Dragons’ Season Comes To An End In State Tournament

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

This past Friday, the PHS Dragons baseball team traveled down to Atlanta to take on the #3 seed out of region 6-AAAA, the St. Pius Golden Lions in the first round of the 4A State Tournament. This was a 3-game series meaning the team to first win two games, advanced to the next round.

 

The Dragons were the away team in game 1 and were looking to jump out early on the Golden Lions. Travis Huffman led things off with a double to left center on the first pitch he saw, firing up the Pickens dugout. Tyler Garner then cranked out a two-run bomb bringing the Dragon faithful to their feet as Pickens took a 2-0 lead. Not to be outdone, Dalton Presley found a pitch to his liking and sent it over the left center fence to make it 3-0 after one half inning. St. Pius got a run in the bottom of the frame, and after 1, the Dragons held a 3-1 lead.

 

Both pitchers were able to get out of jams and settle down for the most part to the 5th inning. The Golden Lions were able to plate 4 in the bottom of the inning to take the lead, 5-3. St. Pius then added on to that lead in the bottom of the 6th with 3 runs to stretch it out to 8-3 going to the 7th. The Dragons tried to get a rally going after a hit by pitch, a single, & an RBI single from Dylan Huffman, but it would not be enough as the Golden Lions took game 1, 8-4.

 

Travis Huffman went 6 innings giving up 6 ER, & striking out 5 on 99 pitches & went 1-3 with a double, & 1 run scored

Walker Lawrence went 1-3 with a single

Tyler Garner went 1-3 with a home run, 2 RBI, & a run scored

Dalton Presley went 1-2 with a home run, 1 RBI, & a run scored

Wyatt Gooch went 1-3 with a single

Dylan Huffman went 1-3 with a single, & 1 RBI

Caleb Brooks went 1-3 with a single

Dillon Champion scored a run

 

For game 2, the Dragons were the home team and West Ga commit Tyler Garner would be given the ball to pitch for Pickens. Garner got off to a good start, retiring the Golden Lions on 16 pitches. For St. Pius,  Ga Tech commit Garrett Gooden took to the mound and proved to be as tough as advertised. In the top of the 2nd, the Golden Lions struck first with a two-run home run to go up 2-0. St. Pius added to that lead with 3 in the 3rd, to make it 5-0.

 

The Golden Lions stretched out the lead with three in the 5th to make it 8-0. St. Pius went on to get the win 8-0, and taking the series in the process, 2-0. The Dragons just could not get anything going only drawing two walks and getting a lone hit from Garner in game 2.

 

Pickens finishes the season at 16-11, and with a 2nd straight state tournament appearance. While the Dragons are losing a handful of seniors, they will be returning a big chunk of core guys with a lot of varsity experience and adding young kids that had success during the JV season for next season.

Dragons Celebrate Senior Night With Win

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Yesterday, the PHS Dragons baseball team hosted the Raiders of Southeast Whitfield in the final regular season game of the season. Earlier in the season, the Raiders bested the Dragons in Dalton, with Pickens looking to avenge that loss. Prior to the game, the bat boy for the Dragons and the all-time home run leader for Pickens Jake King added to his record with an inside the park homer.

 

Senior Tyler Garner took to the hill for the Dragons in the final game before the state tournament. The Raiders had a mini threat brewing in the top of the 1st, but Garner and the Dragon defense were able to get out of it, sending us to the bottom of the opening frame. Travis Huffman led the inning off for Pickens with a triple to left center, and was brought in on a sac RBI by Walker Lawrence to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead going to the 2nd. Garner struck out two in the top of the 2nd, and Pickens went in order to send us to the 3rd with the Dragons still ahead, 1-0.

 

Southeast Whitfield plated a run in the top of the 3rd to tie things up at 1 a piece. The tie would not last long however as RBI hits from Joseph Gossett, Lawrence, & Garner gave the Dragons a 4-1 lead going to the 4th. The Raiders threatened in the top of the 7th with runners at 2nd and 3rd, but Dylan Huffman was able to work around it and close things out for the Dragons giving Pickens a 4-1 win on Senior Night.

 

After the ball game, seniors (as pictured above), Tyler Garner, Clayton Wilson, Walker Lawrence, Dillon Champion, & Caleb Brooks were recognized for their contributions to the program and to PHS Athletics.

 

Tyler Garner went 6 & 1/3rd innings giving up 1 run on 6 hits, walking 3, & striking out 9 on 117 pitches & had 1 RBI

Dylan Huffman went 2/3rd’s innings giving up no hits and no runs on 14 pitches

Travis Huffman went 1-2 with a triple and a run scored

Walker Lawrence went 1-2 with a single, 2 RBI, & a run scored

Caleb Brooks went 2-3 with a double, a single, and a run scored

Joseph Gossett went 2-2 with a single, a double, 1 RBI, & a run scored

 

The first round opponent for the 4A state baseball tournament has yet to be determined as of now for the Dragons. What is for sure is that it will either be against Redan or St. Pius on Friday, the 29th. Times and location will be determined later.

