Game of the Week: Elbert County vs Rabun County

Our Week Nine Game of the Week takes us to the Granite Bowl in Elberton for a big-time showdown between #2 Rabun County and #6 Elbert County. The winner essentially grabs the region title by the horns and will be in the driver’s seat. This might be the best chance any region opponent has had in about 8 years to ending the Rabun County win streak in region play (currently at 47 straight wins). The last region loss was on October 18, 2013 at Washington-Wilkes.

ELBERT COUNTY

The Blue Devils (7-0), ranked #6, seem to have put it all together. Not since maybe 2011 has Elbert been this good. It all starts with RB Quan Moss, the senior who has averaged 167 yards per game and is 8th in rushing in the state among all classifications entering Friday night. In total, Moss has 1,170 rushing yards and 15 TDs. Sophomore Jayvyn Hickman also has been solid, throwing for 1,030 yards and 9 TD against 3 picks, and has rushed for 264 yards and 5 TD. The offense goes for 32.9 points per game, and the defense allows just 19.6. This is a well-balanced team, and they won’t go down easy.

RABUN COUNTY

The Wildcats are still unbeaten at 7-0 and ranked #2 in the state. Keegan Stover is now up over 2,000 passing yards (2nd overall in the state), with 23 TDs against ZERO interceptions. Meanwhile, Jaden Gibson stands at a state-best 1,078 receiving yards and 15 TD. He is 225 yards from tying the all-time receiving mark, and 3 TD catches from tying the record as well. It’s doable, though maybe tough to get both in this game. Lang Windham is coming off a 2-TD performance, which is a good sign. With some guys banged up last week, Rabun will need all hands on deck for this one. The offense generates 75% of its yardage from the pass, which means if they struggle there, it could be a long night. The Cats go for 34.7 points per game, and the defense is at 14.7. Both are top-10 ranked in the state.

BY THE NUMBERS (2022)

ELBERT COUNTY

  • 7-0 (0-0 in 8-A DI)
  • Region Standings: 1st
  • 32.9 OFFENSE AVG
  • 19.6 DEFENSE AVG
  • #6 State Ranking

RABUN COUNTY

  • 7-0 (0-0 in 8-A DI)
  • Region Standings: 1st
  • 34.7 OFFENSE AVG (Top-10 in 1A DI)
  • 14.7 DEFENSE AVG (Top-10 in 1A DI)
  • #2 State Ranking

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

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

OUR PREDICTION

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. First for the home team Elbert County. The Blue Devils are as good as their 11-win, quarterfinal 2011 edition. This offense relies heavily on Quan Moss, but they can also pass the ball. The defense is stingy as heck, and they’re a bunch of ball hawks who will close in fast. This looks like the most disciplined group Elbert has had in over a decade. Both the offense and defense are fringe top-10 in the state. The defense has 30 tackles behind the line and 18 sacks. They get after it, and have 7 interceptions as well as 6 forced fumbles. That’s fantastic. Elbert is at home, so if they get ahead early and have a 2-possession lead, it could be theirs for the taking. Rabun County….history is on its side at 6-0 all-time in this matchup. So many of the contests against Elbert have been with both teams ranked and/or playing for a region title. Each time Rabun makes it not so close at all. Obviously, there’s no Gunner Stockton, so history can be thrown out. But Keegan Stover is an elite passer. He won’t likely force anything that’s not there. However, his lack of being a dual threat means Lang Windham MUST have a big game running the ball to open up the passing lanes. Jaden Gibson can torch any defense, so he will be getting likely double-teamed all night long. That means the Cats will get creative to get him the ball, and will maybe use someone else (Noah Legault, Willie Goodwyn, Paul Piccioti, Cory Keller, etc) in the passing game to help open things up a bit. The defense is so good…and that’s where these games are usually won. Two high-flying offenses and stellar defenses, but only one walks away the winner. Elbert wins if it gets ahead by 2 scores. Rabun wins if it plays ahead and Windham has success running the ball. OUR PICK: SEE HERE

DO WE BRING LUCK?

