This past Friday, the PHS varsity football team traveled down to Atlanta to take on region 6-AAAA’s #2 seed and #8 4A ranked Marist War Eagles in the 1st round of the GHSA 4A State Playoffs. Pickens, went into the ball game looking for their first ever playoff win as this was the first meeting between the two schools.
Marist won the toss and elected to receive to start the ball game. As the War Eagles were driving towards mid field, the Dragons defense forced a fumble and game the offense good field position to start their opening drive. The War Eagle defense was able to stop the Pickens offense and give the ball back to their offense. Marist found the first points of the game after a 2-yd td run at the 5:54 mark to take a 7-0 lead. Chris Pittman got the Dragons on the board after a 41-yd td run giving us a 7-7 tie going to the 2nd quarter.
In the 2nd quarter, both defenses made it very difficult for either offense to get anything going. Ty Chastian connected on a 27-yd field goal for the Dragons at 3:10 mark giving Pickens a 10-7 lead. The War Eagles marched down the field using their triple option offense looking to tie or take the lead before the half. Marist called timeout with 2 seconds left in the half looking for a game tying field goal. The Dragons were able to apply pressure and block the field goal attempt sending us to the break with Pickens ahead, 10-7.
As was the story for the majority of the 1st half, the 3rd quarter was dominated by defense as both teams made it tough for the other to find any rhythm on offense. The War Eagles were able to take the lead with the only points of the quarter getting in the end zone with a 1-yd run giving Marist a 14-10 advantage going to the 4th and final quarter.
In the 4th quarter, The War Eagles stretched their lead with scores at the 10:52, 8:00, & 3:55 marks using a 3-yd run, a 48-yd run, and a 20-yd pass respectively to make it 35-10 Marist. The Dragons found the end zone at the 2:18 mark after a 46-yd td run from Marcus Byrd making it 35-17 War Eagles. Marist was able to recover the ensuing onside kick and score the game’s final points after a 44-yd td run with 26 seconds left giving us a 42-17 final. The War Eagles will now play Mary Persons in the 2nd round.
Pickens finishes the season at 8-3. This was the first time the Dragons were in the playoffs back to back seasons since ’04 & ’05 & had back to back 8-win seasons for the first time in school history. The senior class leaves tied for the most wins by a class with 27 wins.
On the night, the Dragons finished with 10 1st downs, went 4/14 on 3rd down & 2/2 on 4th down, had 286 total yards of offense, ran it 44 times for 216 yards and threw it 11 times for 40 yards.
Marcus Byrd led the Dragons in rushing with 121 yards on 12 carries & 1 td, Chris Pittman had 82 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Dragons recovered a fumble, had 6 TFL, recorded 1 sack, & blocked a field goal attempt
Dillin Eilers led Pickens in tackles with 12, 4 solo, 8 assists, Kyle West finished with 11 total tackles, 8 solo, 3 assists, 1 sack, & 2 blocks, & Will Wotring finished with 10 total tackles, 7 solo, 3 assists, 3 TFL, a fumble recovery, & a pass break up.
Byrd punted it 6 times for a total of 235 yards, a 39.2 yard average, & landed 2 inside the 20 yard line
Hunter Golden returned 4 kicks for 101 yards and Dillon Gasaway returned 1 kick for 21 yards
Ty Chastain went 2/2 on PAT’s & 1/1 on field goals with a long of 27
For the season, the Dragons averaged 25.73 ppg, and gave up 19.09 per game, had 150 1st downs (13.6 a game), went 47/130 on 3rd down, & 11/24 on 4th down, collected 3,683 yards of offense (334.8 per game) on 636 plays (57.8 average), ran for 3,169 yards on the season (288 per game) on 531 plays (48.3 a game) for an average of 5.96 yards per rush. Dragons finished with a season total of 514 passing yards on 105 plays.
Marcus Byrd finished the season 30/64 passing for 333 yards and 3 tds while Jacob Brumby finished 20/40 for 181 yards
Chris Pittman led the Dragons in rushing finishing with 1,335 yards on 227 carries (5.9 yard average), and 18 tds, Byrd finished 771 yards on 106 carries (7.3 yard average) and 6 tds, & Dillon Gasaway ended the season with 505 yards on 86 carries (5.9 yard average) and 4 tds.
Walker Lawrence was the leading receiver on the season with 142 yards on 13 catches followed by Hunter Golden with 12 catches for 106 yards, then Bradley Ragano with 6 catches for 100 yards.
