Blairsville, Ga. – From the opening kickoff until the final buzzer, the Union County Panthers were dominant Friday night against Towns County in Blairsville, winning 60-7 to earn their second victory to begin the 2019 season.
Head coach Brian Allison put it simply after the game, saying his team did a “great job doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing.”
With the visiting Indians virtually unable to make it to midfield, the Panthers spent most of the night playing offense with a short field, scoring the first nine times they touched the ball.
The Panthers (2-0) were led by senior quarterback Pierson Allison, who finished the night 5-for-7 for 90 yards and three touchdowns in the air, while accounting for 31 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Sophomore quarterback Logan Helcher also had a solid game. Helcher came in late in the first half to throw a 39-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Dalton Allen. The quarterback finished the night with a rushing and passing touchdown after the junior varsity took over the offense and defense in the second half.
“We got some good junior varsity reps,” Brian Allison said. “It’s always valuable when you can get the young guys on the field.”
Junior Jonah Daniel carried the ball just three times on the night, but had 63 yards rushing with a touchdown.
Seniors Kyle Morlock and Sawyer Drake, and junior Mason McCombs each caught touchdowns from Pierson Allison during the first half.
Seniors Zion Ross and Sloan Sutton, and junior Kaston Hemphill each added a tackle-for-loss on defense for the Panthers.
Allison said he hopes the team can build on the momentum from the win against Towns County with “a pretty big rivalry game next week.”
“Let’s role on this,” Allison said to his team after the game. “Let’s really roll on this thing now and get ready to roll next week.”
The Panthers will head south to Blue Ridge to take on Fannin County (2-0) beginning at 7:30 p.m., Friday, September 13. Union County put it on Fannin County last season, winning 49-7 in Blue Ridge. The Panthers have won five straight against the Rebels.
The Union County Panthers lost twelve seniors in last year’s graduating class, but according to head coach Brian Allison, returning players are ready to step up.
“I feel good about the direction we’re headed, and we’ll just see how we perform on the field,” said Allison.
The Panthers have been busy at work this off season between regular summer workouts, passing camps and 7v7 camps.
“Our participation has been good, we’re probably hitting 82-84% of our kids on a daily basis that are in voluntary workouts…it’s been a really good summer and we’re excited about the fall,” said Allison.
Team FYN Sports is excited about the fall as well! Watch the rest of the interview below!
Union County Panthers vs Lumpkin County Indians
November 3, 2017
Location: Dahlonega, GA
The Panthers traveled over the mountain to the Lumpkin County Indians territory for the final game of the season! It was Lumpkin County’s Senior Night, therefore, the stadium was packed! Both banners at the opposite ends of the field read similar sayings — The Indians banner read, “Our School, Our Field, Our Game” and the Panthers read, “Your School, Your Field, Our Game.”
Similar to the previous Friday night’s game, Head Coach Brian Allison chose to let only 2 members of the team participate in the coin toss (#8 Cole Wright and #11 RJ Banton).
Determined to rain on the Indians Senior Night parade, the Panthers scored first! Senior QB #8 Cole Wright found #21 Sawyer Drake wide open near the mid-field. Drake ran upfield like his life depended on it! He ran for 64-yards up the left hand side giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead over the Indians with 10:55 left in the first quarter!
Eager to put some points on the scoreboard, the Indians rush downfield to the 44-yd line. Then, when pressured to either try for a 1st down or a field goal, they chose the latter. The Indians kicker, who I might add was truly gifted, put one straight through the posts increasing the score to 7-3 with 8:05 left in the first quarter.
To finish off the first quarter strong, the Panthers push their way upfield to place #8 Cole Wright into scoring position. Once at the 11-yd line he then zig-zags his way up into the end zone to score once again! 14-3 Panthers to finish off the first!
As many sports fans would consider a good football game – the action was back-and-forth. Literally. The Indians rush over-and-over-and-over until they make it to the 1-yd line. They then send one of their guys jumping into the end zone for their first touchdown of the evening! The score now changes to 14-10; Panthers still in the lead with 6:00 left in the first half.
Senior #15 Cole Dockery scores the next touchdown of the game. He dug his way for 7-yards to add 7 more points to the board. 21-10 Panthers with 1:22 left in the half!
Back with the ball in the third quarter – Panther #36 Brian Smith kicks a 21-yd field goal; increasing the score once again to 24-10 with 6:25 left in the third.
The Indians score twice more — evening the score out to 24-24 with 4:52 left in the fourth quarter! The tension suddenly rises .. fans get quiet.
#8 Cole Wright completely breaks the silence when he runs a kickoff return back for an 80-yd touchdown for the final touchdown of the night!!! 31-24 with 4:37 left in the fourth quarter.
