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Game of the Week Preview: Union vs Rabun

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The BLITZ Game of the Week takes us to familiar places: Rabun/Union in the annual undefeated, state-ranked, for the region title bitter rivalry. We love it!

UNION COUNTY

Union County comes in ranked #6 in the state, unbeaten, and looking for its first region championship since 1973. This looks like the best chance (and similar to last season) with the final go-round for Pierson Allison and star receiver Sawyer Drake. John Mancuso, Cayden Rich, and Sloan Sutton, along with injured Kyle Morlock (who might be ready to go for this one), are a star-studded senior group itching for this game. This season has been fairly dominant, but hiccups against Putnam and Banks County nearly cost the Panthers a couple of games. Allison has 5,497 career passing yards and 54 TD, with the yardage putting him among the state’s best of all time. He’s added 1,107 rushing yards and 16 more scores, giving him 6,604 yards of offense and 70 total TDs.

RABUN COUNTY

Rabun is as good as ever, and just got ranked as the #1 team in the state in Class 2A. This is the game that could put the Cats from the Elite and Legendary category to the straight up….whatever can top Elite/Legendary, as the boys seek a SIXTH straight region crown. Gunner Stockton is the real deal, in case you haven’t heard. He just threw 6 TD passes last week, which was the second week in a row and third in his career. His 5,316 career passing yards and 69 passing scores have him on the state leaderboard for a career, and he continues to climb it weekly. He also has 1,379 rushing yards and 28 rushing scores. Three more TDs of any variety will give him 100 for his career. This will be a final showing of Braxton Hicks, who’s a next-level player at the top of his game who last game eclipsed 3,000 career receiving yards, good for 9th ALL TIME in state history. Plenty of star characters that can do some damage. What Rabun has done, does, and will do, is wear teams out. The conditioning is like very few in the state, and while sometimes Rabun is prone to start slow or take a couple punches to the chin, the guys grind it out and have the ability to wear a team down and then take them over. Will that be the case this time?

BY THE NUMBERS (2019)

UNION

  • 9-0 (6-0)
  • #6 Ranking
  • Region Standings: T-1st
  • LAST: W 41-6 vs Social Circle
  • 44.67 OFFENSE
  • 14.89 DEFENSE

RABUN

  • 9-0 (6-0)
  • #1 Ranking
  • Region Standings: T-1st
  • LAST: W 49-0 @ Oglethorpe
  • 48.22 OFFENSE
  • 12.00 DEFENSE

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping WEEK 12. 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.

2019 Jacky Jones GIF

OUR PREDICTION

It’s going to be SO MUCH FUN for both sides. We picture this one going the way of last season. Closely contested early on, maybe even Union taking an early lead up in Blairsville. But Rabun’s “all gas, no breaks” should once again prove to be the difference maker. OUR PICK: RABUN COUNTY

DO WE BRING LUCK?

Not so much for Union, as the 10 previous games going back to 2011 that we have been on hand, the Panthers are 4-6. Albeit, three of those are against Rabun. Speaking of the Cats, they are an outstanding 27-8 since 2013 in games we’ve been to, including winners of 7 of the past 8 games we’ve seen.

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Union County HS / Blairsville, GA
LAST MEETING: 2018; Rabun County 56, Union County 28
ALL-TIME RECORD: Rabun County 36, Union County 16
RECORDS: Union County Panthers (9-0; 6-0 in 8-AA); Rabun County Wildcats (9-0; 6-0 in 8-AA)

2019 Bob & Teds GIF

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

This rivalry is DEEP. It’s also WIDE. Rabun has won this thing so many times it’s not even funny. The current 5-game win streak in the series for the Wildcats goes back to 2012 (the Lee Shaw era), and stretches all the way back to 1958. Rabun won the first 9 meetings all-time, and have 4 5-game win streaks within the history of the matchup. In recent years, going back to 2012, this game has almost always determined the region championship. In four instances, counting this one, both teams come in state-ranked. The last two meetings both teams are ranked, undefeated in region, and playing for a region championship. Rabun has won both of those by a combined 105-31. Here are three episodes of this show that we have witnessed and archived for you

