Social Circle High School finished second in its region in 2023 but drew a very tough opening round state football playoff opponent in Rabun County.
The Redskins (4-7) saw their 2023 season come to an end Friday in the first round of the GHSA Class A-Division I playoffs with a 49-14 loss to the visiting Wildcats.
Trailing 35-7 at halftime, Social Circle was unable to gain traction as Rabun added two more scores in the third quarter.
Sean Crews capped the scoring on a one-yard touchdown for the Redskins in the fourth quarter followed by Preston Guy’s kick with six minutes to go.
Rabun County (8-3) took the game's opening kickoff and began at its own 29-yard line. The Wildcats had to punt after moving to their own 46-yard line.
The Redskins began its opening series at its own 16 but was unable to move the football.
The Wildcats, who finished as the No. 3 seed from a tough Region 8-A, began their second possession at the Redskin 36 and had their first scoring of the night.
Rabun County used a 14-yard swing pass to get on the scoreboard first with 7:11 left in the game's opening quarter. The extra point made the score 7-0.
The Wildcats forced another three-and-out and began their third series at the Social Circle 35-yard line. Rabun County faced fourth and four but would reach the end zone on a 30-yard run.
The extra point pushed the lead to 14-0 with 3:13 left in the opening quarter.
Needing to get their offense on track, the Redskins were still unable to move the football and once again had to punt after three plays.
Social Circle saw its defense make a stand and gain some momentum. Back on offense, the Redskins had their best drive of the night, keyed by a big reception by Luke Cross.
Facing fourth and four at the Wildcat 33, the Redskins came up half a yard short.
Rabun County would then quickly moved down the field and added another score for a 21-0 lead three minutes into the second quarter.
Crews and Cross had another big connection on the following possession covering 40 yards to move back into Wildcat territory.
Crews would connect with Jude Nelson for a 15-yard score in the right corner of the end zone to keep Social Circle's hopes alive. Guy added the extra point to cut the lead to 21-7 with 6:53 until halftime.
The Rabun County offense quickly put together another drive to push the advantage back to three scores at 28-7 with 4:24 until halftime.
The Wildcats added another score after once again starting on the Social Circle side of the field. Rabun County easily won the first half field position battle, which led to several of its scores.