Averaging 47.3 points per game in their undefeated season, the Rabun County Wildcats trailed the Toombs County Bulldogs 14-7 after D.J. Mincey scored two touchdowns in the span of less than four minutes in the first quarter. However, Rabun County’s sophomore quarterback Gunner Stockton, who has already built a national reputation with his amazing stats, led his team back with a touchdown run and throw. Toss in a Cory Keller touchdown run and two Edwin Diaz field goals and the Wildcats reeled off 27 straight points in a 34-14 second round GHSA State Playoff victory in Tiger. Y-101 play-by-play
The Bulldogs end their season with an 8-3 record while the 12-0 Wildcats advance to the Elite 8 and play at Thomasville. Those Bulldogs smacked Pepperell 58-14 in Thomasville.
Stockton opened up the game completing a deep ball for 54-yards as the Wildcats drove 80 and took a 7-0 lead on a 13-yard pass to Hogan Woodard with 10:12 to play in the first quarter.
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The Dawgs answered with a 84-yard touchdown drive. Toombs County converted on a fourth down run by quarterback Trey Cloud. Trey threw a 30-yard pass to Chandler Lynn and Mincey ran down the Bulldog sideline on a 27-yard touchdown run. Julian Marion-Vitale kicked the PAT to even the game at 7-all with 4:16 to play in the first quarter.
“I saw the cutback and hit it and then I saw green grass,” Mincey said.
The Dawg defense stopped Rabun County on its second possession and then Mincey caught a Stockton punt and returned it 55-yards for a TD with 39 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Marion-Vitale kicked the extra point to put the Bulldogs up 14-7. The sophomore kicker ended his first season of football going 37-for-37 on extra points.
“We have been practicing that all week,” Mincey said. Making people miss and breaking tackles.”
The Bulldog lead held up for nearly five-minutes of game time. Stockton ended another 80-yard Wildcat drive with a 4-yard run and with the extra point the game was tied at 14 with 7:48 to play in the second quarter.
Stockton put Rabun County up for good- at 21-14- with a 9-yard TD pass to Sam Adams with 2:36 to play in the first half. The Wildcats finished the half with a 29-yard field which Diaz booted through the uprights after three straight TCHS timeouts with two-seconds remaining before the break. It was 24-14 Rabun County.
In the second half Keller scored on a 5-yard run with 5:52 to play in the third quarter to extend the Wildcat lead to 31-14 and Diaz completed Rabin County’s scoring with a 25-yard field goal with 10:44 to play in the game.
On defense linebacker Blake Hall led TCHS in tackles with 11. “I just went out there and played with everything I had for my teammates and brothers,” Hall said. “I was trying to get my reads right and just get in there as quick as I could and tackle low and hard. They had a good quarterback and receivers and I feel like we had a great game plan. It just didn’t come through like we wanted it to and we let the second half get to us.”
Head coach Richie Marsh said the Bulldogs needed to keep playing like they did when they took the 14-7 lead. “I knew that type of effort was going to have to continue all night. I don’t think the effort was any different. We just didn’t make the plays and they made some plays. We fell behind and that is the way it goes. The Lord has been good to us. We were glad to get to this point. They are a good football team. We just wish it could have been a little bit different tonight.”
Stockton threw for 250 yards and ran for 147. He completed 18-of-26 passes (69%) and averaged 9.8 yards on his 15 carries. “He is phenomenal,” Marsh added. “He hurt us in the run game tonight. He threw the ball well. Braxton Hicks was as good as advertised. They just have a really good football team. They have a bunch of guys who can catch the ball. Gunner really makes good decisions with the ball and when it is not there he is able to do some things with his legs and that is what makes him so special.”
|Comp||Att||Yds||C %||Avg||TD||Int||Lng||QB Rate|
|12||Trey Cloud (Sr)||18||26||87||.692||4.8||3||30||34.1|
|9||Derrick Mincey (Jr)||13||60||4.6||27||1|
|12||Trey Cloud (Sr)||3||-10||-3.3||1|
|3||Chandler Lynn (Jr)||6||42||7.0||30|
|4||Me’elle Merrion (Sr)||4||19||4.8||11|
|9||Derrick Mincey (Jr)||4||0||0.0||6|
|11||Drekari Jones (Sr)||1||7||7.0||7|
|15||Tyler Heath (Jr)||3||19||6.3||9|
|2||Tyler Smith (Sr)||5|
|3||Chandler Lynn (Jr)||8|
|9||Derrick Mincey (Jr)||1||1.0|
|11||Drekari Jones (Sr)||3|
|15||Tyler Heath (Jr)||3|
|18||Gage Herndon (So)||4||1.0|
|22||Dj Turner (Fr)||3|
|23||Blake Hall (Jr)||13||1.0|
|24||O. Roberts (So)||7|
|25||Shauqae Gaffney (Sr)||2|
|30||Brannon Usher (Jr)||2||1.0|
|32||Tank Morris (Fr)||10|
|55||Dawson Malone (Jr)||1|
|64||Chase Miller (Sr)||1|
|9||Derrick Mincey (Jr)||1.0||6|
|18||Gage Herndon (So)||1.0||4|
|23||Blake Hall (Jr)||1|
|30||Brannon Usher (Jr)||1.0||8||3|
|2||Tyler Smith (Sr)||1|
|11||Drekari Jones (Sr)||1|
|15||Tyler Heath (Jr)||2|