Earlier this evening, the PHS football team held it’s anual end of year banquet at Chattahoochee Technical College in Jasper. A huge turnout crowd got to reflect and honor the players, coaches, cheerleaders, and everyone involved in what was another great season for PHS football.
Head coach Chris Parker welcomed everyone, said a few words, and then invited the cheerleading coaches up to honor both JV and Varsity squads. The coaches said a few words, then all the cheerleaders, from freshman to senior, were recognized and presented with their letter. The senior cheerleaders then presented their coaches with gifts and said a few words expressing gratitude for all they have done for them.
Then, it was the managers and underclassmen football players turn to be recognized as coach Parker called them up to the stage starting with the freshman and ending with the juniors. As each class stood before the audience, coach Parker talked to the crowd about them and how they’ve done this season and what he expects in the season to come. For the seniors, coach Parker wanted to try something different.
Coach Parker asked the seniors to come up and say something about a coach of their choice. The coaches then had their chance to say something about the senior players. There were also several awards handed out this evening. Here are the winners:
Golden Helmet Award (MVP) Sr. Andrew Ortiz
Academic Award: Sr. Austin Massey
Ironman Award: Sr. Walker Lawrence
Jim Locke Award: Sr. Caleb Brooks
Team Captains: Zach Betts, Walker Lawrence, Jacob Pair, & Kyle West
The final award was the PHS Touchdown Club Scholarship. This is given to a senior player who has played all four years, had no major school incidents, & write an essay detailing how much football means to them. The players awarded this scholarship were:
Kyle West, Tucker Green, Billy Reed, Austin Massey, Jacob Pair, Zach Henley, Bradley Ragano, Jake Campbell, Marcus Byrd, Dillon Eilers, Zach Betts, Zach Hermann, Caleb Brooks, & Dillin Gasaway.
Congrats to everyone involved that made this a great season for PHS football.
Several PHS varsity football players were selected to be on the 7-AAAA All-Region Teams. In total, 18 Dragons were on the list between 1st team, 2nd team, & Honorable Mention.
Six Dragons were selected to the 7-AAAA All-Region 1st team. They include:
Walker Lawrence- TE/H-Back
D.J. Walden- C
Ty Chastain- K
Andrew Ortiz- DL
Kyle West- LB
Marcus Byrd- P
Four Dragons made it to the 7-AAAA All-Region 2nd Team. They are:
Chris Pittman- RB
Zach Betts- OL
Alex Pittman- DL
Dillin Eilers- LB
8 Dragons were included on the 7-AAAA All-Region Honorable Mention List. These Players are:
Nick Southern- DL
Zack Hermann- DB/WR
Caleb Brooks- DB/WR
Avery Luke- DB
Will Wotring- DB
Bradley Ragano- TE
Andrew Hasbrouck- OL
Cortlin Norton- OL/DL
Congrats to these young men on this accomplishment and a great season.
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.
This past Friday, the PHS varsity football team host the Purple Hurricanes of Cartersville in what was the 7-AAAA Region Championship game. Cartersville came in ranked anywhere from 1-3 in different polls and undefeated on the season at 9-0 with a 6-0 region record. Pickens came in winners of 4 straight, undefeated at home on the season, 8-1 overall, & 5-1 in region play. The Dragons had a little extra motivation as the seniors were recognized for Senior Night prior to the game beginning.
Cartersville won the toss and elected to receive. Pickens held the high powered Purple Hurricane offense and gave the Dragon offense a chance at the first points. The Cartersville defense held the Pickens offense as both defenses came to play early. The Purple Hurricanes got on the board at the 7:51 mark after a 49-yd run by Trey Creamer to make it 7-0. Both teams went back and forth for the rest of the quarter, but no points could be found and we’d head to the 2nd quarter with Cartersville leading 7-0.
