“The Border War”
The 30th edition of Fannin County and Union County was played on Friday at Rebel Stadium at Fannin County High School.
Fannin would defeat Union 34-7 to even the All Time Series Record at 15.
The game would not start on time. A lighting delay pushed the start time back 17 minutes to 7:47pm. Fannin County did win the toss and elected to receive.
Fannin County Captains: Seth Reece, Rico Arellanes and Dylan Collins.
Union County Captains: Logan Helcher, Trace Wright and Eli Peugh
Fannin would start off with the ball. Seth Reece would get the 1st 3 touches of the games picking up 20 yards. David Mashburn would pick up 10 yards on the ground moving the ball to the Union 32. Mashburn would find Carter Mann for an 18 yard pass for a 1st down that put Fannin County at the Union 14. Union County would come up with a huge stop on 4th down to get the ball on their own 5.
Union County would go 3 and out and punt back to Fannin. Union’s Wilson Walker would come away with an Interception on Mashburn. Union would get the ball back but were unable to get anything going on offense. Carter Mann would come up with a great tackle on 1st down, Andrew Waldrep and Bryson Fink would come up with the stop on 2nd down, Logan Helcher would try and find a receiver on 3rd down but Carson Collis made a great play in coverage for the Rebels forcing another Union County 3 and out.
Penalties were an issue for Fannin on the following drive. A penalty on the punt return and the 1st play of the drive would put Fannin Starting on their own 30. Stein Harkins for Union County would have 2 back to back stops and Fannin faced 3rd down and 28 from their own 27. Mashburn would throw an incomplete pass forcing a Fannin punt.
Union took over with 2:30 left in the 1st quarter on their own 34. Corbin Davenport made a great play on Keyton Chitwood after a Panther holding penalty. Helcher decided to pick on Davenport again by trying to find Chitwood down the field but the pass was incomplete. Cade Sands, Rico Arellanes and Issac Davis were able to corral Helcher on 3rd down for a stop.
Union would punt the ball and push Fannin back to their own 19. Fannin would have another penalty on 1st down. Seth Reece picked up 19 yards on 2nd down and 1 yard on 3rd down to get the 1st down and that would be the end of the 1st Quarter.
Union played well in the 1st quarter defensively. The Panthers won the field position battle in the quarter. Defensive Coordinator Thomas Nelson done great with disguising coverage and it took the Rebels a few drives to get adjusted. Too many penalties to start the game off for Fannin. Fannin County would settle down starting in the 2nd Quarter.
Fannin was unable to get anything going on their 1st drive of the 2nd Quarter and were forced to punt back to Union.
Bryson Holloway made a great play in coverage on 1st down. Hayden Lynch, Cade Sands and Rico Arellanes were in on a tackle for loss on 2nd down. Logan Helcher had green turf in front of him on 3rd down but Cade Sands stayed at home and made a great tackle to force 4th down for Union.
Union would punt back to Fannin. Fannin would start on their own 3. Seth Reece picked up 18 yards on 1st down. David Mashburn sprinted to the end zone for a 78 yard Touchdown run but a block in the back was called that took 6 points off the board. However, Fannin County did not let the penalty on the run stop their momentum.
David Mashburn would find Hayden Lynch for a 16 yard gain to pick up the 1st down. Mashburn would again find Lynch for another 1st down for a gain of 10 yards. David Mashburn would find Sawyer Moreland for a 6 yard gain and then Seth Reece for a 25 yard gain.
With 3:39 Left in the 2nd Quarter David Mashburn would find pay dirt. Mashburn made several defenders miss and had a Super Man dive into the end zone.
Union would try and get the momentum on their side on the following drive but were unsuccessful. Helcher was trying to find Chitwood on 1st down. Pass was incomplete with Carson Collis in coverage. Andrew Waldrep made the stop on 2nd down. Helcher would pick up a panther 1st down on 3rd down.
Taylor Collis made a great play in the back field to start the next drive. With 2:22 left in the 2nd quarter, Helcher found a receiver down the sideline. The Panthers cut it up field and Carson Collis done a great job of putting his helmet on the football to force a fumble. Andrew Waldrep recovered the fumble on Fannin County’s own 45.
1:53 left in the 2nd quarter David Mashburn would find Bryson Holloway for a 45 yard TD Pass. Holloway hauled in a 10 yard reception on the previous play. This extended Fannin’s lead to 14-0. Fannin would take the 14-0 lead to the locker room into halftime.
