Last Friday, the Dragons hosted the Bruins of NW Whitfield at Dragon Stadium in a region showdown. The Dragons looked to even up their region record at 1-1 after losing a close game to Ridgeland the week prior. Before the ball game, the JYSA football players, coaches, and cheerleaders were recognized in front of a packed house as Dragon Nation would envoke a pink out in honor of breast cancer awareness month. The Bruins would win the toss and would differ to the 2nd half giving the Dragons first crack at putting points on the board.
Pickens would start the game on their own 21 and would only need 1:52 of the game clock to put up points as Junior quarterback Marcus Byrd would punch it in from 15 yards out to give the Dragons the lead 7-0 with 10:48 left in the 1st. The Dragon defense forced a punt from the Bruins after NW started on their own 34 giving the offense the ball back. Shannon Brooks would then make his presence felt with a 35 yard run to the house stretching the lead out to 14-0 with 4:34 left in the 1st. Shannon Brooks would be at it again as he would score from 2 yards out to give the Dragons a 21-0 lead as we would head to the 2nd quarter.
The 2nd quarter would stall offensively speaking until Shannon Brooks would march 20 yards into the end zone for his third rushing touchdown in the first half. That would be all the scoring in the 2nd quarter as we would head to halftime with the Dragons up 28-0 on the Bruins. In between band performances, the Cross Country team seniors would be recognized. The Boys and Girls teams are both ranked in the top ten in the 4A polls headed to region and state meets.
NW Whitfield would have it as we would start the 2nd half looking for something to spark their offense. The Dragon defense would have other ideas as they would smother the Bruin offense all night. Deondre Green would pick off a pass as time expired in the 3rd quarter and Shannon Brooks would take it in for a 4th time to make it 31-0 with 10:48 left in the game. The Bruins would add a 6-yd touchdown run with 2:41 left on the clock making it 35-7 as that would end up being the final.
Totals for the Dragons Friday night: 15 first downs, 1/6 on third down, 1/3 on fourth down, 456 total yards on 58 plays for an average of 7.8 yards per play. 429 rushing yards on 53 carries for a 8.1 average per rush and two takeaways on defense.
Marcus Byrd was 2/5 for 27 through the air and ran it 14 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. Shannon Brooks would run it 22 times for 246 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively the Dragons allowed 241 total yards, 244 yards passing on 41 attempts for a 5.95 average per pass and held the Bruins to -3 yards rushing on 23 carries for a -0.13 average and would get 5 sacks on the evening. Zack Herman would lead in tackles with 7 total and six solo. Kyle West, Dillon Gasaway, Caleb Brooks, and Jacob Pair would end the night with 6 total tackles.
Through 5 games the Dragons average 440.8 total yards per game and 360.4 on the ground. Marcus Byrd is 18-35 for 335 yards and 3 touchdowns passing to go along with 374 yards and 4 touchdowns on 45 carries. Shannon Brooks has 1154 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns on 100 carries and Zack Herman leads in receiving with 9 catches for 201 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Kyle West leads the Dragons with 54 total tackles and right behind him is Dillon Gasaway with 50 total tackles. Kalyn Brooks leads the team in sacks with 7. Ty Chastain is 27-27 on PAT attempts so far on the season.
With that win, the Dragons are 4-1 on the season and find themselves in a 4-way tie for 3rd in the region at 1-1. This Friday, the Dragons will host the Raiders of SE Whitfield. The Raiders are 5-0 on the season and are tied with Cartersville at the top of the region standings at 2-0. The Dragons give up 18.4 points per game while the Raiders offense scores 37.6 points per game. SE Whitfield’s defense gives up 15.4 points per game and the Dragon offense is averaging 38.4 points per game.