Game of the Week: Banks County vs Union County

Our Game of the Week sends us to Homer as the Leopards square off in a region-opener with Union County. This one has playoff implications.

BANKS COUNTY

Banks County has had a tough slate out of region, playing state-ranked Commerce and Haralson as part of their schedule. The Leopards got a nice win over Lumpkin in Week 4, but had lost two straight since. There are a handful of really talented individuals on this team, and the one who perhaps impresses the most is Jace Bennett. He has been great on defense, and is starting to garner much-deserved attention.

UNION COUNTY

The Panthers have had a tough assignment in 2020. Not only are they trying to find their identity with entering a new era without so many playmakers that led them for years. Logan Helcher has come along quite well at QB, and Union has learned from early losses to Fannin and Commerce. Aside from that, the team has had to scratch two games due to COVID issues. Add in that one of those came in Week 6, and Week 7 was a scheduled bye week, the Panthers are very well rested, but also may be a tad rusty after not playing in three weeks.

BY THE NUMBERS (2020)

BANKS COUNTY

  • 1-5 (0-0)
  • Region Standings: T1st
  • 16.0 OFFENSE AVG
  • 32.0 DEFENSE AVG
  • N/A State Ranking

UNION COUNTY

  • 2-2 (0-0)
  • Region Standings: T1st
  • 25.3 OFFENSE AVG
  • 22.3 DEFENSE AVG
  • N/A State Ranking

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping WEEK 8. 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 (WiFi pending).

OUR PREDICTION

This matchup means a lot to both teams, and has the added hype of being a region opener. Likelihood being that Banks comes out a bit more sharp early on, making some plays early. After shaking off some rust, Union takes a win at Banks County. OUR PICK: UNION COUNTY

DO WE BRING LUCK?

For Union County, we’ve captured 11 games, and the Panthers have gone just 4-7 in those games. For Banks County, our record for games we’ve covered for them is 2-6 in 8 games.

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Banks County HS / Homer, GA
LAST MEETING: Union County 14, Banks County 7 (2019)
ALL-TIME RECORD: Union County 23, Banks County 18
RECORDS: Banks County Leopards (1-5; 0-0 in 8-AA); Union County Panthers (2-2; 0-0 in 8-AA)

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

The Leopards have taken on Union 41 times officially, with 23 of those swinging in the Panthers’ favor. The last meeting was just a year ago, when the Panthers played without starting QB Pierson Allison and many key playmakers who were forced to sit out. The Leopards nearly pulled off an upset, but Union prevailed 14-7. The first matchup was in 1959, a 14-6 win for Union. The Panthers won 8 of the first 10 meetings through 1984. From 1985-1999, Banks County went 9-6 in the series. And since the turn of the new millennium, it’s been Union controlling it, going 9-7. Banks did win 6 of 7 during that stretch, but Union has won the past 4 meetings. Here is last year’s meeting between the rivals.

2019 – #8 Union County 14, Banks County 7

TEAM LEADERS (2020 PLAYER STATS)

BANKS COUNTY

PASSING
Bowen Roberts (368 yds, 3 TD, 3 INT)
Cooper Smith (249 yds, 1 TD, 4 INT)

RUSHING
Roman Haynes (384 yds, 4 TD)
Kellon Walley (208 yds, 2 TD)

RECEIVING
Jonathan Moon (197 yds, 0 TD)
Carter Stroud (184 yds, 2 TD)
Lukas Marlow (44 yds, 1 TD)

DEFENSIVE
Jace Bennett (54 TKL, 4 TFL)
Corey Vickery (28 TKL, 4 TFL, 1 Sack)
Jonathan Moon (25 TKL, 1 FFum, 1 Safety)

UNION COUNTY

PASSING
Logan Helcher (697 yds, 3 TD, 5 INT; 55% completion)

RUSHING
Carson Walker (298 yds, 3 TD, 5.7 YPC)
Logan Helcher (234 yds, 4 TD, 7.8 YPC)
Jonah Daniel (54 yds, 0 TD, 9 YPC) *injured since Week 1

RECEIVING
Keyton Chitwood (195 yds, 0 TD, 15 rec)
Kaston Hemphill (175 yds, 0 TD, 10 rec)
Mason McCombs (135 yds, 0 TD, 16 rec)
Noah Underwood (126 yds, 2 TD, 10 rec)
Carson Walker (57 yds, 1 TD, 4 rec)

DEFENSIVE LEADERS
Trace Wright (11 TKL)
JJ Littles (7 TKL, 1 INT)
Kaston Hemphill (4 TKL, 1 INT)

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