TIGER -- The last time Rabun County football finished a season with a winning record, Lee Shaw was an assistant with the Wildcats program. And the last time Rabun challenged for a region title Shaw was the head coach at White County football.
The 2000 and 1998 seasons, respectively, signify ancient history to high school football players, but Shaw hopes his current Rabun County team can recapture some of that illustrious past this weekend when ninth-ranked Jefferson pays a visit to Tiger.
"This is the measuring stick for our program. If we can match them on the physical side and get a break or two, we have a chance," said Shaw, who is in just his sixth game in charge with the Wildcats. "If you can win a ballgame like this it is huge for your program and can slingshot you into the rest of the region. It's one of those games that can go down in history."
The Dragons are all too familiar with those kind of games, having pounced on then-No.7 and undefeated Washington-Wilkes 31-0 just last week.
Playing what T McFerrin says was the best game of his reign at Jefferson, the Dragons dominated the Tigers in all phases of the game, vaulting the Dragons into the top 10 and putting them at the forefront of the Region 8-AA title race.
"I'm shocked too to be honest with you," McFerrin said. "You always hope you can win, but that margin was really a surprise. We played probably our most complete game in the three-and-a-half years since I've been here. Now we have to keep it up. We've got to get back down to earth, because Rabun County has a really fine football team."
To watch a video preview of the showdown that could well decide the Region 8-AA title, simply scroll down and click "play."
Indeed the two opponents present a sort of mirror image of each other, as the Wildcats look to make history in Shaw's first season, gunning for their first region title since 1998.
"Preparations this week has almost been like playing ourselves," said McFerrin, whose Dragons last claimed a region title in 2009