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Game of the Week Preview: Banks vs Union

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The BLITZ Game of the Week takes us to Homer for a region matchup between Banks County and Union County.

BANKS COUNTY

The Leopards’ season has been perplexing, yet still most if not all of the goals the team set out for are still before them. Banks County scored 15 points across the first three games. Then exploded for 45 and 49 for 94 points in the next two games, both wins in region play. You can’t hold the Rabun loss over them them at all, since Rabun is Rabun. The 38-0 loss to East Jackson is by far the biggest outlier. Chalk it up to having to postpone to being a Saturday game…SO, if we subtract that game and the Rabun game from the equation, the view is….still not wholly clear, but somewhat. What we know is they have the ability to score, and are improving weekly in that area. The defense is pretty good, and has a chance to have the type of game Putnam had against Union as well if the offense can do what it did against Social Circle and Oglethorpe County.

UNION COUNTY

The #8 Panthers are atop the state in scoring. That includes three 50-point games and another that saw 49 get put on the board. Pierson Allison is on pace for crushing his junior season numbers, as is Sawyer Drake. Jonah Daniel is making that possible with his running abilities forcing teams to play inside the box. The O-line is doing its thing as well, being the unsung heroes of the team. The big hit is losing Kyle Morlock to injury likely for the season in the team’s win over Elbert a couple of weeks ago. He went down the first play of the game. Is it coincidence that the team had its second-lowest output of the season (35), and was forced to rally for a 4th-quarter win? The defense has been fairly consistent aside from a crazy 74-57 win over Putnam County.

BY THE NUMBERS (2019)

BANKS COUNTY

  • 3-3 (2-1)
  • Region Standings: T-3rd
  • LAST: L 9-52 vs #2 Rabun
  • 19.7 OFFENSE
  • 20.8 DEFENSE

UNION COUNTY

  • 6-0 (3-0)
  • Region Standings: T-1st
  • LAST: W 35-14 vs Elbert
  • 50.7 OFFENSE
  • 20.2 DEFENSE

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping WEEK 9. Highlights will also be shared on Channel 5 (Fox) on the 11 PM “High 5 Sports” show tonight. You can also follow us on Twitter (@BlitzSportsGa) for live score updates.

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OUR PREDICTION

Union County puts up points like they are going out of style. Banks County’s defense is fourth-best in the region in scoring average. OUR PICK: UNION

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Banks County HS / Homer, GA
LAST MEETING: 2018; Union County 49, Banks County 17
ALL-TIME RECORD: Union County 22, Banks County 18
RECORDS: Banks Co Leopards (3-3; 2-1 in 8-AA); #8 Union Co Panthers (6-0; 3-0 in 8-AA)

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HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

This series spans 40 episodes over 60 years. The first occurrence was in 1959, a 14-6 Union win. The Panthers won 8 of the first 10 matchups through 1984. Banks then won 7 of the next 10, including a series-best 5 straight wins up through 1994. Banks also won four straight from 2005-08. Things have changed since 2016 though, as the Panthers have now won three in a row by a score of 122-51. The thing about the past is its irrelevant on any given night.

TEAM LEADERS

BANKS COUNTY (incomplete stats, according to Hudl)

PASSING
Bowen Roberts: 85 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT
Sawyer Pace: 11 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT (2/12 passing; 17%)

RUSHING
Chandler Payne: 256 yds, 4 TD
Roman Haynes: 241 yds, 4 TD
Sean Hall: 236 yds, 1 TD
Jace Bennett: 93 yds, 1 TD
Sawyer Pace: 68 yds, 1 TD

RECEIVING
Roman Haynes: 34 yds, 0 TD, 1 rec
M Marlow: 31 yds, 0 TD, 1 rec
Chandler Payne: 11 yds, 0 TD, 2 rec
Jace Bennett: 5 yds, 0 TD, 1 rec

TACKLES
Jace Bennett: 55 TKL, 3 Sack, 5 TFL
Erwin Durmic: 36 TKL, 5 Sack, 9 TFL
Sawyer Pace: 23 TKL, 4 TFL
Braxton Simpson: 20 TKL
Carter Stroud: 19 TKL, 1 Forced Fum
Cade Herrin: 15 TKL
Tanner Kaminski: 14 TKL, 1 Sack, 2 TFL
Rylee Williams: 13 TKL, 1 Sack, 1 TFL

INTERCEPTIONS
Carter Stroud: 3
Cade Herrin: 1
Rylee Williams: 1
Braxton Simpson: 1

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UNION COUNTY

PASSING
Pierson Allison: 1,880 yds, 22 TD, 1 INT (98/144 passing; 68%)
Logan Helcher: 78 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT (4/8 passing; 50%)

RUSHING
Jonah Daniel: 870 yds, 11 TD, 10.7 YPC
Pierson Allison: 287 yds, 5 TD, 9.6 YPC
Sloan Sutton: 136 yds, 1 TD, 6.8 YPC
Cayleb Rogers: 113 yds, 3 TD, 4.9 YPC

RECEIVING
Sawyer Drake: 634 yds, 8 TD, 34 rec
Kyle Morlock: 534 yds, 6 TD, 22 rec
Mason McCombs: 288 yds, 4 TD, 14 rec
Jonah Daniel: 164 yds, 2 TD, 10 rec
Cayden Rich: 157 yds, 2 TD, 14 rec

TACKLES
John Mancuso: 71 TKL, 5 TFL, 1 Sack
Sloan Sutton: 54 TKL, 2 TFL, 1 Sack
Kaston Hemphill: 50 TKL, 5 TFL
Noah Underwood: 49 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 Sacks
Clayton Lester: 49 TKL, 1 Sack, Fum Rec

INTERCEPTIONS
Kaston Hemphill: 3
Zion Ross: 2
Clayton Lester: 2
Sloan Sutton: 1
Cayden Rich: 1
Noah Underwood: 1
Pierson Allison: 1

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