It was a defensive battle in the 2nd quarter as both teams showed why they have been two of the top defenses in the region all year long. Creamer again found the end zone after a 19-yd run at the 3:06 mark making it 14-0. 14-0 would be our halftime score as we went into the break. Cartersville added to their lead in the 3rd with a 50-yd run by Creamer at the 9:43 mark & a 10-yd passing td from Trevor Lawrence to Creamer at the 1:18 mark giving the Purple Hurricanes a 28-0 lead going to the 4th and final quarter.
Lawrence connected on another td pass at the 7:46 mark in the 4th to make it 35-0 Cartersville. The Dragons got down to the red zone late in the quarter but an intercepted pass in the end zone stopped the Pickens drive & the Purple Hurricanes ran out the clock to take this one, 35-0. With the win, Cartersville wins the 7-AAAA Region Championship and will go into the playoffs as the #1 seed with a 10-0 record. The Dragons finish the regular season with their 2nd straight 8-2 regular season and will be the 7-AAAA #3 seed and travel to Atlanta to take on the 6-AAAA #2 seeded Marist War Eagles.
In what was a tough game offensively for Pickens, the Dragons finished with 8 1st downs, 2/13 on 3rd down, & 0/2 on 4th down, had 181 total yards on 55 plays, 113 yards rushing on 40 total carries, & 68 yards passing on 15 attempts.
Marcus Byrd finished the night 2/6 for 32 yards & Jacob Brumby went 4/9 for 36 yards
Byrd led the Dragons in rushing with 33 yards on 9 carries followed by Chris Pittman with 28 yards on 10 carries, Brumby finished with 24 yards on 6 carries, & Dillon Gasaway ended the night with 17 yards on 9 carries
Walker Lawrence led the Dragons in receiving with 22 yards on 2 catches, followed by Cortlin Norton with 17 yards on 1 catch, & Jacob Pair finished with 1 catch for 15 yards
The Dragons defense 3 TFL, forced & recovered a fumble, broke up 3 passes, & Dillin Eilers & Nick Southern combined for a sack
Ricky Klimbal & Avery Luke led the Dragons with 6 total tackles. Luke finished with 5 solo & 1 assist, & a fumble recovery, while Klimbal had 4 solo and 2 assists, Eilers finished with 5 total tackles, 4 solo, 1 assist, 1.5 TFL, & a 1/2 sack, & Dalton Gasaway ended the night with 5 total tackles, 4 solo, & 1 assist
Byrd punted 8 times for 337 yards, a 42 yard average, a long of 54 yards, & landed 2 inside the 20-yd line
Pickens will be taking on 8-2 Marist next week in the 1st round of the 4A state playoffs. This will be the 1st meeting between the two schools. Marist is ranked in the top 10 in 4A in some polls. Pickens will be looking for their first playoff win in school history.
Last night, the PHS Varsity football team made their way up 515 to take on their bitter rival, the Gilmer Bobcats. This match up was important not only for bragging rights but both teams fighting for playoff positions. Pickens came in having already clinched a spot in the playoffs while Gilmer was looking to stay in the hunt for a possible 3 or 4 seed.
The Dragons won the toss and decided to receive to start the ball game off. A couple botched plays led to Pickens having to punt away to the Bobcats. Gilmer would not be able to find any points either as we went into the 2nd quarter tied at 0. At the 6:55 mark of the 1st half, the Bobcats grabbed the first points of the game with a field goal to go up 3-0. The Dragons would come right back as Chris Pittman found the end zone from a yard out at the 4:06 mark giving Pickens the 7-3 lead. The Dragon defense held off Gilmer near the end zone in the closing seconds of the half and denied them a field goal giving us a 7-3 Pickens lead going to the break.
