TIGER — For a second straight week, Class 2A No. 1-ranked Rabun County was trying to stare down a state-ranked team and show it is ready to be a Prime Time Player.
The Wildcats beat Class A Private No. 3 Prince Avenue Christian 38-31 last week with a Gunner Stockton pass in the waning minutes. But Friday night, Class 4A No. 2 Jefferson was a whole different animal.
The big and powerful Dragons proved too much to bite off on Friday night as Jefferson ran for 337 yards on the ground while it’s prize-winning defense held Stockton and Company to just 221 total yards in a 28-14 win at Frank Snyder Stadium.
The Wildcats (2-1) jumped out to a quick 7-0 as Lang Windham scored on a 28-yard TD run to cap the opening drive. But Malaki Starks answered right back on the Dragons’ next possession with an electrifying 72-yard touchdown run to tie the game.
It stayed that way until capped the opening drive of the second half with a 1-yard TD run to give the Dragons a 14-7 lead. The drive ate up 8:21 of the period and kept Stockton and the explosive Rabun offense off the field.
Rabun faced a tough fourth-down but apparently did not want to give it back. A Stockton pass fell incomplete at own 40, and backup QB Carter Stevenson finished off the short drive with a 4-yard scoring run to make it 21-7.
The Wildcats finally got their high-powered passing attack going on the ensuing drive with Stockton connecting with Adriel Clark on a 41-yard TD pass to cut it to 21-14 just three plays later with 9:45 left in the game.
The Dragons put it out of reach when a big Kolton Jones run to the Rabun 13 set up an 8-yard Jordan Perry TD run for the final score of the game.
The Jefferson defense never let the power Rabun offense get loose. They recorded two sacks, nearly a dozen quarterback hurries and held Stockton to just 8-of-20 for 127 yards and only 19 yards rushing. The Wildcats managed just 221 total yards.
The Dragons offense, though maybe not as dominating as the week before (576 yards on the ground against Central Gwinnett) rushed for 377 yards and added 22 yards passing.
Starks finished with 157 yards, Perry had 81 yards and Jones 71 yards on the ground for Jefferson.