ROME, Ga. — For the first time in school history, Union County has advanced to the second round of the state playoffs after winning a road game in the opening round with a 28-14 win over Model Friday night.
This is the second playoff win in Union County's football history, the first of which came in a game in Blairsville back in 2019 when the Panthers beat South Atlanta.
Model was first to the scoreboard after cashing in on a long drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock to take a 7-0 lead. Union answered immediately as Caiden Tanner found Jensen Goble for the Panthers' first score of the night.
After a Blue Devil punt, Tanner hooked up with Zack Taylor for a 67-yard passing play, setting up Tanner to call his own number on the goal line to push in front, 14-7. The Panther defense came through again on the ensuing drive, forcing a turnover that led to Tanner finding Braylon Rader for a 35-yard strike to take a 21-7 advantage.
The Blue Devils did not go quietly, scoring after faking a punt later in the second quarter to cut the lead to 21-14.
Union County's defense stepped up in the second half, forcing three more Model turnovers, one of which set up Tanner's third touchdown pass of the night, this one to Griffen Young to seal the first round win.
Tanner finished with 300 yards passing on the night and was responsible for all four touchdowns scored by Union.
With the win, the Panthers will now take on South Atlanta who defeated Landmark Christian 44-21 tonight. The game will be at South Atlanta.