Defensively on the season the Dragons forced 22 total takeaways, 14 fumbles and 8 INT’s, had 751 total tackles, 68.5 TFL, 16 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, 30 pass break ups, and 6 blocks
Dillin Eilers led the Dragons in tackling this season with 110 total tackles (57 solo, 53 assists), followed by Kyle West with 85 total tackles (54 solo, 31 assists), & Jacob Gordon finished with 77 total tackles (48 solo, 29 assists)
Avery Luke led the team in INT’s with 4, Alex Pittman led the way in sacks with 4, Lawrence & A. Pittman led the team with 2 forced fumbles, Gordon, Lawrence, & A. Pittman tied for the team lead in fumble recoveries with 2, Caleb Brooks & Zack Hermann led the team in pass break ups with 6, & Cortlin Norton led the team with 3 blocks.
Byrd punted it 31 times for a total of 1,298 yards, a 41.9 yard average, a long of 58, & 10 inside the 20 while C. Pittman punted it 14 times for a total of 514 yards for a 36.7 yard average, a long of 53, & 4 inside the 20
Hermann led the team in punt return yards with 120 on 8 returns followed by Brooks with 117 yards on 8 returns
Gasaway led the team in kickoff return yards with 186 on 7 returns followed by Brooks with 185 yards on 6 returns, then Golden with 101 yards on 4 returns
On the season Ty Chastian went 35/36 on PAT’s, a 97.2% accuracy rate, & 10/12 on field goals, 83.3% rating, & a long of 42 yards.
Last night, the PHS Dragons varsity football team hosted the Generals of Heritage in another crucial 7-AAAA region game. On a night where the newest class of the PHS Athletics Hall of Fame and the 8th grade middle school championship football team were honored, the Dragons looked to clinch their 2nd straight playoff berth with a win over the Generals.
Pickens won the toss, electing to differ to the 2nd half giving Heritage the ball first. The Generals tried to catch the Dragons off guard with a trick play on the opening kickoff but, Pickens didn’t fall for it and Heritage had to start deep inside their own territory as a result. The Generals were able to march down the field however and got into the end zone after a double pass taking the 7-0 lead with 8:58 left in the opening frame. The Dragons answered the Generals score with a 1-yd Chris Pittman touchdown run to tie things up at 7 as we went to the 2nd quarter.
Both teams went back and forth defensively in the 2nd quarter as the only scoring came at the 5:34 mark when Ty Chastain knocked a 42-yd field goal through the uprights giving Pickens a 10-7 lead at the break. In the 3rd quarter, Chris Pittman found the end zone for the 2nd time on the night at the 3:17 mark as he put the Dragons ahead 17-7 going the 4th and final quarter.
Early in the 4th, with the Generals backed up deep in their own territory, the Pickens defense forced a safety with 11:34 left in the ball game stretching the lead out to 19-7. After getting the ball back on the ensuing kickoff, the Dragons marched down the field and Chris Pittman found pay dirt for the 3rd time making it 25-7 with 9-13 left in the game. Heritage did not go quietly as they connected on a 33-yd screen pass for a touchdown at the 6:01 mark cutting it it 25-13. Kelton Gilbert got in on the action as the Sophomore running back scampered 27-yds for the touchdown making it 32-13 with 3:29 left in the game.
The Generals found the end zone at the 1:06 mark after a 1-yd pass but could not convert the two-point try giving us a score of 32-19. The Dragons were able to fall on the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock to seal the win, 32-19. With the win, Pickens has clinched a playoff berth and are now 7-1 on the season & 4-1 in region play.
On the night, Pickens had 18 1st downs, went 6/13 on 3rd down, and 1/1 on 4th down, ran 69 plays for a total of 422 yards, ran for 366 yards on 63 rushes & threw for 56 yards on 6 passes.
Marcus Byrd went 3/4 passing for 45 yards & Jacob Brumby went 1/2 for 11 yards
Chris Pittman ran it 28 times for 119 yards and 3 tds, Marcus Byrd ran it 12 times for 95 yards, Dillon Gasaway ran it 7 times for 53 yards, & Kelton Gilbert ran it 5 times for 69 yards and a touchdown
Bradley Ragano led the Dragons in receiving with 21 yards, Caleb Brooks had a catch for 15 yards, Zack Hermann caught 1 ball for 11 yards, & Walker Lawrence reeled in 1 catch for 9 yards
Defensively, Pickens forced one fumble, recovered a fumble, recorded a sack, and forced several hurries and broke up 6 passes on the night.