Union would start with the football to open up the 3rd quarter. On the drive, Nate Maloof and Rico Arellanes would both come inches away from getting a sack. Fannin’s Cason Owensby, Sawyer Moreland, Cade Sands, Corbin Davenport would come away with tackles.
Logan Long would force a fumble and Corbin Davenport would recover and Fannin would take over on their own 45 with 8:43 left in the quarter.
David Mashburn would find Sawyer Moreland 2 times on the following drive. A 13 yard reception and a 9 yard reception. Seth Reece would later punch it in the end zone with 5:33 left in the quarter to make it 21-0 Fannin.
On the following Union County drive, Case Holloway had a near sack on Helcher on 1st down. Union would pick up a 1st down 2 plays later on 3rd and 10. Issac Davis and Cason Owensby would come up with tackles. Helcher and his Running back had miscommunication on the hand off and Case Holloway was able to come up with the fumble recovery.
Fannin was unable to move the ball on their next drive and were forced to punt back to Union. Nate Maloof, Carson Collis made tackles on Union County’s next drive. Helcher threw an incomplete pass on 3rd down and Union would punt the ball back to Fannin. Corbin Davenport had a great return to the Union County 23 yard line.
Next Play from Scrimmage David Mashburn found Seth Reece for a 23 yard Touchdown pass. Fannin would go for 2points but were unsuccessful. Fannin would take a 26-0 lead with 1:12 left in the 3rd Quarter.
Cason Owensby started the 4th Quarter off with a forced fumble and Issac Davis recovered. Fannin took the ball over on the Union 33.
The next 3 plays and 33 yards belonged to Khole Green. Khole punched it in on his 3rd carry of the drive to score his 1st Touchdown. David Mashburn punched in the 2 pt try to make it 34-0 with 10:59 remaining in the 4th Quarter.
Union was unable to get anything going on offense and punted back to Fannin.
Brody Paskill caught a pass and Jackson Davis picked up 11 yards in the quarter.
Freshmen Lawson Sullivan would enter the game at QB and was very impressive going 5/6 for 35 yards in the quarter. Sullivan completed a 20 yard pass to Freshmen Copper Born and an 8 yard pass to Freshmen Brayden Taylor. Freshmen Carson Callihan carried the football in the 4th quarter picking up 13 yards on the ground.
Union County would add an 83 yard TD Helcher to Griffen Young late in the 4th Quarter.
The Final Score would be Fannin 34 and Union 7
Notable Offensive Stats for the Rebels
David Mashburn 17/28 for 208
Seth Reece 166 Total yards- 105 Rushing 61 Receiving
Fannin County’s offensive lineman deserved a ton of credit for the job they did. Dylan Collins, Jeremy Tammen, Taylor Collis, Rico Arellanes and Logan Long among others done a great job all night.
Notable Defensive Stats for the Rebels
Cason Owensby 10 Total Tackles
Andrew Waldrep 9 Total Tackles
Cade Sands 7 Total Tackles
Corbin Davenport 7 Total Tackles
Logan Long and Carson Collis each forced a Fumble
Cason Owensby, Andrew Waldrep, Corbin Davenport, Issac Davis and Case Holloway recovered a Fumble.
Fannin County will host Copper Basin on Friday. This will be the 1st time since 1996 the 2 Schools have met during a game. Stay tuned for a game preview later in the week.
Fannin County welcomed the Hayesville Yellow Jackets, out of the Smoky Mountain Conference, across the state line from North Carolina this past Friday.
This was the 2nd time in 3 years Fannin County Scrimmaged Hayesville. The Rebels traveled to Hayesville for a scrimmage on Aug. 16th 2019.
Friday Night Scrimmage Recap
Fannin County started off with a quick stop on defense. David Mashburn would find pay dirt and Jack Kanter would add an extra point to make it 7-0. Hayesville would get the ball back and go 3 and out again. Linebackers Andrew Waldrep, Cason Owesnby and Cade Sands all had tackles on the drive. Mashburn, would add another Touchdown finding Corbin Davenport in the end zone. Kanter tacked on another extra point to make it 14-0 and that would be the score at the end of the 1st quarter.
