Last night, the PHS Dragons varsity football team hosted the Ridgeland Panthers for Senior Night. Not only was it Senior Night, it was a region championship game. With Pickens sitting at 4-0, & Ridgeland sitting at 3-0 in the region, this became the deciding game for the 6-AAAA crown. Prior to the ball game, the Seniors for the team, cheerleaders, & band were all recognized. The most special one, was Jordan Simonds. Simonds, lost his life in an automobile accident last year. This would’ve been his Senior year. Jordan’s mother, Jessica, represented him. She was surrounded by Jordan’s fellow Seniors, & was presented a bouquet of flowers. The Simond’s family has set up a Memorial Scholarship fund in his name. If you haven’t already, please go contribute in any way you can.
Pickens won the toss, but elected to defer to the 2nd half, giving Ridgeland’s speedy offense first possession. After a big loss on 3rd down, the Panthers were forced to punt from the back of their own end zone. The Dragons took over at the Ridgeland 30-yd line. It took Pickens one play from scrimmage to find points as the Dragons worked the double pass to perfection. CJ Streicher sent it over to Michael Burrell, then Burrell connected with a wide open Brady Moore for a 30-yd TD pass, giving the Dragons a 7-0 lead, with 11:27 to go in the 1st. Pickens looked to catch the Panthers off guard again with a surprise onside attempt, but were unable to recover it. Ridgeland used the good starting field position to drive down the field, & cap it off with a 3-yd TD run to make it 7-7 with 9:59 left in the 1st. Ridgeland then took the lead after a 47-yd TD pass, to make it 14-7, with 7:45 left in the opening quarter. The Dragons, were able to drive down the field, and get a 21-yd field goal from Jose Sanchez to make it 14-10 Ridgeland, going to the 2nd.
Pickens, regained the lead at the 9:36 mark of the 2nd quarter after Robert Davis barreled his way in from 7-yds out, to make it 17-14. Ridgeland, looked to tie things up with a long field goal attempt, but Kaleb Ray came swooping from the left side and blocked the kick, giving the Dragons possession at their own 27-yd line. On the very next play, Streicher found an open Ray near the sideline & he took it 73-yds for the score, giving Pickens a 24-14 lead, as we’d head into halftime.
The Dragons, got the ball to start the 2nd half, & methodically drove it down the field, chewing up nearly half of the 3rd quarter on their first drive. The drive ended with Davis getting into the end zone from 13-yds out after nearly losing it prior to scoring. That made it 31-14 Dragons, going to the 4th. The defense for Pickens, as they have all season long, really stepped up in the 2nd half shutting down the high powered Panther offense. Ridgeland’s only other score came with 19 seconds left to go in the game. Your final in this one, Pickens 31, Ridgeland 21. With the win, Pickens secures it’s first region championship in school history.
Pickens: 9-0 (5-0) 6-AAAA region champions
Ridgeland: 5-3 (3-1)
Heritage: 4-5 (3-2)
NW Whitfield: 5-3 (2-2)
LaFayette: 4-4 (1-3)
SE Whitfield: 3-5 (1-3)
Gilmer: 0-8 (0-4)
1st Downs: 19
3rd Down: 7/15
4th Down: 3/4
Total Yards: 455
Rush Yards: 323
Pass Yards: 132
CJ Streicher: 2/7, 102 yards, 1 TD, 29 rushes, 151 yards,
Michael Burrell: 1/1, 30 yards, 1 TD, 6 rushes, 30 yards, 3 tackles, 3 punts for 109 yards
Robert Davis: 13 rushes, 75 yards, 2 TD, 1 catch, 29 yards, 2 kick returns for 47 yards
Kaleb Ray: 1 catch, 73 yards, 1 TD, 2 tackles, 1 pass break up, 1 blocked field goal, 1 kick return, 24 yards
Brady Moore: 1 catch, 30 yards, 1 TD, 8 tackles
Trevon Hawkins: 16 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass break up, 7 rushes, 31 yards
Dallas McHale: 8 tackles
Andrew Macom: 7 tackles, 6 solo, 2 tackles for loss, 2 pass break ups
Hunter Hermann: 6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass break up
Jose Sanchez: 4/4 on PAT, 1 field goal from 21 yards
Pickens, will look to complete it’s first ever undefeated season next week when they travel to Walker County to take on the LaFayette Ramblers. Game time is set for 7:30.
It was with great sadness FYN shares the following release. Please remember the family, teammates, school, and friends in your prayers.
Pickens County Georgia, March 11, 2017: Saturday afternoon, a tragic automobile accident claimed the life of 16-year-old Jordan Simonds. Along with Jordan, a passenger was also injured and had to be flown to Kennestone Hospital.
The accident only involved one vehicle and it occurred on Salem Church Road. The Georgia State Patrol Responded and is conducting the investigation into the accident at this time. Jordan was a Sophomore at Pickens High School and played on the PHS Football team. We are asking our community to keep the Simonds family, in your thoughts and prayers.
We would also like to ask that everyone pray for the students and staff at Pickens High School as well. School officials are going to have additional counselors on hand at Pickens High School on Monday to assist with any grieving students. The passenger was also a juvenile and he was alert and speaking with First Responders on the scene.
There will be an informal gathering/vigil tonight March 12th , at the stadium to honor Jordan and his family at 7:30 pm. All are welcome.