57 games for the Wildcats that we’ve witnessed. In those, Rabun County is an unreal 45-12. Of the 6 all-time meetings with Elbert, we’ve been to 5 of them (this will be #6), and of course, the Cats won them all handily.

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Elbert County HS / Elberton, GA / The Granite Bowl
LAST MEETING: 2021 (Rabun County 45, Elbert County 7)
ALL-TIME RECORD: Rabun County leads the all-time series 6-0
RECORDS: #6 Elbert County Blue Devils (7-0; 0-0 in 8-A DI); #2 Rabun County Wildcats (7-0; 0-0 in 8-A DI)
HEAD COACHES: Shannon Jarvis (117-79; 18 Seasons); Michael Davis (7-0; 1 Season)

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

This is a 6-episode rivalry. In 4 or 5 of the meetings, the winner (always Rabun) was essentially granted the region crown. There’s always something on the line, and in 4 of the meetings, both teams were ranked in one of the various state polls. Elbert has never won, and a 28-point win for Rabun in 2017 remains the closest finish. In total, the Wildcats have outscored the Blue Devils 282-59. It’s quite lopsided for sure.

TEAM LEADERS (2022 Stats)

*Stats accumulated by team-published data on Ga Maxpreps

ELBERT COUNTY

PASSING
Jayvyn Hickman – 1,030 yds, 9 TD, 3 INT, 50% completion

RUSHING
Quan Moss – 1,170 yds, 15 TD, 6.0 YPC
Jayvyn Hickman – 264 yds, 5 TD, 5.0 YPC

RECEIVING
Trustin Allen – 408 yds, 3 TD, 17 rec
Tyrikis Jones – 229 yds, 3 TD, 19 rec
Eli Harris – 143 yds, 2 TD, 7 rec
Christian Harris – 117 yds, 3 TD, 6 rec
Brady Dickerson – 113 yds, 0 TD, 8 rec

DEFENSIVE LEADERS
Jermaine Sims – 45 TKL, 7 TFL, 2 Sacks
Bubba Heard – 43 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 FR, 1 FF
LJ Clark – 38 TKL, 1 FF
Gilbert Forston – 36 TKL, 5 TFL, 4 Sacks, 3 FR
Adrian Harris – 28 TKL, 5 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 FR, 1 FF
Nehemiah Robinson – 23 TKL, 2 TFL, 1 FF
Miguel Rodriguez – 21 TKL, 3 INT, 1 FR
DJ Raiford – 20 TKL, 3 TFL, 9 Sacks

RABUN COUNTY

PASSING
Keegan Stover – 2,034 yds, 23 TD, 0 INT, 64% completion

RUSHING
Lang Windham – 479 yds, 5 TD, 5.0 YPC
Cory Keller – 61 yds, 0 TD, 4.7 YPC
Keegan Stover – 44 yds, 2 TD, 1.1 YPC

RECEIVING
Jaden Gibson – 1,078 yds, 15 TD, 60 rec
Noah Legault – 402 yds, 4 TD, 23 rec
Willie Goodwyn – 160 yds, 3 TD, 9 rec
Cory Keller – 137 yds, 0 TD, 13 rec
Paul Picciotti – 101 yds, 1 TD, 6 rec

DEFENSIVE LEADERS

Nic Baloga – 107 TKL, 7 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR
Ethan Owens – 88 TKL, 3 TFL, 1 Sack
Cory Keller – 61 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 Sack
Hayden Ross – 49 TKL, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR
Emiliano Ortiz – 47 TKL, 4 TFL, 2 Sacks
Cesar Cruz – 42 TKL, 4 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 BLK
Paul Picciotti – 40 TKL, 6 TFL, 3 Sacks
Jaret Giles – 39 TKL, 2 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 FF, 1 FR
Noah Legault – 37 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR
Willie Goodwyn – 32 TKL, 1 INT

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