Seth Reece would jump in on the scoring party in the 2nd quarter for Fannin with a TD Run. Kanter’s extra point was good to make it 21-0. The Yellow Jackets would not cross midfield until 4:40 left in the 2nd quarter. Fannin would force a turnover on downs with a great play in the secondary by Carter Mann. Mashburn found Cade Sands for a big gain just short of the goal line. Fannin would punch it in and take a 28-0 lead into the half.
Cade Sands would find the end zone to start the 3rd and Jack Kanter would add an extra point to make it 35-0. Carson Collis would deflect a pass to force a 4th down. Logan Long made the stop on 4th down to force another turn over on down for Fannin. Jackson Davis found the end zone to make it 42-0. Kanter drilled the extra point. That extra point made Kanter a perfect 6-6 for the night.
Hayesville would get on the scoreboard with 8:30 left in the 4th Quarter. 3 Star Tight End Jake McTaggert went up and made a great catch. Fannin would end up winning the scrimmage 42-7.
Player Of The Game
Fannin County Kicker Jack Kanter 6-6 on Extra Point and 3 Touchbacks.
Week 1 Union County Preview
For the 30th time, Union County and Fannin County will meet in ” The Boarder War”
Fannin County has concluded the offseason workouts, 7v7, padded camps and scrimmages. The Rebels are hungry to take the field Friday night against Union.
All Time Meetings 29
Union Leads 15-14
First Meeting 1982 Fannin County 24 Union 0
Last meeting 2020 Fannin 24 Union 20
Longest Winning Streak 6 Games Union 2014-2019
About the Opponent Union County
Michael Perry is entering his 1st Season as Head Coach at Union. Coach Perry, has been a Head Coach the last 4 Seasons with stops at Centennial( Roswell) 2017 and 2018 and East Hall 2019 and 2020. Coach Perry has been titled “Quarterback Whisperer ” by several media outlets , as he has Coached 6 All State Quarterbacks. Perry was the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach at Gainesville High School from 2011-2015. Most notably, Perry Coached former Heisman Trophy QB, Clemson Tiger, and Current Houston Texan Deshaun Watson.
Thomas Nelson comes over from Murphy High School to be the Defensive Coordinator for Union County. In my opinion, Nelson, was the Assistant Coaching Hire of the year in North Georgia. Coach Nelson has won several state championships while being the Defense Coordinator at Murphy High School.
The Key Players to keep an eye out for the Union Panthers will be QB Logan Helcher, WR Keyton Chitwood, ATH Trace Wright and ATH Eli Peugh. Helcher and Chitwood are one of the top QB/WR combinations in North Georgia.
* Now, since this is a Fannin County article lets talk a little bit about the Rebels. *
No Pre Season Ranking Love for The Fannin Rebels
Just this past week the AJC and GPB released their top 10 for Class 2A and Fannin County wasn’t listed. Last season, Fannin County, didn’t start in the top 10 in either poll but ended up 6th in both at seasons end. This does nothing but motivate the Fannin County Rebels who are eager to prove that despite losing so much talent, and seniors from last years team, they are still a very good football team. Recruit Georgia and Georgia High School Football Daily released their Pre Season All State Teams. No Rebels were listed but a huge congrats to Seth Reece and Cason Owensby for being All State Honorable Mention by Recruit Georgia. Don’t be surprised if Fannin County has several players on the All State Teams by seasons end.
The road to History and Key Players for Fannin
Fannin County will be led by Senior Captains: Rico Arrellanes, Carter Mann, Dylan Collins, Seth Reece, Sawyer Moreland and Cason Owensby. The Rebel captains will look to lead this team and capture more history as the 2021 is set to begin Friday night. No Class in Fannin County Football History has made the State Playoffs 4 years in a row. The 2021 Class has a chance to make history and that road starts Friday at 7:30 pm. Rebel Stadium Blue Ridge Ga. Cant wait to see everyone there.
In the history of Fannin County Football, the Rebels have never made the playoffs in 4 consecutive years. The 2021 edition is working hard to achieve that accomplishment. However, the expectations now under 4th year Head Coach Chad Cheatham, are certainly above and beyond just making the playoffs.
Since Coach Cheatham arrived back home in 2018, he has quickly climbed up the all-time wins list in Fannin County History. Cheatham has 20 wins in 3 years, only trailing Joby Scroggs’ 30 wins and Clark Drennan’s 36 wins. Drennan, Scroggs and Cheatham are also the only coaches to win a region championship for Fannin County Football and take their teams to the State playoffs.