Dillin Eilers led the Dragons in tackles with 11, 9 solo & 2 assists, Will Wotring finished with 5 total tackles, 1 solo, 4 assists, Caleb Brooks, Jacob Gordon, Avery Luke, Cortlin Norton, & Alex Pittman each finished with 4 total tackles
Chris Pittman punted it 5 times for a total of 171 yards for a 34.2 yard average, a long of 50, and left 2 inside the 20-yd line
Caleb Brooks returned 1 punt return for 22 yards and 1 kickoff for 32 yards while Michael Casey returned 1 kickoff for 21 yards
Ty Chastain went 3/4 on PAT’s & 1/1 on field goal attempts with a long of 42 yards
Pickens will travel to Ellijay to take on the Bobcats of Gilmer next week in the annual 515 rivalry match up. Gilmer is 3-5 on the season & 2-3 in region play and fighting for a possible 3 or 4 seed in the playoffs. Pickens, is hoping to stay in the hunt for the 2 seed.
The week 7 Player of the Week goes to Dillon Gasaway. The Dragons Senior ran 147 yards on 12 carries and 3 touchdowns. Gasaway averaged 12.3 yards per carry.
TeamFYNSports Congratulates Dillon on his performance, earning him this weeks Super Star Swag POTW.
Last night, the Pickens varsity football team hosted the LaFayette Ramblers in a 7-AAAA match up. The Dragons were finally back home after nearly a month on the road and looked to build off of their road win against Southeast Whitfield last week. The Homecoming crowd would not be disapppointed.
Pickens won the toss and differed to the 2nd half giving LaFayette the ball first. After the defense made a stand, Chris Pittman scored the 1st of his 2 rushing touchdowns with 9:40 to go in the 1st quarter. The other score came with 33 seconds left as the Dragons took a 14-0 lead into the 2nd quarter
The Pickens defense and punt return teams continued to give the Dragon offense great starting field position in the 2nd quarter. This quarter offensively belonged to Dillon Gasaway, who found the end zone twice on touchdown runs. The first one came from 5-yds out at the 11:24 mark stretching the Pickens lead to 21-0. The 2nd Gasaway touchdown run came from 6-yds out at the 1:11 mark giving us a halftime score of 28-0 Dragons.
During the intermission, Homecoming Maid of Honor & Queen were crowned. Hunter Harrington was named Maid of Honor & Kerrie Lee was named Homecoming Queen for the 2015-16 season.
In the 3rd quarter, the Pickens running game continued it’s strong performance as Dillon Gasaway found the end zone from 32-yds out for his 3rd score of the game making it 35-0 Dragons with 9:04 left in the 3rd quarter. Freshman Trevon Hawkins got in on the scoring as he plowed through from 2-yds out making the score 42-0 Dragons with 6:57 left in the 3rd. Ty Chastain then tacked on a 42-yd field goal giving Pickens a 45-0 lead going to the 4th.
Ten seconds into the 4th quarter, Hawkins again found pay dirt. This time, from 35-yds out giving the Dragons a 52-0 lead. The Pickens defense shut out the Rambler offense and the Dragons took this one 52-0. Pickens is now 6-1 on the season and now in 2nd in 7-AAAA at 3-1.
On the night, the Dragons collected 14 first downs, went 4/9 on 3rd down, & 1/2 on 4th down. Pickens 55 total plays for 408 yards including 356 yards coming on the ground and 7 touchdowns. Defensively, the Dragons forced 4 turnovers (3 fumbles & 1 INT), & held the LaFayette offense to 83 total yards.
In spot start duty, Jacob Brumby went 6/10 for 52 yards passing
Dillon Gasaway led Pickens in rushing with 147 yards on 12 carries, a 12.3 ypc average & 3 touchdowns, Trevon Hawkins finished the night with 103 yards on 11 carries for a 9.4 ypc average & 2 touchdowns, & Chris Pittman added 63 yards on 9 carries for a 7 ypc average and 2 touchdowns.
Hunter Golden led the Dragons in receiving on the evening with 3 catches for 25 yards while Walker Lawrence added 21 yards on 2 catches
Kyle West led Pickens in tackles on the night with 7 total 3 solo, 4 assists, and 1 fumble recovery, Dillin Eilers had 6 total tackles 4 solo, 2 assists, 2 TFL, & 1 INT, & Jacob Gordon added 6 total tackles 5 solo, 1 assist, & 1 forced fumble. Austin Massey & Nick Southern also had fumble recoveries.
Chris Pittman punted twice for 72 yards a 36 yard average, with a long of 37 & 1 inside the 20
Zack Hermann returned 4 punts for 68 yards a 17 yards average with a long of 33 yards
Caleb Brooks took 1 kickoff return back 38 yards
Ty Chastain was 7/7 on PAT’s & 1/1 on field goals with a long of 42 yards
Pickens again will be home next week as they host the Generals of Heritage, Catoosa in another key 7-AAAA game. Heritage is 4-3 on the season & 2-2 in region play.
