Game Of The Week: Union County vs Rabun County

Let’s try this again – we can’t miss the opportunity to see Gunner Stockton break one of the state’s most coveted records – passing TD all-time. He tied the mark last week, but with just one this week at Union County, he’ll take sole possession. This is also one of our favorite rivalry matchups, as these 2 teams really don’t like each other when the ball is kicked off under the lights. Should be a cold – and maybe rainy – night in Blairsville.

UNION COUNTY

The Panthers have had an up-and-down first season under coach Michael Perry. Inheriting a roster that had a large amount of turnover, the young Union County football team has had to start fresh with a new culture and philosophy. Perry has gotten the Panthers on track with a couple of recent victories in which the offense has started to look more efficient. Perry, the OC for the Gainesville 2012 State Championship team that featured Deshaun Watson, knows his Xs and Os, and he’ll likely use this game to teach his team what it means to go up against the best and embrace adversity.

RABUN COUNTY

The Wildcats dropped the season-opener to Jefferson by a mere 8 points. No one has played the Dragons that close. Coach Jaybo Shaw wanted to play the best, and for the most part, Rabun has done that. The Cats have reeled off 8 straight wins, securing at least a share of an 8th straight region championship. A win against Union officially locks in that region title. Rabun has defeated the likes of ranked teams #8 Pace Academy on ESPN, #1 Murphy (NC), #3 Saluda (SC), and #1 Pierce County all on the road, and a 6A team in Grovetown among others. No doubt the Wildcats are battle-tested and ready to go for the playoffs. This is a final tune-up before a much-deserved BYE week.

BY THE NUMBERS (2021)

UNION COUNTY

  • 2-5 (2-1)
  • Region Standings: 3rd
  • 25.57 OFFENSE AVG
  • 36.29 DEFENSE AVG
  • #1 State Ranking

RABUN COUNTY

  • 8-1 (3-0)
  • Region Standings: 1st
  • 48.11 OFFENSE AVG
  • 12.56 DEFENSE AVG
  • #1 State Ranking

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping Week 11. Highlights are shared on Channel 5 (Fox) on the 11 PM “High 5 Sports” show throughout the regular season. You can also follow us on Twitter (@BlitzSportsGa) for live score updates (5G pending).

OUR PREDICTION

This rivalry matchup is always intense, and for the past decade has been all Rabun County. With the state’s top offense in Class 2A at just a tick under 50 points per contest, and Union countering with a defense that allows about 37 per game, this should be another big Wildcats victory up in Blairsville. OUR PICK: Rabun County

DO WE BRING LUCK?

In 52 all-time Rabun County games we’ve covered, the Wildcats have gone 41-11. For Union County, we’ve covered 13 games, and the Panthers have gone 5-8 in those contests.

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Union County HS / Blairsville, GA
LAST MEETING: 2020: Rabun 63, Union 14
ALL-TIME RECORD: Rabun County 38, Union County 16
RECORDS: Union County Panthers (2-6; 2-1 in 8-AA); #1 Rabun County Wildcats (8-1; 3-0 in 8-AA)
HEAD COACHES: Michael Perry (23-25; 5 Seasons) vs Jaybo Shaw (32-4; 3 Seasons)

BONUS GAME COVERAGE:

#1 Jefferson vs #5 North Oconee. Full recap & photos from the game by our BLITZ intern, Chaz Mullis!

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

Rabun County has OWNED Union County over the last decade. That includes winning all 7 matchups in the Lee and Jaybo Shaw era from 2012-present. The Cats have put up 40-plus in 6 of those games, including going for 56 in the 2018 version and 63 last year. Multiple times, this game has determined the region champion. These archrivals have played 54 times going back to 1958. Rabun County won the first 9 times, and 13 of the first 15 going up to 1972. Union then won 2 in a row before the Wildcats then won 5 straight and 9 of the next 11 up to 1984. Union won 3 out of 4 from 1983-1986. Rabun County won 5 in a row after, giving way to 2 straight Union wins before another 3 straight for the Cats. Then things changed when Union County won 5 in a row from 2007-2011. Since then, it’s been all Rabun. Below are the several editions of this great rivalry that BLITZ documented on video.

OCT 17, 2014 – Rabun County 45, #10 Union County 31 *Region Championship*
OCT 16, 2015 – #5 Rabun County 49, #6 Union County 3 *Region Championship*
NOV 2, 2018 – #2 Rabun County 56, #9 Union County 28 *Region Championship*
NOV 8, 2019 – #1 Rabun County 49, #6 Union County 7 *Region Championship*
NOV 13, 2020 – #1 Rabun County 63, Union County 14 *Region Championship*

TEAM LEADERS (2021)

UNION COUNTY

PASSING
Logan Helcher (1,480 yds, 17 TD, 5 INT, 64% completion)

RUSHING
Logan Helcher (353 yds, 5 TD, 4.8 YPC)
Caiden Tanner (145 yds, 3 TD, 4.3 YPC)
Connor Schuknecht (102 yds, 0 TD, 3.9 YPC)

RECEIVING
Griff Young (493 yds, 5 TD, 33 rec)
Keyton Chitwood (317 yds, 7 TD, 20 rec)
Trace Wright (146 yds, 2 TD, 8 rec)
Eli Peugh (129 yds, 1 TD, 13 rec)
Jensen Goble (117 yds, 0 TD, 17 rec)
Cayleb Rogers (114 yds, 1 TD, 8 rec)
Caiden Tanner (67 yds, 1 TD, 10 rec)

DEFENSIVE LEADERS (no stats available)
N/A

RABUN COUNTY

PASSING
Gunner Stockton (2,927 yds, 39 TD, 1 INT, 71% completion)
Garrett Horton (64 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT, 67% completion)

RUSHING
Gunner Stockton (598 yds, 9 TD, 6.6 YPC)
Lang Windham (510 yds, 8 TD, 8.6 YPC)
Nic Baloga (81 yds, 1 TD, 5.4 YPC)

RECEIVING
Jaden Gibson (1,315 yds, 12 TD, 62 rec)
Ethan Clarke (521 yds, 7 TD, 29 rec)
Lang Windham (418 yds, 6 TD, 26 rec)
Baxley O’Brien (413 yds, 10 TD, 32 rec)
Cory Keller (151 yds, 2 TD, 5 rec)
Tate Ramey (150 yds, 1 TD, 12 rec)
Turner Grimmett (12 yds, 1 TD, 1 rec)

DEFENSIVE LEADERS
Will Turpin (87 TKL, 18 TFL, 5 Sacks, 1 INT, 2 Fum Rec, 1 Forced Fum)
Cory Keller (79 TKL, 6 TFL, 1 Fum Rec)
Turner Grimmett (67 TKL, 4 TFL)
Knox McKinney (61 TKL, 12.5 TFL, 3.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fum, 1 Fum Rec)
Cesar Cruz (59 TKL, 0.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 2 Fum Rec)
Hogan Woodard (56 TKL, 4 TFL, 1 Sack)
Chris Thompson (50 TKL, 9.5 TFL, 5 Sacks)
Hunter Moore (45 TKL, 2 TFL, 2 INT, 2 Fum Rec)
Willie Goodwyn (31 TKL, 3 INT)
Jarrett Giles (27 TKL, 3 INT)

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