Last season, Fannin County, advanced to the elite 8. In the 1st Round, Fannin defeated nationally known Pace Academy 28-21 and in the sweet 16 defeated Heard County 21-14. This was the only time the Rebels have won 2 State Playoff Games in school history. The 2020 Fannin County Football team finished the season with a loss to then #1 Fitzgerald in the state quarterfinals.
Last season was a magical season for the Rebels, and had it not been for Covid cancelations with Gilmer and Coosa, Fannin would have finished 12-1 but finished the season 10-1. (Fannin also scheduled Copper Basin in middle of season to make up for missing the non-region game against Gilmer but that game was also canceled due to Covid Protocols)
The Rebels, behind seniors Luke Holloway, Micah O’Neal, Mason Bundy, Cohutta Hyde, Jalen Ingram, Dalton Ross, Andre Bivens, Jake Sands, McCay Turner, Chris Scott, Caleb Postell, James Mercer, Brayden Foster, Christopher Resendiz, and Tommy Ledford, won Fannin County’s 3rd ever Region Championship in football last season.
This Season, Fannin County looks to keep the momentum rolling. Captains Seth Reece, Cason Owensby, Ricardo Arellanes, Carter Mann, Sawyer Moreland, and Dylan Collins look to be strong leaders on the team and pave the way for Fannin County’s first class to make the playoffs in all 4 years. A strong core of players will also look to be leaders on the team, including Carson Collis, Andrew Waldrep, Cade Sands, Corbin Davenport, Taylor Collis, Logan Long, David Mashburn, Jackson Davis, Isaac Davis, Easton Chancey, and many more.
The path to the playoffs runs through Blue Ridge. That statement may ruffle a few feathers in the Rome area, but with the success all of Fannin County Sports achieved in the 2020-2021 school year, it’s true.
Fannin will have two Scrimmages to start the season. On Aug 6th, they will travel down to Huff Mosley Memorial Stadium in Ellijay to face one of their rivals in Gilmer County. This will be the 1st time in Fannin County School history (East Fannin and West Fannin merged in 1976) that Gilmer is not on the schedule. According to sources, Fannin and Gilmer is back on the schedule for 2022.
On Aug 13th, Fannin County will host Hayesville (NC) and Jake McTaggart who is widely considered by many to be the best College Prospect in our area. McTaggart is 6″6 Tight End with notable offers from Kentucky, Kansas and Liberty.
Aug 20th Home vs Union County (Regular Season Home Opener)
All Time Series 29 Games Union Leads 15-14
Last Meeting 2020 Fannin 24 Union 20
First Meeting 1982 Fannin 24 Union 0
For the 30th time, Fannin County and Union County will meet on the football field. Union County leads the all-time series against the Rebels 15-14. The Rebels will look to even the series matchup as this will be home opener for the Rebels.
Union County has basically a brand new coaching staff entering the 2021 season. The notable additions of New Head Coach Michael Perry who was at East Hall the last few seasons and former Murphy Defensive Coordinator Thomas Nelson will both be a huge boost to the program. The Panthers do return starters on both sides of the ball and this game like so many Fannin/Union games should be great matchup.
Fannin ended a 6 game losing streak last season to Union. Current Rebel Cason Owensby had a INT late in the 4th quarter to help secure the Fannin win.
Aug 27th Home vs Copper Basin
All Time Series 17 Meetings Copper Basin Leads 9-8
Last Meeting 1996 Fannin 6 Copper Basin 0
First Meeting 1982 Copper Basin 40 Fannin 0
1997. That was the last time that Fannin County and Copper Basin played. Yes, they have scrimmaged in recent years and have played JV, Middle School and Youth League games. It’s just hard to believe this will be the 1st meeting since these State Line Border Schools are just separated by 16 miles. It is great for both communities that this game is back on the schedule.
Sept 10th Home vs Southeast Whitfield
All Time Series 7 Meetings Southeast Leads 6-1
Last Meeting 2020 Fannin 48 Southeast Whitfield 0
First Meeting 1978 Southeast Whitfield 35 Fannin 7
Last season the Rebels defeated SE Whitfield for the 1st time in school history. Current Fannin County Rebels Carson Collis had an INT and Carter Mann and Jackson Davis each scored Touchdowns.