Last night, the PHS varsity football team traveled to Dalton to take on the Raiders of Southeast Whitfield in a crucial 7-AAAA match up. The Dragons came into the ball game with a 4-1 overall record and 1-1 in region play looking to bounce back after a tough loss to Northwest Whitfield the week prior.
Pickens won the opening toss and elected to differ to the 2nd half giving the Raiders the first chance at points. It would not take long for Southeast to do just that as Tyler Brown found room on the right side of the defense and got in from 79-yds out. The PAT was missed however giving the Raiders a 6-0 lead with 10:18 left in the opening quarter. Dillon Gasaway burst through for a 43-yd run on the Dragons possession setting up a 1-yd Chris Pittman touchdown. Ty Chastain’s PAT attempt sailed through and true giving Pickens a 7-6 lead with 8:58 left in the opening frame. Chastain added a 27-yd field goal to make it 10-6 Dragons as we went to the 2nd quarter.
Chris Pittman found the end zone from 8-yds out at the 7:41 mark of the first half giving the Dragons a 17-6 lead. After a Caleb Brooks INT, Chris Pittman got past the defense and into the end zone from 19-yds out for his 3rd score in the 1st half stretching the lead to 24-6 with 1:52 to go in the 2nd quarter. The Raiders cut into the lead just before halftime after taking an INT 61-yds to the end zone. A successful two-point conversion gave us a halftime score of 24-14 with Pickens still ahead.
In the 3rd quarter, The Dragons defense swarmed the Southeast offense on every play. The 3rd quarter ended as it began with Pickens on top, 24-14. In the 4th, Dillon Gasaway made his way into the endzone from 2-yds out giving the Dragons a 31-14 lead with 9:01 remaining in the ball game. The defense shutout the Raider offense in the 2nd half giving us a final of 31-14.
Pickens finished the night with 14 first downs, 4/9 on 3rd down, 0/1 on 4th down. Ran 53 total plays for 312 total yards including 284 yards rushing on 46 attempts. The defense picked off a pass, forced 2 fumbles, & had 3 sacks on the night.
After taking over QB duties due to injury, Jacob Brumby finished 3/7 for 28 yards
Chris Pittman carried the ball 21 times for 152 yards and scored 3 td’s while Dillon Gasaway finished with 117 yards on 17 carries and a td
Leading the way for the Dragon defense were Kyle West, who finished with 11 total tackles, 8 solo, and 3 assists, Jacob Gordon chipped in 9 total tackles 5 solo and 4 assists, & Caleb Brooks who ended the night with 6 total tackles, 3 solo, 3 assists, 1 TFL, and 1 INT
Due to injury, Chris Pittman took over punting duties and punted twice for 87 yards, a 43.5 yard average, a long of 53, and landed 1 inside the 20
Ty Chastain finished 4/4 on PAT’s and 1/1 on field goals with a long of 27 yards
Pickens will finally be home after a 3-week road trip as they will host LaFayette in another 7-AAAA region match up. Next week will be Homecoming for PHS as there will be a week filled with activities and events. Pickens is 5-1 on the season and are tied with Heritage for 3rd place in the region 2-1. LaFayette is 1-5 on the year and 0-3 in region play.
Last night, the Pickens Dragons varsity football team traveled to Gainesville to take on the Vikings of East Hall. These two teams played last season in Jasper with the Dragons taking it. Pickens looked to build off their hard fought victory last week over White County.
The Vikings won the toss and elected to receive. With help from a pass interference called on 3rd down, East Hall found the end zone on their opening drive but missed the PAT to lead it, 6-0 with 8:34 left in the 1st quarter. After picking off a pass from Marcus Byrd in Dragon territory, the Vikings added to that lead with a 22-yd run and 2-point conversion making it 14-0 with 5:01 remaining in the opening quarter. The Dragons got their first points of the game on a Chris Pittman 3-yd run cutting the Viking lead in half 14-7 as we’d head to the 2nd.
Pickens tied things up at 14 just 5 seconds into the 2nd quarter with C. Pittman finding pay dirt from 5-yds out. After being backed up deep into their own territory, East hall connected on a 95-yd pitch and catch to take the lead right back 20-14 with 8:03 left in the 1st half. Ty Chastain cut that lead in half with a 38-yd field goal as we went into the break with the Vikings leading the Dragons, 20-17.
