Game of the Week: Banks County vs Union County
Our Week Eight Game of the Week takes us to Homer for the second time this season. Banks County, once undefeated at 4-0, looks to snap a 2-game slide. Union County is coming off rare back-to-back BYE weeks, so the Panthers should be well-rested and healthy. A win for Union County would equal #300 all-time for the program.
The Leopards were once 4-0. That seems a distant memory for Banks County, who has dropped 2 in a row starting with the gut-wrenching loss to arch-rivals Commerce. The Leopards need a rebound win in the biggest way, before the season implodes on them. It’s certainly not a must-win, but if Banks County starts out 0-2 in region play, it will make for a miserable BYE week, and will mean the Leopards would likely need to win out from there on out. Andrew Shockley, Aaron Scott, Caine Griffith, and Aucy Jacobs have been the big playmakers on offense, while Cam Cooper and Robert Walker are the defensive leaders of this team. The big blow to this team is the loss of Caine Griffith for the season, as he has a broken bone in his shoulder. This is nothing new for Banks, who has always had devestating injuries to core players come into play during a season. For the Leopards, hopefully they’ll use this as motivation to win for Caine.
The Panthers had a rare back-to-back BYE week part of their schedule. The good news is that Union had a 3-game win streak prior, so those 2 weeks were well-earned and probably enjoyed. That gave Union plenty of time to prepare for this portion of the region calendar, and everyone should be well-rested, well-planned, and healthy. Caiden Tanner has been excellent at QB, and Jensen Goble and Griff Young are his favorite targets. But don’t forget about newcomer Braylen Rader, who has suddenly inserted himself as the bell cow back. The Panthers would love to add the 300th all-time win tonight to their resume.
BY THE NUMBERS (2022)
- 4-2 (0-1 in 8-AA)
- Region Standings: 2nd
- 29.3 OFFENSE AVG
- 18.7 DEFENSE AVG (Top-10 in 2A)
- N/A State Ranking
- 4-1 (0-0 in 8-AA)
- Region Standings: N/A
- 31.8 OFFENSE AVG
- 11.8 DEFENSE AVG (Top-10 in 2A)
- N/A State Ranking
Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping Week Eight. BLITZ partners with Fox 5’s 11 PM “High 5 Sports” show throughout the season. We make sure to get Banks County & Union County coverage on the big market show! You can also follow us on Twitter (@BlitzSportsGa) for live score updates (5G pending).
Let’s make our case for each team. Then you can follow the link below to see our BLITZ Exclusive official prediction that we stand behind. But here’s the way either team wins. Union County has a stellar offense at nearly 32 points per game. The spread works well, and the Panthers attack with multiple looks. Caiden Tanner’s ability to run as well as pass makes this team hard to stop. If Union County hits the average on the 32 points, it’s a sure win with the stingy defense (11.8 per game allowed). Banks County also scores 30 per game, and allows nearly 19. Not bad at all, though the 55 points allowed last game against East Jackson inflates a once elite defensive average. Banks County needs Andrew Shockley and Aaron Scott to do some serious damage, and not just picking up yards and moving the chains, but coming away with TDs. If Shockley has 3 TDs, and Scott gets a couple, that should be enough for the Leopards to win. All that to say, both defenses are actually pretty good, so it could take much fewer points to come away with a win, on either side. OUR PICK: SEE HERE
DO WE BRING LUCK?
First for the home team Leopards. We are 2-10 all-time in Banks County games, as the last 7 times we’ve taken in a Leopards contest, they dropped it. For Union, it’s a little better at 5-9 all-time in Panthers games we’ve covered. That includes back-to-back losses. We’ve seen this exact Banks-v-Union matchup twice before. Once in 2019, in a low-scoring 14-7 win for the Panthers in Homer. Another time in 2020 in another Union win at Banks.
DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP
TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Banks County HS / Homer, GA
LAST MEETING: 2021 (Union County 36, Banks County 14)
ALL-TIME RECORD: Union County leads all-time series 25-18
RECORDS: Banks County Leopards (4-2; 0-1 in 8-AA); Union County Panthers (4-1; 0-0 in 8-AA)
HEAD COACHES: Jay Reid (14-33; 5 Seasons); Michael Perry (28-28; 6 Seasons)
This is an old rivalry game that dates back to 1959. Union County has owned the series at 25-18, but both Banks and Union have had good moments in this series. Union County won the first 2 battles and 11 of the first 15 all the way through 1989. Banks County in its hayday won 5 in a row over Union from 1990 through 1994. Union then took 7 of the next 10 through 2004. The Leopards claimed 4 straight wins from 2005-2008, and after a Panthers win in 2009, Banks won 2 more in 2010 and 2011. Since then, it’s been all Union County. From 2016-2021, the Panthers have won now 6 in a row by 191-79.
TEAM LEADERS (2022 Stats)
*Stats accumulated by team-published data on Ga Maxpreps
Caine Griffith – 405 yds, 3 TD, 4 INT, 53% completion
Andrew Shockley – 980 yds, 13 TD, 8.8 YPC
Aaron Scott – 295 yds, 5 TD, 9.2 YPC
Aucy Jacobs – 173 yds, 1 TD, 5.8 YPC
Caine Griffith – 78 yds, 1 TD, 3.5 YPC
Aaron Scott – 252 yds, 2 TD, 11 rec
Andrew Shockley – 180 yds, 2 TD, 9 rec
DEFENSIVE LEADERS (incomplete stats)
Cam Cooper – 23 TKL, 4 TFL
Robert Walker – 22 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 Sacks
Caiden Tanner – 974 yds, 9 TD, 2 INT, 68% completion
Braylen Rader – 425 yds, 7 TD, 6.2 YPC
Connor Schuknecht – 188 yds, 4 TD, 5.4 YPC
Caiden Tanner – 110 yds, 0 TD, 3.4 YPC
Jensen Goble – 347 yds, 4 TD, 32 rec
Griff Young – 247 yds, 2 TD, 14 rec
Tyler Grasty – 114 yds, 1 TD, 9 rec
Connor Schuknecht – 114 yds, 0 TD, 3 rec
Zach Taylor – 72 yds, 3 TD, 8 rec
Gage Barnes – 50 TKL, 13 TFL, 4.5 Sacks, 1 FF
Kooper Ashcraft – 43 TKL, 12 TFL, 3 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 FR
Elijah Helton – 40 TKL, 10 TFL, 3 Sacks, 2 FF
Seth Rutan – 39 TKL, 13 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR
Wilson Walker – 34 TKL, 7 TFL, 1 Sack
Sam Page – 33 TKL, 1 FF
David Heredia – 29 TKL, 8 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 FR, 1 FF
Lane Lance – 25 TKL, 7 TFL, 4 Sacks