TEAM LEADERS

UNION COUNTY

PASSING
Pierson Allison: 2,361 yds, 26 TD, 2 INT (128/187 passing; 68%)
Logan Helcher: 345 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT (24/39 passing; 62%)

RUSHING
Jonah Daniel: 1,254 yds, 14 TD (10.2 YPC)
Pierson Allison: 348 yds, 6 TD (8.9 YPC)
Sloan Sutton: 206 yds, 4 TD (6.4 YPC)
Cayleb Rogers: 113 yds, 3 TD (4.9 YPC)

RECEIVING
Sawyer Drake: 958 yds, 9 TD, 56 rec
Kyle Morlock: 534 yds, 6 TD, 22 rec
Mason McCombs: 371 yds, 5 TD, 18 rec
Cayden Rich: 285 yds, 4 TD, 20 rec
Jonah Daniel: 187 yds, 2 TD, 12 rec
Zion Ross: 99 yds, 0 TD, 6 rec
John Mancuso: 94 yds, 2 TD, 8 rec

TACKLES
John Mancuso: 90 TKL, 7 TFL, 2 Sacks
Sloan Sutton: 77 TKL, 3 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 Fum Rec, 1 Forced Fum
Noah Underwood: 68 TKL, 2 TFL, 3 Sacks, 2 Fum Rec
Kaston Hemphill: 65 TKL, 5 TFL
Clayton Lester: 54 TKL. 1 Sack, 1 Fum Rec

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

Skinny Ads - ACE2

RABUN COUNTY

PASSING
Gunner Stockton: 2,399 yds, 38 TD, 4 INT (155/214 passing; 72%)
Garrett Horton: 38 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT (9/19 passing; 47%)

RUSHING
Gunner Stockton: 660 yds, 11 TD (8.4 YPC)
Cory Keller: 412 yds, 3 TD (12.5 YPC)
Brody Jarrard: 360 yds, 3 TD (10.6 YPC)
Bryson Addis: 155 yds, 1 TD (6.0 YPC)
Turner Grimmett: 37 yds, 1 TD (5.3 YPC)

RECEIVING
Braxton Hicks: 780 yds, 8 TD, 38 rec
Sam Adams: 454 yds, 12 TD, 29 rec
Sutton Jones: 404 yds, 5 TD, 31 rec
Hogan Woodard: 293 yds, 2 TD, 20 rec
Tate Ramey: 247 yds, 5 TD, 19 rec
Brody Jarrard: 43 yds, 1 TD, 4 rec
Cory Keller: 55 yds, 2 TD, 9 rec

TACKLES
AJ Wheeler: 66 TKL, 6 TFL
Hoff Windham: 65 TKL, 15 TFL, 4 Sacks, 1 Fum Rec, 2 Forced Fum, 1 Blk
Garrett Bragg: 65 TKL, 7 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 Fum Rec, 1 Forced Fum
Phillip Roberson: 56 TKL, 11 TFL, 6.5 Sacks, 1 Fum Rec
Trent Miller: 56 TKL, 14 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 Forced Fum
Brody Jarrard: 49 TKL, 6 TFL, 1 Fum Rec
Mason Sprinkle: 44 TKL, 4.5 TFL, 1 Fum Rec
Will McCraw: 45 TKL, 11.5 TFL, 3 Sacks
Will Turpin: 37 TKL, 8 TFL. 3 Sacks, 1 Blk

INTERCEPTIONS
Braxton Hicks: 3
Will McCraw: 2
Brody Jarrard: 2
AJ Wheeler: 1
Hunter Moore: 1
Hoff Windham: 1
Bryson Addis: 1

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