BREAKDOWN: Lanier at Union County

Lanier Longhorns (non-region)

Coach: Billy Wells

Record: 2-1 (1-1 varsity)

Last week: Beat Meadowcreek JV 54-0

Union Co. Panthers (8-AA North)

Coach: Brian Allison

Record: 1-2

Last week: Had a bye

This is one of six Friday night games for the second-year Longhorns, who get to experience a road trip this week to Blairsville and play in one of the most scenic, mountain-surrounded stadiums in Georgia. They also face a tough challenge in a physical Union team led by Brian Allison, who previously coached at Winder-Barrow.

Lanier has enjoyed some success this season with a victory over Hapeville Charter followed by last week's win over Meadowcreek. It's a busy time for Billy Wells, who serves as athletic director and also is head coach of the Longhorns' junior varsity and ninth-grade teams.

"Things are good, we're making strides," Wells said. "We've had a couple of wins that were good for our program. We beat Mountain View's ninth-grade and in a JV game we beat Meadowcreek last week, so we've had more wins this season already than we did last year, which is a good start."

Donte Borders, who missed last season with a broken ankle, has played very well for the Longhorns on offense, while linebacker Jesse Landers and cornerback Onyx Berrios have stood out on defense. Berrios also has shined in his spot play on offense.

The group will need to step up today against a substantial challenge.

"They have a really good quarterback who throws the ball extremely well," Wells said of Union. "They run around well on defense, too, and they're very physical."

Last meeting: First meeting

Directions to Union County High School: Highway 19/129 north through Gainesville and Cleveland and into Blairsville. At the Blairsville downtown square, turn right. The stadium is on the right.