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Wednesday December 8th, 2021 11:26PM

Football: No. 1 Rabun makes statement, beats defending 3A champs

By AccessWDUN Staff

BLACKSHEAR — Rabun County has been looking for that statement win.

The Class 2A No. 1-ranked Wildcats finally got it on Friday, taking down Class 3A No. 4, and defending 3A state champion, Pierce County, 28-21, in a hostile environment on the road.

While senior quarterback and Georgia-commit Gunner Stockton was busy doing his thing -- 18-of-30 passing for 251 yards and 3 TDs and 132 yards rushing and one score -- the Wildcats defense proved it is ready to be a force to be reckoned with as they chase their first-ever state title.

The Wildcats held the Bears to just 263 total yards and their powerful ground game to just 170 yards, with 120 of that coming on two long touchdown runs.

It was a defensive struggle in the first half as Rabun County (5-1) struck first when Stockton capped a 3-play, 50-yard opening drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. The Bears answered right back when Daytin Baker sprinted 58 yards for a score to tie the game at 7.

It stayed that way until the Wildcats reclaimed the lead at 14-7 when Baxley O'Brien hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Stockton early in the third quarter. Rabun County pushed the lead to 21-7 early in the fourth quarter on a 22-yard TD pass Stockton to Jason Gibson.

Baker pulled the Bears (4-2) to within 21-14 on a 2-yard touchdown run to cap a 6-play drive with 8:51 left in the game but the Wildcats pushed the lead to 28-14 two minutes later on an 8-yard TD pass from Stockton to Lang Windham.

The Bears weren’t done, however, as Baker scored on a 62-yard pass play with 6 minutes left. Pierce County then stopped the Wildcats and put one last drive together before the Rabun defense forced a turnover on downs to help seal the win.

Gibson, who came in leading Class 2A in receiving and was second in the state overall, caught 6 passes for 159 yards and the one touchdown.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, Rabun County football
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