A big week for Pickens football would start when the JV Dragons would defeat Lumpkin County last Thursday 41-34 to finish their season at 6-1 and capture the league championship. Friday night, the varsity Dragons would travel to Catoosa County to take on the Generals of Heritage in what was a crucial game for both teams playoff hopes. The Dragons came in with a 3-1 region record while the Generals had a 2-2 record. It had been 3,275 days since the Dragons last appearance in the state playoffs. Last Night, that number would fall to 0.
Heritage would start off the ball game with possession and the Dragon defense would force a three and out and Zack Herman would set up the offense with great field position after a fantastic punt return. The Dragons would have to settle for a 27-yd field goal from Ty Chastain giving them a 3-0 lead with 7:25 left in the first quarter. Both defenses would hold the offense for the respective teams for the majority of the opening quarter until the state's leading rusher, Shannon Brooks, found the end zone after a 10-yd run to the right side to give the Dragons a 10-0 lead as we would head to the second quarter.
The defense for each team would take control of the 2nd quarter as there would be no scoring by either team and we would head to the half 10-0 Dragons with Pickens getting the ball to start the 2nd half. The 3rd quarter would belong to the defenses for the most part until Shannon Brooks would rumble and barrel his way from 89 to stretch the lead out 17-0 as we would go to the fourth quarter and 12 minutes away from the Dragons ending their long playoff drought. Marcus Byrd would cap it off with a 43-yd run to make it a final of 23-0 to send the Dragons to the playoffs for the first time in nine years.
Offensive stats for Pickens: 8 first downs, 5/11 on third down, and 0/1 on fourth down, 278 total yards on 43 plays, 263 yards rushing on 36 carries, and 13 yards passing on 7 attempts
Marcus Byrd was 2/6 passing for 13 yards and added 107 yards rushing on 13 carries and one touchdown
Shannon Brooks ran it 14 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns, Chris Pittman would add 29 yards on 6 carries
Defensively, the Dragons were all over the field making play after play getting one takeaway, but forcing a handful of others.
Kyle West had 12 tackles on the night 8 solo and 4 assisted
Ty Prather had 11 tackles, 5 solo and 6 assisted
Jerry Nelson added 10 tackles, 6 solo, 4 assisted, and 3 sacks
Marcus Byrd punted 5 times for a total of 194 yards for a 38.8 yard average, a long of 45, and 1 inside the 20
Ty Chastian was 2/3 on PAT's and 1/1 on field goals with a long of 27
I don't think next week has to be hyped but i'll do it anyway. The Dragons are back home next Friday to take on their rivals from up north on 515. Both the Dragons and Bobcats come into this ball game at 7-1 and more importantly, 4-1 in region play. Gilmer has won the last five meetings between the two schools with the Dragons last win coming in 2008. The winner of this game will be assured the 2 spot out of 7AAAA and will be granted a home game in the first round as they would welcome the 3 seed out of 8AAAA. This could very well be the single most important game in this rivalry's history. Gilmer is averaging 35.5 points on offense and giving up 17.5 on defense while Pickens is averaging 43.3 points on offense and giving up 20.8
Father and daughter were on the campaign trail together in Fannin County. Georgia US Senate Candidate Michelle Nunn made a campaign stop in Fannin County Georgia this morning along with her father, former US Senator, Sam Nunn. Candidate Nunn spoke to a room full of supporters having breakfast this morning. [Read more »]