Cats hold off pesky Tigers, earn 9th straight region title [VIDEO]

The Wildcats needed to get creative late and take a safety as time expired to hold on, but they beat Commerce nonetheless 27-22 to claim the team’s ninth consecutive region title.

Commerce (6-4) came to play, holding a second-quarter lead and nearly tied the game in the fourth. #2 Rabun County (10-0) completed its fourth-ever perfect regular season, though this was certainly tougher than the Cats imagined. Keegan Stover’s scramble and 51-yd TD connection to Jarret Giles midway through the fourth quarter gave the Wildcats some padding in the final minutes. Jaiden Daniels kept Commerce in the game with a pair of TDs.

Digital Game Highlights – Rabun vs Commerce

Digital Game Highlights – Rabun vs Commerce


Rabun struck first on the Wildcats’ first play from scrimmage when Stover gave a shovel pass to Jaden Gibson for a 42-yd TD and the early 7-0 lead. Neither team got anything else going until the second, when Commerce scored on a Daniels 56-yd TD run that knotted the game with 11:03 left in the quarter.

After forcing a Wildcat punt, the Tigers went right back to work. Tysean Wiggins’ huge run set up a 6-yd TD by Daniels that gave Commerce a 14-7 lead with 7:31 to go in the second. Playing with urgency, the Wildcats immediately responded when Stover picked up a massive chunk of yards on a rushing play, then Lang Windham scored a 2-yd TD to tie the game at the 5:57 mark. That held to the break.

Rabun appeared to take control with a TD right out of the half when Stover powered in for a 1-yd TD with 9:04 to go in the third. To end the third, Commerce came up with an interception by Jackson Morris as Rabun was driving. It marked the first pick thrown by Stover all season, and Commerce capitalized to open the fourth with a 5-yd TD by Jacari Huff. The extra point that would have tied the game was blocked, keeping Rabun up 21-20 with 11:50 to go.

Midway through the quarter, the Cats got some breathing room when Stover maneuvered through the pocket as it had collapsed. Shaking off several would-be tackles, he found a wide-open Giles for a 51-yd TD that ignited the crowd. The extra point for Rabun was also blocked, and the lead remained 27-20. After holding Commerce, Cory Keller took a punt deep into Tiger territory. However, the Wildcats had to settle for a field goal attempt, though it also was blocked. Commerce then marched down the field in the closing minutes, and attempted a fourth-and-7 pass from Daniels that was picked by Willie Goodwyn with 1:08. That still didn’t seal the win. Rabun had to burn 8 seconds on fourth down to close out the game, and the Wildcats had Windham run the ball into the end zone and take a safety as time expired.

Rabun County wins its 50th straight region game, secures its ninth straight region championship, and a fourth perfect regular season.


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