Going into Friday night’s matchup at Rabun County, head coach Jay Reid said his team needed to clean up two things: the number of penalties and turnovers.
The Leopards committed only five penalties in their trip to Tiger. But two fumbles helped add to the Wildcats’ scoring party.
The Leopards fell to Rabun County 52-10 Friday night. The Leopards (3-3, 2-1 Region 8-AA) are off next Friday.
The Leopards’ offense finished with 213 total yards against a stingy Wildcats’ defense. Roman Haynes led the team with 84 rushing yards on 10 carries. Jace Bennett added 44 yards on eight carries.
Chandler Payne had the team’s lone touchdown, which came with 4:26 left in the game. Erwin Durmic had the Leopards’ other score, connecting on a 39-yard field goal at the 10:25 mark of the second quarter.
The Wildcats’ offense was the story of the game. Rabun County quarterback Gunner Stockton accounted for 376 total yards (292 passing, 84 rushing) and seven touchdowns (4 passing, 3 rushing).
The Wildcats totaled 409 yards of offense in the 42-point win. The first-team offense was kept out of the end zone one drive, instead having to opt for a field goal.
The game started with the Wildcats’ offense clicking on all cylinders as Stockton hit his first five passes, finding five different receivers in the process. The drive ended with a Stockton 2-yard touchdown run to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with 7:57 left in the first quarter.
After the Leopards fumbled on their first play from scrimmage, Stockton needed only one play to get more points, this time hitting receiver Sam Adams on a 20-yard touchdown strike to extend the Wildcat lead to 14-0. Adams finished the game with 49 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wildcats’ next drive nearly ended on the second play as Hogan Woodard fumbled but was able to recover the ball before the Leopards could get control. Six plays later, Stockton had his second rushing touchdown of the game, bolting his way 28 yards to the end zone. The Wildcats led 21-0.
The Leopards’ ensuing drive opened with a bang as Haynes broke loose for 59 yards around the right side. But the offense gained no more yards and settled for Durmic’s 39-yard boot through the uprights to cut the deficit to 21-3.
The Wildcats got the three points back on the next drive, connecting for a 34-yard field goal, but then quickly added a touchdown after an extra possession off the Leopards’ second fumble. Stockton, again, needed only one play after the turnover to get points as he rushed in from 14 yards away to push the Wildcat lead to 31-3.
The Wildcats added two more touchdowns before the first half ended. Adams caught his second touchdown of the game on a 22-yard strike. Then, Stockton found his running back in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown. The lead was 45-3 at the break.
The Wildcats’ final touchdown came with 1:33 left in the third quarter as Stockton found Woodard for a 4-yard score. Woodard finished the game with 142 receiving yards.
Payne’s 14-yard touchdown run came with 4:26 left in the game and capped off a 13-play, 70-yard drive. The Leopards gained five first downs on the drive.