Wildcats Overcome Bad Breaks, Win OT Thriller to Advance to Semis [VIDEO]

Rabun County defeated visiting #4-seed Bleckley County 27-24 on a crisp Friday night in Tiger, securing a Semifinals berth for the first time since 2017. The #1-ranked Wildcats (12-1) punched out the state’s last 4-seed in any classification, as the unranked Royals (9-4) and 5-star tackle Amarius Mims couldn’t contain Gunner Stockton, who rushed in for a game-winner in overtime.

It took extra football, and saw Rabun come back from three missed field goals, two interceptions, a blocked punt for a TD, and multiple penalties including a 60-yd TD that got called back. But when it mattered most, the Cats came up with huge plays on defense and just enough offense to make history.

Bleckley forced a quick 3-and-out to start the game, and went down and scored on a Jahvon Butler 8-yd TD. Rabun responded on a Stockton to Hogan Woodard 24-yd TD to knot the game at 7 apiece. Midway through the second, Stockton rumbled in for a 33-yd TD to give the Cats a 14-7 lead. In three first half drives, Rabun got inside the red zone before settling for a field goal try, all of which were misses.

Taking a 14-7 lead into the break and leaving points on the field, the Wildcats played great defense coming out of the break. However, as the luck went for Rabun throughout the game, a blocked punt inside the 10-yard line saw J’Shun Height scoop it and score to tie the game early in the third.

With 3:32 remaining in the quarter, Rabun County found new life when Stockton scored on a 10-yd keeper, putting the Cats up 21-14. A huge 14-point swing came midway through the fourth when Rabun had a 60-yd TD get called back. After an incredible punt downed the ball at the 4, Bleckley did the unthinkable and scored on a 96-yd TD by Chuckie Stephens to tie the game with 5:06 left to play. A costly, yet rare, interception by Stockton had Bleckley knocking at the door before a red zone turnover by the Rabun defense (a fumble recovery by Turner Grimmett) turned the tide. Rabun marched down the field in the final seconds before Stockton threw another pick, just his third of the season and second of the game, this time in the end zone on a potential game-winner.

In overtime, Bleckley’s first play got them down inside the 2 yard line. However, the Rabun County defense pulled off three straight brilliant stops, forcing a field goal by James Fordham. With a TD winning it, the Cats called on Stockton, who nearly scored on a 15-yd run, diving just short of the pylon. On the next play, he kept it and bulldozed in for the winner. The Cats march on to the Semifinals, where Calloway, a #1-seed ranked overall inside the top 5, awaits.

Gunner Stockton 45 2020 BLITZ

Digital Copy of Highlights – Rabun vs Bleckley

Digital Copy of Highlights – Rabun vs Bleckley


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