Jasper, Ga — It was a nice, cool night on Friday, October 20th as the Pickens Dragons hosted the West Hall Spartans for their final home game of the 2023 season. Both teams were coming into the game on losing skids and still searching for their first region win. The Dragons, would send the Seniors out with a win in their final home game as they pulled out a 35-12 victory.
The Spartans got the ball to start the game. On the first play from scrimmage, QB Brett Sturm pitched it to RB Elijiah Hayes and he took it 85 yards for the touchdown. The PAT attempt hit off the crossbar and with 11:43 left in the first quarter, the Spartans led the Dragons, 6-0. The Dragons, got on the board after a 6-yd touchdown run from RB Miguel Salto. The PAT from Charlie Gibbons was good and with 5:01 left in the first quarter, the Dragons now led the Spartans, 7-6. At the 2:39 mark of the first quarter, the Dragons defense, led by Oscar Rivera, forced and recovered a fumble. Pickens, had possession as they went to the second quarter holding a 7-6 lead.
The only score in the second quarter came after the Dragons took advantage of the fumble recovery and turned it into points as QB Sam Streicher rolled to his right and the lefty threw a nice pass to WR Hayden Jones for a 10-yd touchdown. The PAT from Gibbons was good, and with 10:14 left in the first half, Pickens led West Hall, 14-6. Just before the end of the first half, the Dragons caused another turnover as Landon Poole came down with the INT. Heading into the break, the Dragons led, 14-6.
The Spartans, looked to even things up in the third quarter as Hayes would run it in from 28-yds out for his 2nd score of the day. The 2-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful and with 3:29 left in the third, Pickens led West Hall, 14-12. The Dragons, answered right back after a couple of great catches from Jones and nice runs from Salto set up a 1-yd TD run from Streicher to make it 21-12 Pickens going to the fourth.
The Dragons, would add to their lead at the 7:11 mark of the fourth quarter as Salto powered his way in from 10-yds out for his 2nd TD of the game. The PAT was good and Pickens now led West Hall, 28-12. The Dragons, once again took advantage of turnovers as Ezra Faber picked off the pass attempt and ran it back into Spartan territory. A late hit penalty on the Spartans gave the Dragons even better field position. Streicher, made his way in from a yard out for his 2nd rushing touchdown of the game and 3rd overall. The PAT was good and with 2:25 left in the game, the Dragons were up 35-12. The Pickens defense, would force a turnover on downs during the next possession by the Spartans and the offense ran out the clock as Pickens took this one, 35-12.
7-AAA Football Standings:
Lumpkin: 8-0 (4-0)
Wesleyan: 5-3 (3-1)
Gilmer: 6-3 (3-2)
White County: 4-4 (2-2)
Dawson: 2-7 (2-3)
Pickens: 2-6 (1-3)
West Hall: 1-7 (0-4)
The Dragons, will be back on the road next week as they head to Cleveland, Ga to take on the Warriors of White County on Friday, October 27th. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.