Game of the Week: Banks County vs Commerce

Our Week Six Game of the Week takes us to Homer as the unbeaten Banks County Leopards host the Commerce Tigers. With one team yet to lose, and the other coming off a win over #9-ranked Lincoln County, both are carrying momentum into this rivalry matchup, known as the Catfight!

BANKS COUNTY

The Leopards have clawed through opponents to the tune of a 4-0 start. That’s the best since 1991. 31 years. Let that sink it. The Leopards are playing at a high level, and Andrew Shockley is leading the way as the state’s 12th-leading rusher. Aaron Scott has emerged as a go-to playmaker, and Caine Griffith has continued to play solid as well. On the defensive side of the ball, the anchor is Robert Walker. Banks County is playing much better than it has in years (record aside). That said, the unknown here is what the Leopards will look like against more solid teams. Their opponents’ record through the first 4 games is 4-14. That’s not good at all. Still, the promising note is that Banks County hasn’t just won the games they’re supposed to win, but they’re doing it in dominating fashion.

COMMERCE

The Tigers are an enigma. This is a solid football team with a lot of great athletes. We saw what this team can do in wins over #1 Southside and #9 Lincoln County. What perplexes is the losses that followed the Southside win, where Commerce turned the ball over a bit too much. Jaiden Daniels is going to get his yards and TDs, and currently is on the state rushing leaderboard. There’s just about no way around Daniels getting his. And unfortunately for opponents, if (that’s a big IF) you can limit Daniels, you still have to worry about Jacari Huff who has come on strong, and even JP Allen. On defense, Hampton Hutto, Colton Hill, Cole Hill, and others are the staples there.

BY THE NUMBERS (2022)

BANKS COUNTY

  • 4-0 (0-0 in 8-AA)
  • Region Standings: 1st
  • 34.5 OFFENSE AVG
  • 10.0 DEFENSE AVG
  • N/A State Ranking

COMMERCE

  • 2-2 (0-0 in 8-A DI)
  • Region Standings: 1st
  • 24.3 OFFENSE AVG
  • 23.0 DEFENSE AVG
  • N/A State Ranking

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping Week Six. BLITZ partners with Fox 5’s 11 PM “High 5 Sports” show throughout the season. We make sure to get Banks County & Commerce coverage on the big market show! You can also follow us on Twitter (@BlitzSportsGa) for live score updates (5G pending).

OUR PREDICTION

We can make a case for both teams here. Yes, Banks County is 4-0, but they haven’t faced a team quite the level of Commerce (you could maybe argue Oglethorpe, but it wouldn’t be a great argument). Even still, they’re winning those games convincingly like a good team should and would. They have an electric offense with Andrew Shockley’s 750+ yards, Aaron Scott’s emergence, and Caine Griffith’s smart play. The law of average says that eventually the Leopards will have to win a game in this series for the first time since 1992. On the flip side, Commerce has shown it can win the big ones, i.e. two top-10 wins. At 32-2 all-time in the series, Commerce always seems to have Banks’ number. Commerce has a fantastic run game with Jaiden Daniels leading the charge, and compliments of Jacari Huff and JP Allen. And Commerce has a solid defense. Both teams have question marks, and neither will beat you with an air attack. It comes down to who takes care of the football, and which defense plays with the most discipline and makes stops. This is a tough call. It’s nearly a coin flip. Therefore, we’re officially at a PUSH. Commerce wins if it plays clean ball and protects the pigskin. Banks wins if it gets up early and keeps the crowd in it, and creates turnovers. OUR PICK: SEE HERE

PUBLIC VOTE

How ’bout it Commerce and Banks County nation? Who wins this Catfight?

DO WE BRING LUCK?

We have witnessed 11 Banks County football games, and the Leopards are 2-9 in those games. The last Banks win we saw was in 2014 in a thriller against Dawson County in Homer. For Commerce, we’ve been to just 3 games, and the Tigers are 2-1, with our last one seeing live was last year at Towns (a win). We will say, so far in 2022 in 5 games, the home team has won every time.

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Banks County HS / Homer, GA
LAST MEETING: 2021 (Commerce 10, Banks County 0)
ALL-TIME RECORD: Commerce leads the all-time series 32-2
RECORDS: Banks County Leopards (4-0; 0-0 in 8-AA); Commerce Tigers (2-2; 0-0 in 8-A DI)
HEAD COACHES: Jay Reid (14-31; 5 Seasons); Mark Hollars (38-32; 7 Seasons)

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

This rivalry runs deep! In 34 all-time meetings in the regular season, Commerce has a 32-2 record against Banks County. That includes last year’s 10-0 win for the Tigers. The last time the Leopards won this game? 1992. That’s 30 years ago. That’s a good number to try and break for Banks County in 2022. The only two Banks County wins in the series came in ’92 and ’90, and both were at Commerce. The series dates back to 1970, and Commerce won the first 14 games, and the last 17 coming into this one.

TEAM LEADERS (2022 Stats)

*Stats accumulated by team-published data on Ga Maxpreps

BANKS COUNTY

PASSING
Caine Griffith – 237 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT, 52% completion

RUSHING
Andrew Shockley – 775 yds, 11 TD, 9.3 YPC
Aaron Scott – 255 yds, 5 TD, 11.1 YPC
Aucy Jacobs – 111 yds, 0 TD, 5.3 YPC

RECEIVING
Aaron Scott – 105 yds, 1 TD, 5 rec
Andrew Shockley – 89 yds, 1 TD, 5 rec

DEFENSIVE LEADERS
Cam Cooper – 23 TKL, 4 TFL
Robert Walker – 22 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 Sacks, 3 FF
Bray Williams – 13 TKL, 2 TFL, 1 Sack
Aucy Jacobs – 13 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 INT
Andrew Shockley – 4 TKL, 1 TFL, FR (TD), FF, BLK (TD)

COMMERCE

PASSING
N/A

RUSHING
Jaiden Daniels – 547 yds, 9 TD
Jacari Huff – 298 yds, 3 TD
JP Allen – 173 yds, 1 TD

RECEIVING
N/A

DEFENSIVE LEADERS

Colton Hill
Cole Hill
Hampton Hutto
Jacari Huff

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