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Player of the Week: Dependable Tanner lifts Panthers

POSTED: October 20, 2009 8:44 p.m.

Ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu once said of battle, “When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.”

And while the race for the Region 8-AA playoffs is much less dramatic than the cruel and sobering realities of war, Union County has definitely found themselves in danger.

Yet in the Panthers’ favor is senior Caylan Tanner, who showed his verve for victory Friday against Oglethorpe County with two touchdowns, six receptions for 184 yards and a record-setting 100-yard kickoff return in Union County’s 42-28 win against the Patriots.

“I felt like I did pretty good except for those two passes I dropped,” Tanner said of his performance.

“Caylan came in and did a tremendous job,” coach Brian Allison said of the senior. “He grew up a Panther and there is no one more dependable. We wouldn’t be where we are without him.”

But with the first three spots of the playoffs already ensured to the unbeatens — Jefferson, East Jackson and North Oconee — the Panthers (4-3, 3-3) have found themselves in a deadlock for the fourth seat with Riverside Military Academy.

“I’ve been trying to focus on this week,” Tanner said. “I’m thinking about getting some payback, since (Dawson County) beat us last year with a field goal in overtime.”

Allison reciprocated Tanner’s sentiment saying, “Dawson worries me enough. We haven’t even thought about the playoffs.”

Whether or not the Panthers have thought about it, the Eagles (3-4, 3-3) are Union County’s main competition for getting into postseason play, and are its next opponent after the Tigers (1-6, 1-5), who it faces at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Dawsonville.



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