Game of the Week Preview: Rabun vs BEST

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The BLITZ Game of the Week grants us our first trip of the season to Tiger. It’s been awhile since we’ve been to the Frank, as all three Rabun games we took in this season were on the road. This one comes in the first round of the state playoffs.

RABUN COUNTY

History continues to re-write itself in Tiger. The #1-ranked Wildcats are coming off an electrifying win for the region championship over Union last week in a battle of unbeatens. The region title is the 7th in program history and 6th in a row. The 10-0 regular season is the 3rd such unbeaten regular slate, and 2nd-ever 10-0 regular season. Gunner Stockton is having a career year, and with each passing game is climbing the single-season state record books, as well as career record books for passing yards and passing TDs. He has weapons galore in Braxton Hicks (UGA commit; 3-000-yd receiver), and freshman sensation Cory Keller at RB. Add in receivers Sam Adams, Sutton Jones, Tate Ramey, and these guys are about unstoppable. On the flip side, the defense is coming off a game in which it shut down one of the top offenses in the state at Union County. The emergence and unselfishness of Brody Jarrard (starting RB-turned LB) is crucial, and there are truly too many playmakers to name on this side of the ball. Outstanding team!

BEST ACADEMY

BEST has a short roster, as we’ve seen in the past. This group is a younger version than the last couple of editions we saw in Tiger. The quarterback throws the ball on occasion, but only completes it about 44% of the time. The running game is led by a pair of sophomores who combined for 900 yards in the regular season. The depth chart is small. That doesn’t mean the Eagles can’t pull off a couple of big plays, but by the third quarter the small roster problem will be glaring.

BY THE NUMBERS (2019)

RABUN

  • 10-0 (7-0 in 8-AA)
  • #1 Ranking
  • Region Champions!
  • LAST: W 49-7 @ #6 Union
  • 48.3 OFFENSE
  • 11.5 DEFENSE

BEST

  • 4-6 (4-3 in 6-AA)
  • Unranked
  • Region 4th Place
  • LAST: L 0-53 vs #3 Hapeville
  • 22.6 OFFENSE
  • 29.8 DEFENSE

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping ROUND 1. 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

This one will likely mirror the last couple of meetings in the playoffs between the two programs. Look for Stockton and company to roll up the points to yet another 50-plus point outburst. OUR PICK: RABUN COUNTY

DO WE BRING LUCK?

Yes (or so we like to think)! Every time we cover the Cats there is a great chance they win. We’ve seen Rabun go 28-8 since 2013, including winners of 8 of the past 9 games we’ve seen. Two of those 28 wins came against this very BEST Academy team. Here are both versions of this matchup that we were at in 2017 and 2016.

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Frank Snyder Memorial Stadium / Tiger, GA
LAST MEETING: 2017; Rabun County 35, BEST 2
ALL-TIME RECORD: Rabun County 2, BEST 0
RECORDS: Rabun County Wildcats (10-0; 7-0 in 8-AA); BEST Academy Eagles (4-6; 4-3 in 6-AA)

2019 Bob & Teds GIF

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

These teams have squared off twice prior, lastly in 2017. On the way to the State Title game that year, the Wildcats blew past BEST Academy 35-2 in the second round of the playoffs to get to the quarterfinals. The prior meeting came in 2016, where Rabun won 55-20 in the opening round. If you’re doing the math, it’s Rabun 90, BEST 22 in two games.

TEAM LEADERS

RABUN COUNTY

PASSING
Gunner Stockton: 2,650 yds, 37 TD, 5 INT (184/254 passing; 72%)
Garrett Horton: 38 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT (9/19 passing; 47%)

RUSHING
Gunner Stockton: 827 yds, 16 TD (7.7 YPC)
Cory Keller: 490 yds, 3 TD (12.3 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: 879 yds, 9 TD, 46 rec
Sam Adams: 493 yds, 12 TD, 32 rec
Sutton Jones: 437 yds, 6 TD, 35 rec
Hogan Woodard: 321 yds, 2 TD, 22 rec
Tate Ramey: 281 yds, 5 TD, 24 rec
Cory Keller: 69 yds, 2 TD, 11 rec
Brody Jarrard: 43 yds, 1 TD, 4 rec

TACKLES
AJ Wheeler: 74 TKL, 6 TFL
Hoff Windham: 73 TKL, 15 TFL, 4 Sacks, 1 Fum Rec, 2 Forced Fum, 1 Blk
Garrett Bragg: 71 TKL, 8 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 Fum Rec, 2 Forced Fum
Trent Miller: 67 TKL, 14 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 Fum Rec, 3 Forced Fum
Phillip Roberson: 62 TKL, 11 TFL, 6.5 Sacks, 1 Fum Rec, 1 Forced Fum
Brody Jarrard: 57 TKL, 7 TFL, 2 Fum Rec
Will McCraw: 51 TKL, 11.5 TFL, 4 Sacks
Will Turpin: 46 TKL, 8 TFL. 3 Sacks, 1 Blk
Mason Sprinkle: 44 TKL, 4.5 TFL, 1 Fum Rec

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

Skinny Ads - ACE2

BEST ACADEMY

PASSING
Da’Von Hixson: 846 yds, 7 TD, 11 INT (73/166 passing; 44%)
Qwan’tez London Stiggers: 41 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT (3/8 passing; 38%)

RUSHING
Nique Bell: 518 yds, 3 TD (7.2 YPC)
Khaliq Brock: 390 yds, 5 TD (6.6 YPC)
Giovanni Morgan: 259 yds, 4 TD (5.1 YPC)
Qwan-tez London Stiggers: 127 yds, 2 TD (7.1 YPC)
Da’Von Hixson: 83 yds, 4 TD (1.0 YPC)
Devon McIntyre: 65 yds, 1 TD (8.1 YPC)

RECEIVING
Qwan’tez London Stiggers: 282 yds, 3 TD, 16 rec
Dedrick Jones: 226 yds, 1 TD, 21 rec
Rashad Whitehead: 104 yds, 1 TD, 13 rec
Zevien Zachary: 71 yds, 1 TD, 5 rec
Kelvin Watts Jr: 51 yds, 1 TD, 3 rec

TACKLES
Khaliq Brock: 74 TKL, 3 TFL, 3 Sacks
Rashad Whitehead: 69 TKL, 10 TFL, 6 Sacks
Giovanni Morgan: 51 TKL, 5 TFL, 3 Sacks
Qwan’tez London Stiggers: 46 TKL
Nique Bell: 36 TKL, 6 TFL, 4 Sacks
Keenan Cooper: 29 TKL, 3 TFL, 2 Sacks
Kiyon Riley: 28 TKL, 8 TFL, 3 Sacks

INTERCEPTIONS
Kelvin Watts Jr: 3
Devon McIntyre: 2
Giovanni Morgan: 1
Qwan’tez London Stiggers: 1
Montravis Capers: 1
Khaliq Brock: 1
Nique Bell: 1

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