Stockton Has Career Night in Blowout Win [VIDEO]
Rabun County is no stranger to big games, let alone nationally-televised events. The Wildcats (1-1) upended Pace Academy (0-1) in a Saturday night ESPN game, 47-14 behind Gunner Stockton’s career night. The senior tied a career high in passing TD in a game with 6, marking the seventh time he’s done that. His 403 passing yards is the second most he’s had in a game (422 in a 2020 game).
#1-ranked Rabun and the #8-ranked Knights played tug-of-war in the first, with the Wildcats scoring on their opening drive when Stockton hit Cory Keller with a 64-yd TD just 4 plays into the game.
Pace Academy struck back with a 66-yd TD run by Christian Johnson to tie the game at 7 apiece. Late in the first, Stockton connected with Jaden Gibson for the first of 3 TD combos, this one for 38 yards and the go-ahead score. The extra point banged off the upright, but Rabun held a 13-7 lead it would never relinquish.
The defense came alive for the Cats, with big hits in the backfield including multiple by Chris Thompson. Stockton opened the second with a quick 3-play TD drive, as Gibson scored on a pass from Stockton that went 56-yards to the end zone. The Knights kept it close with another Johnson TD, this time from one yard out to make it a 19-14 game.
Midway through the second, Ethan Clarke, left unattended, hauled in a pass with no one around him, scoring from 28 yards out to push the lead to 26-14. In the half’s closing seconds, following a Willie Goodwyn interception, Stockton kept on a 7-yd TD run to cap a 5-play, 65-yard drive. That gave insurance to the tune of a 33-14 halftime lead.
A 37-yard TD pass from Stockton to Lang Windham made it 40-14 midway through the third. The final punch was a 57-yd TD connection from Stockton to Gibson with 2:16 left in the third. Rabun rarely got the ball again, as the clock was running the remainder of the contest.
Rabun moves to 1-1 on the season, and return to action in Week 3 against #1-ranked ELCA on the road. In the win, Stockton surpassed 10,000 career passing yards, becoming just the seventh player in state history to do it. Rabun’s offense tallied a total of 520 yards, and the defense held Pace to only 219. Stockton finished with 403 passing yards and 102 rushing with 7 total TDs. Gibson finished with 184 yards on 5 catches and 3 TDs. Will Turpin led defensively with 15 tackles (2 for loss) and a sack. Hogan Woodard had 12 tackles and a sack as well.