 

Dragons Grab 3rd Place With Sweep Of Ridgeland

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Yesterday, the PHS Dragons baseball team hosted the Ridgeland Panthers at Dragons Field in the most important game of the season to date. Both teams came in tied for third in the 7-AAAA region standings, and the winner would have the inside track to the 3 seed in the upcoming 4A state tournament.

 

Travis Huffman got the call to start for the Dragons in this crucial game. Ridgeland was able to get on the board first in the top of the 1st scoring two runs. Pickens wasted little time getting their bats going as the Dragons got a pair of 2 RBI doubles from Dalton Presley & Dylan Huffman, plus RBI hits from Wyatt Gooch & Joseph Gossett to take a 6-2 lead going to the 2nd. In the top of the 2nd, the Panthers cut the Pickens lead in half making it 6-3. The Dragons got that run back when Walker Lawrence scored after drawing a walk, stealing 2nd, then advancing home on two fielding errors to make it 7-3 going to the 3rd.

 

In the 5th, Ridgeland cut even more into the Dragons lead as they were able to plate two runs, sending us to the bottom of the frame and Pickens clinging to a 7-5 lead. A wild pitch led to a Dragons run to stretch the lead to 8-5 going to the 6th. In the 6th, Pickens got an RBI from Presley, Gooch, Dillon Champion, & D. Huffman to break the lead open to 12-5. Tyler Garner came in and closed things out in the top of the 7th to give the Dragons a 12-5 win and control of 3rd place.

 

Travis Huffman went 6 innings giving up 3 ER on 6 hits, and striking out 6 on 98 pitches & went 2-4 at the plate

Walker Lawrence drew a walk and scored two runs

Tyler Garner went 2-4 and scored two runs & went 1 inning giving up 1 hit and struck out 1 on 13 pitches

Dominic Stephens went 1-4

Dalton Presley went 2-3 with a double, a triple, a walk, & 3 RBI

Wyatt Gooch went 2-4 with a single, a double, 2 RBI, & 1 run scored

Dillon Champion went 2-3 with a double, a single, 2 RBI, & 2 runs scored

Dylan Huffman went 2-3 with a double, a single, 3 RBI, & a run scored

Joseph Gossett went 2-3 with a double, a single, & 1 RBI

Caleb Brooks scored 2 runs

With the win, Pickens is now 15-9 on the season and 8-5 in 7-AAAA play. There will be one more home game this regular season and it will take place on Friday as the Dragons welcome the Raiders of Southeast Whitfield to Dragons Field. If the game is postponed, the two teams will play on Saturday.

 

Late Inning Magic Propel Dragons Past Cartersville

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Last night, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team hosted one of the highly rated teams in the state, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes, in a big early region match up. The Canes came into the ball game at 6-6 and 2-0 in region play, while the Dragons came in with a record of 9-5 & 2-1 in region.

 

Travis Huffman got the start for the Dragons and turned in an amazing performance. In the top of the 1st, Cartersville was able to take the lead early as three hits, and a couple passed balls led to 2 runs for the Canes. Pickens, had it’s chance in the bottom of the frame as they were able to get two runners on with two out, but Cartersville was able to get out of that jam, and send us to the 2nd, with the Canes up, 2-0. T. Huffman was able to settle down in the 2nd, and get Cartersville in order to send us to the bottom of the 2nd.

 

In what seemed to be a theme throughout the game, the Dragons had a big chance in the bottom of the 2nd with the bases loaded, but were unable to capitalize as the Canes escaped the threat. T. Huffman again showed great stuff in the 3rd, as he K’d two Canes on the way to a 9 pitch inning. In the bottom of the 3rd, Pickens had another chance to cut into the 2-0 Cartersville lead, but runners were left at 1st & 3rd, sending us to the 4th. Both teams were shut down quietly in the 4th, as both pitchers were throwing great games.

 

In the 5th, Cartersville left a runner at 2nd, as T. Huffman was able to work around it. After drawing two walks in the bottom of the inning, the Dragons left runners at 1st & 2nd, sending us to the 6th, with the Canes still leading, 2-0. Both teams were unable to get anything going in the 6th, as we’d head to the final inning, Cartersville maintaining it’s lead, 2-0. T. Huffman k’d two in the top of the 7th, sending us to the bottom of the 7th, Dragons down to their final three outs, and trailing 2-0.