Now the Lumpkin fans are on their toes in hopes that their players will tie the game up and force it into overtime. BUT — that doesn’t happen. Panthers #34 Brian Nelson catches an interception with 2:23 left in the game. The Panthers then respectfully decide to hike-and-kneel on the two final plays of the game and run the clock out.
Final Score: PANTHERS 31 /// Indians 24
Panther fans go home happy as they’ve just tied their school record for the most wins in a season. Their overall record being 6-4!
INDIVIDUAL TOUCHDOWNS FOR SEASON (FINAL GAME NOT INCLUDED:
Cole Wright: 12
Sawyer Drake: 7
Chad Buzzard: 7
Cole Dockery: 5
Kanon Hemphill: 4
Kyle Morlock: 4
Austin Pattee: 3
Noah Underwood: 1
Chayton Schafer: 1
Union County Panthers vs Hayesville Yellow Jackets
September 1, 2017
Location: Hayesville, NC
Friday night’s local matchup between the 3A Union County Panthers and the 1A Hayesville Yellow Jackets was an interesting one to say the least. Hayesville High School, is just 15 miles across the GA/NC border from Blairsville, GA where the Panthers reside.
The Union County Panthers are ranked 11th in their 7-AAA Region and 144th in the State of Georgia. Hayesville on the other hand, are ranked 41st in their 1-A SMC Region and 341th in the State of North Carolina according to MaxPreps.com.
With a combination of rainy weather and negative expectations from the Jackets side, the fan base for the game was rather small. However, that didn’t keep the Panthers from putting on a show!
The Panthers built a quick 28-0 lead during the first quarter against the Yellow Jackets. Within the first four minutes of play the Panthers had scored 2 touchdowns; an 18-yard pass to #4 Kanon Hemphill and following that, a 2-yard rush by #24 Chad Buzzard.
The Panthers went on to score two more touchdowns in the first quarter; a 5-yard run by #8 Cole Wright and a 7-yard pass to #18 Logan Dyer!
The Jackets rushed for their first, first-and-ten at the Panther 30-yard line for the last play in the first quarter just as the buzzer sounded. With three failed chances to score at the beginning of the second quarter, the Jackets were forced to turn over the ball at the their own 23-yard line.
The Panthers dominated and reeled off the next 32 points for a 60-7 road win; the second of the season!
The game featured Panther Senior quarterback #8 Cole Wright. Wright was 7 of 15 passing for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns; and 6 carries for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wright was replaced with Sophomore #17 Pierson Allison at the half.
Union held Hayesville to a total of 182 yards for the entire game; they went 11 for 18 passing with 58 yards and rushed 124 yards on 38 carries with 1 touchdown.
The remaining touchdowns were a combination of passes to #22 Austin Pattee, #84 Kyle Morlock, #16 Nathaniel Underwood. They combined for 48 of Union’s 155 passing yards.
Sophomore quarterback #17 Pierson Allison went 4 for 4 passing for 54 yards and rushed 10 yards on 1 carry. Kicker #36 Brian Smith went 6 for 6 on extra points.
Pressbox discussion consisted of brutal remarks regarding the Panther’s intentions of playing the small 1A school. Later on, volunteers were saying that the Jacket’s former head football coach had signed a contract stating that they would play the Panther’s for another 3 years.
RUSHING — Panthers: #8 C. Wright 6-97 (2 TD); #24 C. Buzzard 11-76 (1 TD); #15 C. Dockery 5-27; #3 K. Hemphill 1-23; #17 P. Allison 1-10; #6 S. Sutton 3-9; #25 P. Ivester 2-4. Total: 246 Rushing Yards
PASSING — Panthers: #8 C. Wright 7/15, 72; #17 P. Allison 4/4, 54; #3 K. Hemphill 1/2, 29. Total: 155 Passing Yards
RECEIVING — Panthers: #20 C. Rich 2-35; #84 K. Morlock 3-29 (1 TD); #16 N. Underwood 1-29 (1 TD); #4 K. Hemphill 3-26 (1 TD); #22 A. Pattee 1-20; #21 S. Drake 1-9; #18 L. Dyer 1-7 (1 TD).
With another win under their belt, the Panthers look forward to hosting the Andrews Wildcats (NC) for another non-conference game on September 8, 2017 at 7:30PM. The Wildcats are in the same conference as the Yellow Jackets; however, the word on the street is that this year they are expected to be good.
Also, support the Panthers JV team this Thursday, September 7, 2017 as they face the Fannin County Rebels on the road at 5:30PM for the 1st game of the season!!