Class 2A blog: In brief — Fannin County starting strong again

Rebels look to clinch 2nd straight region title; Westside is 6-2; Riverside Military’s forfeit to Rabun County explained

With their 35-7 win over Model, the Fannin County Rebels improved to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 7, setting the stage for this week’s showdown against the Chattooga Indians (5-2, 4-0), the only other team with an undefeated region record.

(Read the Week 9 recap here.)

Under second-year coach Shawn Peek, the Indians have already topped last year’s win total, when they finished 3-8.

With a win, the Rebels will clinch a second consecutive region title. Rebels coach Chad Cheatham is expecting a challenge from Chattooga on Friday.

“They’re very good,” Cheatham said. “They have an extremely good running back in (Lashaun Lester), and they’re strong up front. Coach Peek has done a great job in the weight room and bringing that team together. They have several athletes on the outside...but the guy who really stands out is Lester.

“(Peek) has changed their scheme to fit (Lester) and they run down hill with power, and it’s going to be really tough to stop that offense.”

The game will be played in Blue Ridge.

Last year, the Rebels went 10-1 and reached the quarterfinals for just the second time, the furthest they’ve been. It was their best season since 1995, when they had a 12-1 quarterfinals finish.

The Rebels would not win another playoff game until last season, going 0-5 in the years between.

They’re off to a strong start again this season, with their only loss coming 32-0 to 3A’s Sonoraville on Sept. 3 in a game that almost didn’t happen. The Rebels were originally scheduled to play Copper Basin (Tenn.), but when the Cougars Covid-cancelled on them, the Rebels chose to challenge themselves with a tough road game.

Cheatham doesn’t regret it.

“We have two bye weeks in our season,” he said. “If we didn’t pick up a game there, we would’ve had to sit out two weeks in a row, plus our bye later in the season, and I didn’t feel like that was conducive to getting better. So, we played a very good Sonoraville team, and that was good for us. They’re in a higher classification, they’re well-coached, strong, powerful. Sometimes you can use those experiences to regain humility, and you can go back and watch film to see what you did wrong. I felt like it was a pretty good chance for us to get better.”

The Rebels are 5-0 since the setback, and they beat region opponents Gordon Central, Pepperell and Model a combined 132-27 their last three games.

For more from Cheatham, listen to Ep. 35 of The Class 2A Blogcast.

Here are the latest rankings, with each team’s previous ranking and record in parenthesis.

1. (1) Rabun County (7-1)

2. (2) Fitzgerald (7-1)

3. (3) Thomasville (7-1)

4. (4) Bleckley County (8-0)

5. (5) Jeff Davis (8-0)

6. (7) Dodge County (5-2)

7. (8) Putnam County (7-0)

8. (6) Northeast (5-2)

9. (9) Haralson County (7-1)

10. (10) Washington County (4-2)

In brief:

Region 1:

  • Thomasville’s Cole Shaw is a Recruit Georgia play of the week nominee for his catch in the Bulldogs’ 28-13 win over Cook. Here’s another clip of the same catch, compared with David Tyree’s famous Super Bowl reception. The Bulldogs are 7-1, 3-0.
  • Check out this hype video from Thomasville.
  • Early County edged Berrien 17-15 in overtime. WTVY has highlights. Berrien, Early County and Cook are in a three-way tie in third place with a 1-2 record in region play.

Region 2:

  • The official page for Vidalia Athletics posted a writeup on the Indians’ 50-21 win over East Laurens. The Indians are 2-5, 1-1. WTOC has highlights.
  • WTOC has highlights of Jeff Davis’ 37-8 win over Toombs County.
  • No team is allowing fewer points in 2A than Jeff Davis, according to GHSF Daily.

Region 3:

  • Here’s video of the final minute of Bleckley County’s win over Northeast.
  • WMAZ has highlights of the Northeast-Bleckley County game .

Region 4:

  • The Westside Patriots beat the Laney Wildcats 28-6 to improve to 6-2, 4-1. Laney fell to 5-3, 3-2. The Patriots and Wildcats are in third and fourth place in the region standings, respectively. Wynston Wilcox covered the game for The Augusta Chronicle.
  • Despite the loss, Laney’s program is making tangible changes in a positive direction under first-year coach Ronnie Baker, as measured by this recent GHSF Daily list.

Region 5:

  • Jake West of Team FYN Sports has a writeup on Haralson County’s 49-14 win over Temple, which moved the Rebels to 7-1, 2-0.
  • Rebels coach Scott Peavey spoke with Team FYN Sports following the game.
  • The Callaway Cavaliers are back on the winning track after a 35-7 win over Bremen, improving to 5-2, 1-1. Daniel Evans wrote about the game for The LaGrange Daily News.
  • The Cavs’ win featured a phenomenal one-handed catch from Treyonn Tucker.

Region 6:

  • The Columbia Eagles posted their second shutout in a row with a 28-0 win over KIPP. The week prior, they beat McNair 58-0. The Eagles are 7-1, 6-0 heading into a bye week. Oh, and they have a turnover chain now.
  • Pace Academy’s Maddox Crawford beat Therrell 62-0 to improve to 3-4, 3-2. Game stats were posted to Digital Scout.

Region 7:

  • Team FYN Sports has a writeup on Chattooga’s pivotal Region 7 win over Dade County, 28-13. The Indians are 5-2, 4-0.
  • Dade County coach Jeff Poston tipped his hat to the Indians for the win.
  • According to AllOnGeorgia, Chattooga will honor former standout Senorise Perry prior to the Indians’ Oct. 29 finale against Pepperell. Perry was a Class of 2009 running back and linebacker for the Indians. He went on to play at Louisville and in the NFL, spending five seasons between Chicago, Miami, Buffalo and Tennessee, where he last played in 2020.
  • Jake West of Team FYN Sports also has game details on Fannin County’s 35-7 win over Model.

Region 8:

  • Riverside Military canceled its Oct. 8 matchup against Rabun County due to Covid concerns, and that game will not be rescheduled. The cancelled game will count as a forfeit-win for the Wildcats in the unofficial region standings, but won’t count as an official GHSA victory because teams can only play 10 regular season games, per bylaws. The Wildcats released Riverside of its contract to play Grovetown, creating a new 10th game on their schedule.
  • Rabun County quarterback Gunner Stockton was named WSB-TV’s Athlete of the Week after the Wildcats’ 45-14 win over Grovetown. He was also named the Touchdown Club of Atlanta’s Week 8 Offensive Player of the Week. In that game, Stockton broke Deshaun Watson’s touchdown record.
  • As Blitz writes, Stockton’s performance in the Wildcats’ 63-0 win over Banks County last week was a career night even for him — that’s saying a lot.
  • Rabun County is the highest-scoring team in 2A, according to GHSF Daily.

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