 

After Tyler Garner & Dalton Presley were able to get on, they were replaced by courtesy runners, Dylan Huffman, & Caleb Brooks. Walker Lawrence then got on with a single to load the bases. Zack Moore then brought in D. Huffman with a sac fly to make it 2-1 Cartersville. As Brooks was attempting a steal to 3rd, the throw over to 3rd sailed over the 3rd baseman’s head and Brooks came home to tie things up at 2. Dillon Champion & Joseph Gossett drew walks to load the bases, still with one out. With a 1-1 count to Wyatt Gooch, a wild pitch was sent to the backstop and Lawrence came in to give the Dragons a 3-2 win.

 

Travis Huffman went the distance giving up 2 runs on just 3 hits and striking out 10 on 98 pitches

Zack Moore had 1 RBI

Dylan Huffman scored 1 run

Caleb Brooks scored 1 run

Walker Lawrence went 1-3 with a run scored

This is a big win for Pickens. After leaving a total of 11 runners on base, they found a way to score when it mattered. With the win, the Dragons are now 10-5 on the season & 3-1 in region play. Pickens will host a pair of region games next week, starting with Northwest Whitfield on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 5:55.

Dragons Improve To 6-4 With Win Over Towns Co.

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Yesterday, the PHS Varsity Baseball team hosted the Towns Co. Indians in a non-region ball game at Dragons Field. Pickens came into the ball game at 5-4, and looked to keep things going with region play starting later this week.

 

Dylan Huffman got the call to start for the Dragons and looked very impressive. Towns Co. was able to get a run on two hits, but D. Huffman & the Pickens defense kept the damage to just one to send us to the bottom of the frame. The Dragons answered with 2 runs to take a 2-1 lead going to the 2nd.

 

In the 2nd, D. Huffman worked around a runners at 1st & 3rd jam to keep the Pickens lead at 2-1 going to the bottom of the 2nd. In the bottom of the 2nd, the Dragons bats came to life and Pickens would blow things open. The Dragons ended up batting around in the line up twice, scoring 15 runs, and mashing out 12 hits in the half inning to lead the Indians, 17-1 going to the 3rd. Towns Co. got a run out of the top of the 3rd, but that was it as the game was called after three innings due to the 15 run rule. Pickens got the win, 17-2.

 

Dylan Huffman went 2 innings giving up 1 run on 3 hits and striking out 4 on 45 pitches. Went 1-1 with a run scored

Travis Huffman went 1-1 with a single, 1 RBI, 3 runs scored, & 2 walks

Wyatt Gooch went 1-2 with a single, 2 runs scored, & a walk

Tyler Garner went 1-1 with a double, 4 RBI, & a run scored

Dalton Stephens went 1-1 with a single & a run scored. Gave up 1 run on 10 pitches in 1 inning

Dalton Pressley went 1-2 with a double, 3 RBI, & a run scored

Dalton Sipsy went 1-1 with a single, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored

Walker Lawrence went 2-3 with 2 singles, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored

Zack Moore went 2-2 with a triple, a single, 1 RBI, & 2 runs scored

Gabe Groover went 0-0 with a HBP & 1 RBI

Slade Hillhouse went 1-1 with a single, & 2 runs scored

Caleb Brooks went 1-1 with a single, & 1 RBI

Joseph Gossett went 1-2 with a single, 1 RBI, & 2 runs scored

 

The Dragons will be back at it on Wednesday as they travel to take on the Union Co. Panthers before hitting the road again on Friday as they open up region play with a doubleheader against LaFayette.

Dragons Get The Week Sweep Over Murray Co.

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Yesterday, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team hosted the Indians of Murray Co. for a non-region ball game. Pickens came into the ball game having defeated the Indians over at Murray on Tuesday 13-1, and were looking to get the week sweep inside their park.

 

Dalton Sipsy started for the Dragons yesterday and got 2 K’s to begin the game, but the Indians were able to bring a run in and lead things 1-0 going to the bottom of the frame. A lead off triple by Travis Huffman sparked a four run inning for Pickens. Wyatt Gooch brought in 2 with an RBI double & Sipsy & Gooch later came in to score. Sipsy kept the Indians quiet in the 2nd as he struckout the side to send us to the bottom half of the inning.

 

In the 2nd, the Dragons as T. Huffman & Dillon Champion drove in runs to make it 6-1 going to the 3rd. After striking out the 1st batter he faced in the 3rd, Sipsy was relieved by Walker Lawrence who worked around a bloop hit to get the final two outs of the inning to bring the Dragons back up to the plate. Pickens scored 5 runs in the 3rd thanks an RBI from Slade Hillhouse, 2 RBI from Zack Moore, & an RBI from Joseph Gossett (one run was brought in on an error), to give the Dragons an 11-1 lead going to the 4th.

