The Picken High School Dragons football team hosted the Raiders of Southeast Whitfield at Dragon Stadium. Coming into this ball game, the Dragons was 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the region while the Raiders was a perfect 5-0 and 2-0 in region play. The Dragons, coming off of a big home win against Northwest Whitfield, looked to continue that momentum and drop the Raiders from the ranks of the unbeaten. The game was the Homecoming at PHS which would only add to the excitement of the night. The Dragons’ offense scorched the Raiders to the tune of 62 points as Pickens picked up the 62-40 win over SEW.
The Dragons started the game with the ball at the Pickens 20. The drive lasted 1:50 as Marcus Byrd got into the end zone from 16-yds out to give the Dragons the lead with 10:10 left in the first quarter.
A missed PAT from Ty Chastain, his first of the year, kept the lead at 6-0 as the Raiders would get the ball for the first time. The Dragons’ defense stepped up and stopped the Raiders’ offense, giving the ball back to the Pickens’ offense that looked to add to the lead.
SEW, however forced and recovered a fumble, which led to a 23-yd pass and catch for a touchdown with 6:46 left in the first quarter. SEW also missed the PAT leaving the score in a tie, 6-6. Shannon Brooks got in the end zone as the quarter ended to give the Dragons the lead back 13-6. Southeast tied it up again at 13 after a 25-yd run from the quarterback with 6:40 left in the first half.
Shannon Brooks ran it in again, this time from 17-yds out as he leapt into the end zone, cape and all, to help the Dragons regain the lead 20-13 with 3:34 left in the half. A 1:11 later the Raiders connected on a 61-yd pass to even things up at 20 with 2:23 left in this first half.
In this “anything you can do, I can do better” first half, Marcus Byrd connected with Shannon Brooks on a screen play and Brooks took it 62-yds to the house, giving the Dragons a 27-20 halftime lead over the Raiders.
During halftime, Junior Sydney Romine was crowned Homecoming Maid of Honor and Senior Makayla Payne was crowned Homecoming Queen for 2014-15.
SEW began the second half with the ball and used only 1:01 of the clock to tie things up, with an 11-yd run leaving 10:58 on the clock. 28 seconds later Shannon Brooks would find himself in the end zone again after a 33-yd run giving the Dragons a 34-27 lead with 10:30 left in the third.
Brooks got in again from 1-yd out to stretch the lead out to 41-27 with 7:38 remaining in the third quarter. One minute and one second later, an 87-yd pass completion from the Raiders cut the Dragon lead in half, 41-34, as the third quarter came to a close.
A fourth down conversion that saw Brooks score again on a 45 yard touchdwon run to make it a two score game, 48-34, with 10:49 left in the game. A fumble on the ensuing kickoff by the Raiders led to a 9-yd touchdown run from Brooks making it 55-34 Dragons with 9:43 left in the game.
Marcus Byrd got in for a second time, this time from a yard out to stretch the lead to 62-34 with 4:40 left on the clock. The Raiders scored on a 6-yd pass with 24 seconds left to make this a final of 62-40 Dragons.
Totals for the Dragons last Friday: 18 first downs, 5/9 on third down, 2/2 on fourth down, 564 yards on 65 plays, 425 yards rushing, and 139 yards passing. Marcus Byrd was 6/12 passing for 139 and a touchdown and 74 yards rushing on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Shannon Brooks would carry the ball 30 times for 301 yards and 6 touchdowns and make 4 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown for a total of 399 yards. Shannon Brooks’ 7 total touchdowns would tie a single game record set by Jordan Shaw against you guessed it Southeast Whitfield.
Defensively, the Dragons forced three turnovers, grabbing two fumbles and picking off a pass and recorded five sacks on the evening. Leading the way for the defense was Dillon Gasaway with 15 tackles. Kyle West had 11 total tackles, 9 solo, and recorded 2 sacks. Alex Pittman added 5 total tackles, 4 solo, 4 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.
Next Friday, the Dragons will travel to LaFayette, GA to take on the Ramblers of LaFayette High School for the first time. The Dragons go into Friday’s game 5-1 overall and tied for 2nd in the region with Gilmer and SE Whitfield at 2-1. LaFayette is 2-4 on the season and 0-3 in region play.
Pickens is averaging 42.3 points per game and giving up 22 points per game on defense while the Ramblers score 21.5 points per game and give up 33 points per game defensively.