The Gilmer High School Bobcats hosted the Pickens High School Dragons in alumnifootballusa.com’s Alumni football game. The Pickens Alums picked up the 20-13 win in the first of what is set to become an annual fundraising event for both communities.
The pre-game featured Rick and Lucy Harris, parents of Noah, performing the coin flip and, former American Idol contestant, Brian Rittenberry singing the national anthem.
Gilmer received the opening kickoff and returned it to the Bobcats’ 18 yard line. The Bobcats settled for a three and out. After a punt, the Dragons’ offense took over on the Gilmer 48 yard line.
Pickens moved the ball steadily down to the Gilmer five yard line; however a fumble on fourth and one resulted in a turnover on downs with 5:43 left in the first quarter.
The “Cats” was held to another three and out and punted; Pickens’ Phillip Densmore returned the punt to the Gilmer 35. The Dragons moved the ball to the Gilmer 18 yard line; however an interception by Dale Manning gave Gilmer back the ball at the Bobcats’ 47 yard line.
Plagued by penalties, the Bobcats’ offense again failed to pick up a first down. On fourth down the snap for the punt was too high and the Dragons took over possession on the Gilmer 21.
Two plays later Pickens’ Miles Carpenter scored on an 11 yard run to give the Dragons a 6-0 lead with 12:22 left in the first half. Gilmer’s defense blocked the extra point and the score stayed 6-0.
The Gilmer offense took over on its own 32 yard line. The “Cats” set up a fourth and one, but could not convert, leaving Gilmer without a first down yet in the game and giving Pickens the ball at the Dragons’ own 42.
The Dragons’ drive was short, one play exactly, as Gilmer’s Ethan Watkins intercepted the first pass of the drive.
The “Cats’” clawed out two first downs; however a holding call on a first down run by Jacob Teague set up third and long. This proved to be costly due to Pickens’ Davey Denney picking off the third and long throw.
The Dragons’ drive started on the Pickens 15 yard line with 5:47 left in the half. A 20 yard run by Jake Sorrells gave the Dragons first and 10 on the Pickens 35 yard line.
The Dragons picked up another first down via a run from Carpenter; however a fumble recovery by Gilmer’s Eric Sanford gave Gilmer the ball on its own 45 yard line.
Gilmer’s Brian Henderson rumbled for 19 yards and gave Gilmer the ball on the Dragons’ 33 yard line. A nine yard carry by Henderson set up second and one. After a run for no gain, Gilmer faced third and one. Quarterback, John Henry Allen, picked up the first on an option keeper.
After a time out by Pickens, Allen connected with wide receiver Ryan Lowery for a 22 yard touchdown with 9 seconds left in the half. After a made extra point Gilmer took the 7-6 lead into half time.
The Dragons’ offense took the field first in the second half from the Pickens 20 yard line. On first and 10 Gilmer’s Chris Bradley dropped Jason Johnson for a two yard loss. A false start made it second and 17.
A five yard carry from Carpenter set up fourth and 12 and brought out Pickens punt team; however a roughing the kicker penalty on Gilmer gave Pickens a first down and new life.
Sorrells ripped off a 12 yard carry for a first down; two plays later the Dragons faced a fourth and five. Johnson raced 19 yards for a first down on the Gilmer 30 yard line.
The Dragons continued to run the ball, reaching the end zone on a five yard from Sorrell with no passes on the drive. After a Carpenter run up the middle on the two point conversion, the Dragons led 14-7 with 6:25 left in the third.
On the ensuing kickoff Jacob Teague returned the ball 40 yards to the Pickens 49 yard line, to give Gilmer great field position on the drive.
A run up the middle by Henderson set up second and five. On the next play Rodney Wilcox ran nine yard for a first down on the Pickens 35 yard line.
A third down roughing the passer penalty on Pickens gave Gilmer the ball on the Dragon 15 yard line. Two plays later the drive ended when Pickens’ Alan Weaver recovered a fumble giving Pickens possession on the Dragon 15.
The Gilmer defense held Pickens to a three out and out and the “Cats” took over shortly before the third came to close with the Dragons leading by seven, 14-7.
Teague opened the third quarter with a short carry on third and seven; however a horse collar tackle personal foul penalty gave Gilmer a first down on the Pickens 36.
After an Allen rushed for four yards on an option keeper, Teague was dropped for a loss; however, a block in the back on Gilmer made it second and forever. A personal foul on Pickens for hitting a defenseless receiver gave Gilmer a second and seven.
On Third and six Allen connected with Co-captain Joe Frady for a first down on the Pickens 23. A Pickens pass interference put the ball on the 12. Three plays later Teague scored from five yards out to pull Gilmer within one. After a missed extra point Pickens led 14-13 with 9:46 left in the game.
On the ensuing drive, Pickens took over its own 20. Carpenter opened up the drive with a 35 yard carry that set up a first down on the Gilmer 45 yard line. Three plays later Carpenter picked up another first down with a six yard carry that put Pickens on the Gilmer 35.
Carpenter picked up another Pickens first down with a fourth down conversion that put Pickens on the Gilmer 20. After a short run, a holding call on Pickens put the Dragons in second and 20 on the Gilmer 30.
The next play fired up the Dragons’ fans as Carpenter caught a 30 yard bomb for a touchdown with 4:14 left in the game. The Gilmer defense stuffed Johnson on the two point conversion attempt; therefore Pickens lead 20-13.
On the next drive Gilmer moved the ball to its own 47 yard line before the Dragons’ defense stuffed a fourth down conversion attempt. Pickens picked up possession with 1:32 left in the game.
The Dragons forced the “Cats” to call its final two time outs before Pickens punted back to Gilmer with 25 seconds left.
A sack by Pickens’ Jonathan Hill forced a desperation shuffle pass to Teague as time was ticking, and despite gaining 25 yards Teague was forced out of bounds and Pickens picked up the 20-13 win.