Stephens vs #2 Rabun