Gridiron Preview 2020: Union County
The Panthers are penning a new chapter. So much has changed as the roster is completely turned over from last season. Yes, there are some holdover pieces to be certain, but it’s definitely a new era.
Head Coach: Brian Allison, 19th season
2019 Record: 10-2; State 2nd Round
Coach Allison led Union to its first-ever 10-win season, first-ever playoff win, and once again entered the final week of the regular season with a shot at a region title. His past three QBs have been his son Pierson Allison (Berry College), Cole Wright (Army), and Joseph Mancuso (Richmond). Three of the most successful in program history. Who’s next?
“We expect to compete week in and week out,” says Allison of his Panthers in 2020.
AUG 27 – @ White County scrimmage
SEP 4 – vs Fannin County
SEP 11 – @ Commerce
SEP 18 – vs Chestatee
SEP 25 – @ George Walton
OCT 2 – vs Pickens County
OCT 9 – vs Woodland, Cartersville
OCT 16 – BYE
OCT 23 – @ Banks County*
OCT 30 – vs Elbert County*
NOV 6 – BYE
NOV 13 – @ Rabun County*
NOV 20 – BYE ***[originally vs Riverside*]
*8-AA region game ^schedule edited to reflect recent GHSA decision to delay season 2 weeks
Personnel & Schemes
Key Departures: Pierson Allison, Sawyer Drake, Kyle Morlock, John Mancuso, Cayden Rich, Sloan Sutton, Zion Ross
Key Returning Players: Jonah Daniel, Kaston Hemphill, Clayton Lester, Noah Underwood
The group of Allison, Drake, Morlock, Mancuso, Sutton, Rich, and Ross were the most successful senior class ever at Union. The main players coming back will be heavily counted on. It won’t look or feel the same, but they can win with this group.
Up & Coming Players: Logan Helcher
Offense: Spread. With Allison out a game last season, it was Logan Helcher that emerged as a sophomore with almost no experience. It was a tough night at Banks County, but he did enough to get the win. Is he ready to fully embrace the task? The featured back of course is Jonah Daniel, who had a great season. The WR corps is a little thin after graduating so much skill and experience, so that is up in the air.
Defense: This 3-4 scheme should be in great shape. Losing Mancuso and Sutton hurt, but Hemphill, Lester, and Underwood are a great trio to build upon. The line has depth issues though, so that will be something to work on.
Strengths & Areas of Focus
Strengths: The run game. Jonah Daniel could put up monster numbers this year to take some pressure off the new QB.
Focusing On: Several areas to address. Skill positions outside of Daniel. Mason McCombs is going to have to be that number one target at the wideout position. The trenches are thin for Union as well on both sides of the ball.