Sept 17th Away @ Banks County
All Time Series
11 Meetings Fannin Leads 7-4
First Meeting 2006 Fannin 35 Banks 21
Last Meeting 2020 Fannin 49-13
Coach Chad Cheatham will return to the school where he was an Assistant Coach before he returned home to Blue Ridge.
Last Season Fannin led 14-6 at halftime and scored 35 points in the 3rd quarter in route to a win. Current Rebel Andrew Waldrep had an INT and several tackles in this game.
This will be the 1st time since 2015 Fannin will play in Homer.
Sept 24th Away @ Gordon Central ( Region Opener)
First Meeting and Only Meeting 2020 Fannin 57 Gordon Central 6
Current Rebels, Cason Owensby had a blocked punt, Carson Collis and an INT and Cade Sands had a scoop and score for a TD in this game last season.
This will be the 1st game on the Region 7AA Schedule for Fannin County. Coach TJ Hamilton will have Gordon Central ready to go in this one.
Oct 1st Home Pepperell
All Time Series 3 Meetings Pepperell leads 2-1
First Meeting 1988 Pepperell 27 Fannin 7
Last Meeting 2020 Fannin 36 Pepperell 23
This season, the Rebels will host Pepperell October 1st for what many reporters in the Rome area are calling ” The Region Championship.” Fannin was able to get the win last year in Lindale.
Oct 15th Away @ Model
All Time Series 1 Meeting Fannin Leads 1-0
First Meeting and Only Meeting 2020 Fannin 42 Model 7
Coach Jeff Hunnicutt and Model made it to the sweet 16 last season. They defeated Booker T Washington in the 1st round before losing to Rabun in the 2nd round.
Oct 22nd Home vs Chattooga
All Time Series 5 Meetings Chattooga leads 4-1
First Meeting 1976 Chattooga 14 Fannin 6
Last Meeting 2020 Fannin 37-7
While Pepperell vs Fannin is the game that is getting all the attention from writers and reporters around the area, don’t count out Chattooga. Chattooga returns most of their playmakers on both sides of the Football.
Last Season, Current Rebel Seth Reece had 3 Touchdowns, all in the 3rd quarter to help Fannin win 37-7.
Oct 29th Away @ Coosa
This will be the 1st meeting between the 2 schools. Coosa had to cancel last season due to Covid.
Nov 5 Home vs Dade
All Time Series 3 Meetings Fannin Leads 2-1
First Meeting 1978 Dade 16 Fannin 7
Last Meeting 2020 Fannin 55 Dade 7
Fannin clinched an undefeated regular season vs Dade last season at Magic Morgan Stadium in Trenton. Fannin will look to end the season on a high note and head into the playoffs after this November 5th game.
I look for Fannin County to surprise a ton of people this year. Several media outlets in Rome have Fannin predicted 2nd. While we lost several seniors on both sides of the ball, we are still returning talent and heart that will be hard to match in this region.
Fannin County by a long shot, has the best Coaching staff in the region. Head Coach Chad Cheatham, OC Chris Thigpen, DC Adam Turner, Alan Collis, Chuck Patterson, Noah O’Neal, Jeff Kuna, and Jacob Reece are all relentless workers on the field. And they are all great people off the field. The kind of men that you want your kid to be around and be coached by.
Seth Reece is the best player in the region. Yes, LaShaun Lester (Chattooga RB,) and Rowan Burdick (Chattooga DB) are impact players for Chattooga and DJ Rogers (Pepperell RB) is quick and elusive. No one does more for their team than Seth Reece.
Cason Owensby is the best Defensive player in the region. 103 Total Tackles last season, 2 sacks, 2 INT.
Ricardo Arellanes and Logan Long are absolute animals on the line of scrimmage.
Dylan Collins is a nasty offensive lineman who also blocks well at the 2nd level.
Carson Collis will lead the secondary. Collis had 4 INT last season. Expect Corbin Davenport and Carter Mann to have a big season in the secondary also.
Andrew Waldrep and Cade Sands will help complete the LB Trio with Owensby.
I wish I could name all the other impact players for Fannin. So many more come to mind. Along with the senior class, Fannin has a very talented Junior, Sophomore, and incoming Freshmen class.
Last season, everyone picked Pepperell to win the region, but do not sleep on these Fannin County Rebels. History has a way of repeating itself.