Game of the Week: Rabun County vs Commerce
Our Week Eleven Game of the Week takes us to Tiger for a Region Championship game between powerhouse Rabun County and the visiting Commerce Tigers. A Commerce upset win would force a 3-way tie atop the region and lead to tie-breakers galore to determine the region champion. Simply a Rabun win gives the Wildcats a NINTH consecutive region title.
The Wildcats are looking to complete their 9th straight region championship season, and a win would also secure a 4th perfect regular season in school history (2019, 2017, 2016). Furthermore, the current win streak in region games for Rabun County stands at 49, so a win here makes it 50 straight region wins. Keegan Stover has been excellent this year – and that’s an understatement. 32 TDs, no interceptions, and 2,701 yards (leading the state) to this point. Jaden Gibson (1,484 yds, 23 TD) is once again putting up video game numbers, leading the world in receiving yards. The defense is playing lights out behind leader Nic Baloga (state leader in tackles) and the team has one turnover all season and 17 turnovers for. That’s a great recipe to win.
Commerce has a 3-headed monster in sophomores Jaiden Daniels, Tysean Wiggins, and Jacari Huff. JP Allen isn’t too shabby either, as the 4 have combined for north of 2,500 rushing yards. Hampton Hutto is the leader on defense, and Colton Hill and Cole Hill are crazy good, as is Huff and others. The Tigers are road warriors, going 5-0 to this point, and in 2022 have beaten 3 state-ranked opponents.
BY THE NUMBERS (2022)
- 9-0 (2-0 in 8-A DI)
- Region Standings: 1st
- 37.3 OFFENSE AVG (5th in Class 1A DI)
- 14.6 DEFENSE AVG (9th in Class 1A DI)
- #2 State Ranking
- 6-3 (1-1 in 8-A DI)
- Region Standings: 3rd
- 26.6 OFFENSE AVG
- 24.2 DEFENSE AVG
- N/A State Ranking
Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping Week Eleven. BLITZ partners with Fox 5’s 11 PM “High 5 Sports” show throughout the season. We make sure to get Rabun County & Commerce coverage on the big market show! You can also follow us on Twitter (@BlitzSportsGa) for live score updates (5G pending).
As usual, we’ll give you the case for both. Rabun hasn’t lost a region game since 2013. They have just throttled every region opponent in that span. This year, the Wildcats have been flawless at 9-0 and beaten a total of 7 state-ranked teams among their 9 wins, and one was a fringe-top-10 team as well. There’s just too much clout here, and Gibson is next-level and simply cannot be contained very easily. Commerce has a special RB room. They can move the chains and make for some long drives where opposing defenses get worn down, and Daniels is a stallion and has homerun threat written all over him. It’s a monumental upset if the Tigers can win this one though. Click for our official prediction: OUR PICK: SEE HERE
DO WE BRING LUCK?
Rabun County is 46-12 all-time in games we’ve covered for the Wildcats. Meanwhile, in Commerce games, we’ve seen the Tigers go 3-1. This season, we’ve seen Commerce win at Banks and Rabun take wins at Elbert and at home against Stephens, as well as a home scrimmage win over Bowdon. In all, Rabun has gone 9-1 overall in the last 10 we’ve been at.
DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP
TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Rabun County HS / Tiger, GA / Frank Snyder Memorial Stadium
LAST MEETING: 2013 (Rabun 28, Commerce 0)
ALL-TIME RECORD: Commerce leads the all-time series 21-7
RECORDS: #2 Rabun County Wildcats (9-0; 2-0 in 8-A DI); Commerce Tigers (6-3; 1-1 in 8-A DI)
HEAD COACHES: Michael Davis (9-0; 1 Season); Mark Hollars (42-33; 7 Seasons)
This rivalry dates back to 1951. Rabun County won the first pair of all-time meetings, and the teams traded blows until about 1964. Then, Commerce took off. From 1964-1995, the Tigers won 14 of the 15 meetings in that span, with the other being a 20-20 tie in 1967. Rabun finally pulled out a win in 1996 and again in 1998 with a Commerce win in between. Then the Tigers won in ’99, ’06, ’07, and in 2012 in Lee Shaw’s debut season over the Wildcats. That game was memorable as an 18-17 Commerce win in a game where freshman Charlie Woerner made a big splash on the scene and started to show what he could do. Shaw’s Cats won 28-0 the next time around the following year, but the rivals haven’t squared off since.
TEAM LEADERS (2022 Stats)
*Stats accumulated by team-published data on Ga Maxpreps
Keegan Stover – 2,701 yds, 32 TD, 0 INT, 65% completion
Lang Windham – 703 rush yds, 7 TD
Keegan Stover – 44 rush yds, 2 TD
Jaden Gibson – 1,484 yds, 23 TD, 85 rec
Noah Legault – 541 yds, 5 TD, 34 rec
Willie Goodwyn – 217 yds, 4 TD, 11 rec
Cory Keller – 150 yds, 0 TD, 14 rec
Paul Picciotti – 118 yds, 0 TD, 7 rec
Jarret Giles – 84 yds, 0 TD, 3 rec
Nic Baloga – 131 TKL, 12 TFL, 2 Sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 2 FF
Ethan Owens – 113 TKL, 6 TFL, 1 Sack
Cory Keller – 67 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 Sack
Hayden Ross – 58 TKL, 7 TFL, 3 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 FF
Emiliano Ortiz – 54 TKL, 5 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 FR
Cesar Cruz – 50 TKL, 5 TFL, 1 Sack
Paul Picciotti – 50 TKL, 9 TFL, 5 Sacks, 1 FR
Noah Legault – 47 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 INT, 1 FR, 1 FF
Jarret Giles – 43 TKL, 2 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 FF
Willie Goodwyn – 36 TKL, 3 INT
Jaiden Daniels – 1,359 yds, 16 TD
Tysean Wiggins – 687 yds, 8 TD
Jacari Huff – 445 yds, 6 TD
JP Allen – 195 yds, 1 TD
Jaiden Daniels – 35 yds, 0 TD
Tysean Wiggins – 34 yds, 0 TD