Chris Pittman would help add on to the Pickens lead in the 3rd quarter as he rumbled 76-yards down the field and scored two plays later from 4-yds out giving the Dragons a 14-3 advantage with 4:52 left in the quarter and we would head to the 4th and final quarter with that same score. Pittman again found pay dirt for the 3rd time, this one from 8-yds out with 8:04 left in the ball game. Another long Pittman run helped set up a Marcus Byrd 14-yd td to stretch the lead to 28-3 with 2:50 left in the game.
Gilmer tacked on a late touchdown after a 20-yd pass & catch with 41 seconds left. The ensuing 2-pt try was no good giving us a 28-9 score. Pickens then would fall on the onside kick and run out the clock taking this one over the Bobcats, 28-9 to improve their overall record to 8-1 and move their region record to 5-1.
On the night, Pickens had 10 1st downs, went 3/8 on 3rd down, racked up 386 total yards on 41 plays including 346 of those yards coming via the run.
Marcus Byrd went 1-4 passing for 23 yards & Jacob Brumby went 2-2 for 14 yards
Chris Pittman led the way in rushing on the night with 220 yards on 16 carries and 3 tds with a long of 76-yds, Byrd finished with 101 yards on 12 carries and a score with a long of 53-yds
Defensively, the Dragons held Gilmer on two redzone stands, blocked a field goal, forced a fumble, & picked off two passes
Leading Pickens in tackles was Dillin Eilers with 16 total, 9 solo and 7 assists, Jacob Gordon & Cortlin Norton each had 10 total tackles, & Avery Luke finished with 9 total tackles, and 2 INT’s
Chris Pittman punted it 5 times for 184 yards for a 36 yard average and Ty Chastain went 4/4 on PAT’s
Next Week, the Dragons will host the 9-0 & #2 ranked Purple Hurricanes of Cartersville. This game will determine the Dragons seeding in the upcoming playoffs. A win gives them the #1 seed and a region title. If Cartersville wins, Pickens will most likely be the #3 seed and have to travel in the 1st round.
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.
This past Friday, The Dragons varsity football team traveled to Tunnel Hill to take on the Northwest Whitfield Bruins in a key 7-AAAA region match up. Pickens came into the ball game at 4-0 (1-0 in region), and were looking for their first 5-0 start since 1986.
Pickens won the toss but elected to differ to the 2nd half giving the Bruins the first crack at putting points on the board. The Dragons defense wasted little time making their mark on the game as they forced a turnover inside Bruin terrritory. Not to be outdone, NW Whitfield’s defense forced a turnover on downs giving it right back to their offense. The Bruins found the end zone at the 6:48 mark of the opening quarter after a 5-yd pass but could not convert the PAT and Pickens found themselves down 6-0 after one quarter of play.
The Dragons offense got going at the 7:21 mark of the 2nd quarter after a 15-yd pass from Marcus Byrd to Zack Hermann tied things up and a Ty Chastain PAT made it 7-6. With 8 seconds left in the 1st half, Chastain added to the Pickens lead with a 27-yd field goal making it 10-6 with the Dragons getting the ball first to start the 2nd half. In the 3rd, the Bruins took the lead back at the 7:45 mark after a 16-yd run making it 13-10 as we headed to the 4th.
NW Whitfield added to their lead at the 9:05 mark in the 4th with a 15-yd run making it 20-10. The Bruins tacked on two more scores in the quarter at the 3:16 & 1:13 marks. Byrd tossed a 6-yd touchdown to Caleb Brooks with 15 seconds left in the game giving us a final score of 33-17 Bruins. NW Whitfield is now 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in region play while Pickens is 4-1 and 1-1 in region.