Byrd gave Pickens the lead for the first time in the ball game after a 55-yd run making it 24-20 Dragons with 10:22 left in the 3rd quarter. Caleb Brooks took it from 18-yds and found the end zone on a sweep play stretching the Dragons lead to 31-20 with 4:10 to go in the 3rd. 3rd time was indeed a charm for C. Pittman as he got in from 9-yds out at the 1:43 mark in the 3rd giving Pickens a 38-20 lead.
Trevon Hawkins made his mark on the game in the 4th as he scampered 13-yds for the score making it 45-20 Dragons with 5:08 remaining in the game. East Hall got their final score of the game at the 4:04 mark in the 4th after a 64-yd pass and catch making it 45-28 Pickens. Hawkins added a 2nd score of the quarter, this one from 20-yds giving us a final of 52-28.
Pickens had 24 first downs, went 5/12 on 3rd down and 3/5 on 4th down ran 77 total plays for 591 total yards with 517 of those yards coming on the ground. The Dragon defense forced 3 turnovers, 2 interceptions and 1 fumble.
Marcus Byrd went 6/12 for 74 yards passing and added 124 yards rushing on 12 carries and 1 touchdown
Chris Pittman ran it 27 times for 224 yards and 3 td’s, and Trevon Hawkins added 37 yards on 4 carries and 2 touchdowns
Defensively, Will Wotring lead the way for Pickens with 10 total tackles with 7 solo and 3 assisted while Jacob Gordon collected 9 total tackles, 5 solo, 4 assisted, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery
Byrd punted once for 55 yards, Brooks had 47 punt return yards on 3 attempts, and Dillon Gasaway lead the kick return yards with 45
Ty Chastain went 7/7 on PAT’s and 1/1 on field goals with a long of 38
The Dragons will be on a bye next week but will be back in action and at home on Friday, the 18th as they host the Knights of Johnson, Gainsville
Last night, the Dragons varsity football team opened up the 2015 regular season in the friendly confines of Dragons Stadium against the White County Warriors. Coming off of a win in their scrimmage game against River Ridge two weeks ago, Pickens looked to open up the season with a big win. Last year in Cleveland, Ga, the Dragons beat the Warriors in a shoot out to open 2014.
White County won the toss but elected to defer to the 2nd half meaning the Dragons would get the first chance to put points on the board. After a good kickoff return, the Dragons were unable to find the endzone. The Warriors used the Wing-T/Triple Option offense to slow down the pace of play but as the 1st quarter ended, there would be no score from either team.
As the 2nd quarter of play moved along, White County believed they had the first score of the ball game. A penalty negated that score, and we remained deadlocked at 0. The first score of the game came at the 4:14 mark of the 2nd quarter as Ty Chastain booted a 40-yd field goal through the uprights to give his team a 3-0 lead. Pickens took that 3-0 lead into halftime over the Warriors.
Penalties and stalled drives hindered both teams in the 3rd quarter until the Warriors’ Caleb Crane was able to hit pay dirt from 7-yds out. A missed PAT gave White County a 6-3 lead with 2:51 left in the 3rd. Pickens found it’s most sustained drive as they headed to the 4th, looking to reclaim the lead.
Just 35 seconds into the 4th and final quarter of play, quarterback Marcus Byrd hit the open hole on the left side and found the endzone to give the Dragons a 10-6 lead with 11:25 left in this one. Chastain added his 2nd field goal of the night with 1:35 to go to make it a 13-6 game. The Warriors had one final drive to try and tie things up, but the Pickens defense came up big and forced a turnover on downs allowing the offense to run out the clock giving the Dragons a 13-6 victory.
First Downs: Pickens 11 White County 7
3rd Downs: Pickens 6/14 White County 3/12
4th Downs: Pickens 1/2 White County 0/2
Total Yards: Pickens 244 White County 149
Total Plays: Pickens 54 White County 47
Rush Yards: Pickens 244 White County 23
Pass Yards: White County 126
Total Takeaways: Pickens 2 White County 0
Offensive leaders for Pickens: Byrd 60 yds rushing on 10 attempts and 1 touchdown, Chris Pittman 157 yds rushing on 31 attempts
Deffensive leaders for Pickens: Dillon Eilers 10 tackles, 1 sack, Kyle West 8 tackles, 1 TFL, Nick Southern & Andrew Ortiz 7 tackles each
Special Teams: Byrd 5 punts for 191 yards and 2 inside the 20, Caleb Brooks 3 punt returns for 42 yards and a kick return for 21 yards, Dillon Gasaway 1 kick return for 55 yards
Ty Chastian: 1-1 on PAT’s 2-3 on field goals with a long of 40 yards
Pickens will look to build off this hard nosed win and prepare for the first road test of the season, a match up with the Vikings of East Hall next Friday while White County will get ready for their home opener against Jackson County.