A career night by running back Trey Ransom, and a picture-perfect start on defense led the Jackson County football team to a triumphant night against Greenbrier.
Ransom rushed for 301 yards on 37 carries with six touchdowns and the Panthers defeated the Wolfpack 42-27. Ranson even completed a pass for 22 yards and he accounted for 323 of Jackson County’s 433 offensive yards. Meanwhile, the Panther defense kept Greenbrier’s high-powered offense off the board for the first 17 minutes of the game.
"We got off to a fast start which was huge, we had to," said head coach Rich McWhorter. "That was so important. Offensively, we did a great job. Trey Ransom scored six touchdowns, our offensive line did a great job. We really dominated the line of scrimmage.
"Our defense, you look at the yards and the score, you might not think they did well. But really it's the opposite. I think they did an outstanding job because of what they were going against was possibly one of the best passing offenses in the state.... The defensive guys were playing their tails off."
Jackson County (5-4, 3-3 Region 8-AAAAA) led 21-0 before a Wolfpack touchdown cut the score to 21-7 with 5:10 left in the second quarter. Ransom reached the end zone one more time before halftime to give the Panthers a 28-7 lead at the break.
That 21-point cushion came in handy when Greenbrier (4-5, 3-3 Region 8-AAAAA) rallied in the second half. The Panthers saw their lead shrink to 35-21 at the end of the third quarter, and 35-27 with just 4:08 remaining in regulation. However, Jackson County recovered an onside kick and Tre Ransom iced the game with a 47-yard touchdown run to set the final score at 42-27.
"They had a big third quarter," McWhorter said. "But again, Trey Ransom and the offensive line were able to put it away. That was huge.
Jackson County concludes its regular season next Friday at Apalachee (4-5, 4-2 Region 8-AAAAA). The Wildcats are currently second in the region standings, but only one game separates them and the Panthers.
Jackson County would also complete its first winning season since 2012 with a win over Apalachee. The Panthers have only finished a year over .500 six times since the program’s inception in 1980.
McWhorter reaches 300 wins
Jackson County head coach Rich McWhorter reached a milestone achieved by only 14 other coaches in the history of Georgia high school football. The Panthers' win over Greenbrier was the 300th win in McWhorter's career. He is one of only two active coaches with more than 300 wins, the other is Marist coach Alan Chadwick who has 406 wins.
"It's all about the really outstanding players, and teams and coaches I've had," McWhorter said. "That's really what it's all about... When you do it for over 30 years with a lot of good players, you have a chance to get a lot of wins. 301 would be huge."
McWhorter's head coaching career spans 31 years, 29 of those were spent at Charlton County where he also won 15 region championships and four state championships.