Pickens had 15 first downs, were 5/14 on 3rd down, & 0/2 on 4th down, collected 311 total yards on 63 plays including 273 of those yards coming on the ground
The Dragons defense forced three fumbles and secured all three
Marcus Byrd was 5/10 on the night for 38 yards and 2 touchdowns while adding 120 yards rushing on 13 carries
Chris Pittman finished with 90 yards on 28 carries, & Dillion Gasaway had 45 yards on 10 carries
Zack Hermann led the Dragons in receiving with two catches for 34 yards and a touchdown
Defensively, Kyle west led the way with 13 total tackles, 7 solo, 6 assists, 1 TFL, and 1 sack, Walker Lawrence finished with 9 total tackles, 5 solo, 4 assists, 1 TFL, and two fumble recoveries, while Hermann had 8 tackles on the night
Byrd punted 5 times for a total of 230 yards for an average of 46 yards per punt
Ty Chastian hit 2/2 PAT attempts and went 1/1 on field goal attempts
The Dragons will conclude their three week road trip next week when they travel to Dalton to take on the Raiders of SE Whitfield. The Raiders are coming off of a 35-0 win over LaFayette and are 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in region play.
Last night, the Pickens Dragons football team made the long trip to Rossville, Ga to take on the Ridgeland Panthers in the opening game of 7-AAAA play for both teams. Last year, the Panthers won a back and forth game inside Dragons Stadium and in the last three meetings, were 2-1 against Pickens. The Dragons looked to turn that around in this one.
The Dragons received the opening kickoff and Caleb Brooks nearly took it back as he set up the offense with good field position at the Panther 28-yd line after a 53-yd return. During the opening drive, Marcus Byrd completed two passes to Hunter Golden for 13 yards, then stretched across the goal line after a 7-yd run putting the Dragons up 7-0 with 10:39 left in the 1st quarter. After the Pickens defense forced and recovered a fumble, the offense looked to add to the lead. However, a tipped pass was taken by the Ridgeland defense all the way to the end zone to tie things up at 7 with 8:37 to go in the quarter.
Chris Pittman found pay dirt from 6-yds out for his 6th rushing touchdown of the year giving Dragons the lead back 14-7 as we headed to the 2nd quarter. Defense dominated the 2nd quarter as both teams only managed field goals in the frame. Ty Chastain tacked on 3 from 37-yds out at the 10:32 mark giving Pickens a 17-7 lead. The Panthers got their field goal as time expired in the first half giving us a 17-10 score as we went to the break.
The third quarter was controlled by defense as neither team was able to get points of any kind. Plenty of excitement still remained as the 4th and final quarter of play rolled around with the Dragons still leading it, 17-10. Ridgeland, using their running game, got down to the goal line of Pickens looking to tie things up late in the game. The Dragons defense held strong and stuffed the Panthers at the 1-yd line. Pickens punted it back to Ridgeland, and had one last shot to send this one into overtime. With under 20 seconds left, the Panthers pass was picked of by Avery Luke to seal the win for the Dragons 17-10.
For the game Pickens had 9 1st downs, went 4/11 on 3rd down, & 1/2 on 4th down. Dragons finished with 196 total yards on offense on 47 plays, including 180 yards rushing. The Pickens defense, along with 2 takeaways, stopped the Ridgeland offense on several key drives.
C. Pittman led the Dragons in rushing with 81 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown while Byrd added 40 yards on the ground on 10 carries and a touchdown
Dillin Eilers led Pickens in tackles with 18 total tackles with 6 solo and 12 assists, Kyle West added 16 total tackles with 12 solo tackles and 4 assists, & Avery Luke chipped in 10 total tackles with 6 solo, 4 assists, & the game preserving INT
Byrd punted it 4 times for 175 yards with a 43.8 yard average
Brooks added 59 yards in return yardage including the 53-yd return on the opening kickoff
Chastain went 2/2 on PAT’s and hit a field goal for 37-yds
With the win, the Dragons now improve to 4-0 on the season and now find themselves in a three-way tie with Cartersville and Heritage for the top spot in the region standings at 1-0. Next week, Pickens will make the trip up to Tunnel Hill, Ga to take on the Bruins of Northwest Whitfield. The Bruins are 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in region play after an early season loss to Southeast Whitfield 21-12 and shutting out LaFayette 24-0 last night.