Jasper, Ga — Last night, it was do or die for the PHS Dragons varsity football team as they hosted the Lafayette Ramblers for Senior Night. It was simple. A win for the Dragons and they would be in the playoffs. A loss, meant their season was over.
The Dragons, received the opening kickoff, and only took 1:51 off the clock as Senior QB CJ Streicher ran it in from 36-yds out for the score. The extra point was no good, & Pickens led early, 6-0. Lafayette answered on their opening drive with a 5-yd touchdown run at the 4:36 mark. The PAT was good & the Ramblers took a 7-6 lead. After a punt by the Dragons, Lafayette would take the lead with a 71-yd touchdown run, giving them a 14-6 lead, as we’d head to the 2nd.
At the 7:42 mark of the 2nd quarter, Lafayette stretched their lead out with a 72-yd touchdown run, making it 21-6 Ramblers. Needing a big play to jump start the team, Streicher delivered a 71-yd touchdown run to cut into the Rambler lead, 21-12, with 6:56 left in the 1st half. Lafayette, took 2:10 off the clock as they scored on a 14-yd touchdown run to make it 28-12, with 4:46 left in the half. Pickens, would make it a one score game with a 1-yd touchdown run by Streicher. The Dragons would convert the 2-point conversion. At the half, The Ramblers led the Dragons, 28-20.
To start the 3rd quarter, the Dragons got the big play they needed on defense as they were able to force and recover a Rambler fumble. Streicher capped off the ensuing drive with an 18-yd touchdown run. The 2-point conversion was successful, & just like that, we had a tie game at 28, with 10:18 left in the 3rd. Lafayette, took the lead back with a 16-yd touchdown run, to make it 35-28, with 6:35 left in the 3rd. Pickens, came right back as Streicher connected with a wide open Jarod Whitmore on a 23-yd touchdown pass to tie things up at 35. It wouldn’t be tied for long however as the Ramblers reclaimed the lead with a 79-yd touchdown run, to make it 42-35, with 3:14 to go in the 3rd. Streicher, would again find the end zone with a 13-yd touchdown run to make it 42 all, going to the 4th.
Early in the 4th, Lafayette would drive deep into Pickens territory, but the Dragons would hold them to a 38-yd field goal, making it 45-42 Ramblers, with 10:18 left in the game. At the 7:27 mark of the 4th, Streicher would barrel his way into the end zone for his 6th rushing touchdown of the game, & 7th total, to give the Dragons their first lead of the contest. Driving down late in the game, Lafayette thought they had a go ahead touchdown. However, a chop block penalty negated the score. The Ramblers, would choose to go for it on 4th down, but the pass came up incomplete, & the Dragons would take over. Pickens, would drive down towards midfield & were faced with a 4th & 3. Coach Nelson decided to go for it, & put it in the hands of his Senior QB. Streicher, would fight hard on the run with help from the o-line. It would come down to a measurement. The ball, measured just across the sticks & the Dragons would get the win, 49-45, to secure a playoff spot for the 6th consecutive season.
Northwest Whitfield: 4-1
Southeast Whitfield: 0-5
All eyes will be on the Heritage/Northwest Whitfield match up next week as that game will determine the seeding as far as the playoffs are concerned. Should Heritage win & Ridgeland win their game against Southeast Whitfield, Ridgeland would win the region title, Heritage would be the 2nd seed, Pickens would be the 3rd seed, & Northwest Whitfield would be the 4th seed. Should Northwest Whitfield defeat Heritage, the Bruins would win the region, Ridgeland would be the 2nd seed, Heritage would be the 3rd seed, & Pickens would be the 4th seed. Pickens, will either play North Oconee or Oconee County in the 1st round of the playoffs.