 

Josh Holbert relieved Lawrence in the 4th and also worked around a hit to finish off the inning to send us to the bottom of the 4th. The inning began with the 4th place hitter Dominic Stephens, and the game ended with Stephens as the Dragons again brought in 5 runs making it 16-1 after Stephens’ RBI hit and envoking the 15 run rule after 4 innings. Pickens took this one, 16-1. Pickens outscored Murray Co. during the week 26-2 in the two wins.

 

The Dragons got great pitching all game long and showed patience at the plate having only 8 hits to go along with their 16 runs.

Dalton Sipsy went 2 & 1/3rd innings giving up just 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk, & striking out 6 on 47 pitches & drew a walk and scored a run

Walker Lawrence went 1 & 1/3rd innings giving up one hit, & striking out 1 on 13 pitches

Travis Huffman went 2-4 with a triple, a single, 2 RBI, & 2 runs scored

Dillon Champion had an RBI and a run scored while Caleb brooks drew a walk and brought in 1 run

Dominic Stephens went 2-4 with 2 singles, an RBI, & 2 runs scored

Wyatt Gooch went 1-1 with a double, 2 RBI, & a run scored & Tyler Garner went 1-1 with a double and a run scored

Dalton Presley went 1-2 with a single & a run scored

Slade Hillhouse brought in 1 run and scored 2

Zack Moore went 1-2 with a double, 2 RBI, & a run scored & Dylan Huffman went 1-1 with a single & a run scored

Joseph Gossett drew two walks, scored 2 runs, & drove in a run on a sacrifice fly

 

The Dragons are now 5-4 on the season and will look to continue their winning ways when they host Towns Co. on Monday as part of a make up game. First pitch scheduled for 4:30

PHS Football Holds End Of Year Banquet

Team FYN Sports

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.

 

 

 

18 Dragon Players Named On 7-AAAA All-Region Teams

Team FYN Sports

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.

Dragons Season Ends At 8-3

Team FYN Sports

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.

 

Dragons Clinch Playoff Berth With Win Over Heritage

Team FYN Sports

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.

 

 

Dragons Run Their Way To A Win Against The Raiders

Team FYN Sports

Last night, the PHS varsity football team traveled to Dalton to take on the Raiders of Southeast Whitfield in a crucial 7-AAAA match up. The Dragons came into the ball game with a 4-1 overall record and 1-1 in region play looking to bounce back after a tough loss to Northwest Whitfield the week prior.

 

Pickens won the opening toss and elected to differ to the 2nd half giving the Raiders the first chance at points. It would not take long for Southeast to do just that as Tyler Brown found room on the right side of the defense and got in from 79-yds out. The PAT was missed however giving the Raiders a 6-0 lead with 10:18 left in the opening quarter. Dillon Gasaway burst through for a 43-yd run on the Dragons possession setting up a 1-yd Chris Pittman touchdown. Ty Chastain’s PAT attempt sailed through and true giving Pickens a 7-6 lead with 8:58 left in the opening frame. Chastain added a 27-yd field goal to make it 10-6 Dragons as we went to the 2nd quarter.

 

Chris Pittman found the end zone from 8-yds out at the 7:41 mark of the first half giving the Dragons a 17-6 lead. After a Caleb Brooks INT, Chris Pittman got past the defense and into the end zone from 19-yds out for his 3rd score in the 1st half stretching the lead to 24-6 with 1:52 to go in the 2nd quarter. The Raiders cut into the lead just before halftime after taking an INT 61-yds to the end zone. A successful two-point conversion gave us a halftime score of 24-14 with Pickens still ahead.

 

In the 3rd quarter, The Dragons defense swarmed the Southeast offense on every play. The 3rd quarter ended as it began with Pickens on top, 24-14. In the 4th, Dillon Gasaway made his way into the endzone from 2-yds out giving the Dragons a 31-14 lead with 9:01 remaining in the ball game. The defense shutout the Raider offense in the 2nd half giving us a final of 31-14.

 

Pickens finished the night with 14 first downs, 4/9 on 3rd down, 0/1 on 4th down. Ran 53 total plays for 312 total yards including 284 yards rushing on 46 attempts. The defense picked off a pass, forced 2 fumbles, & had 3 sacks on the night.

After taking over QB duties due to injury, Jacob Brumby finished 3/7 for 28 yards

Chris Pittman carried the ball 21 times for 152 yards and scored 3 td’s while Dillon Gasaway finished with 117 yards on 17 carries and a td

Leading the way for the Dragon defense were Kyle West, who finished with 11 total tackles, 8 solo, and 3 assists, Jacob Gordon chipped in 9 total tackles 5 solo and 4 assists, & Caleb Brooks who ended the night with 6 total tackles, 3 solo, 3 assists, 1 TFL, and 1 INT

Due to injury, Chris Pittman took over punting duties and punted twice for 87 yards, a 43.5 yard average, a long of 53, and landed 1 inside the 20

Ty Chastain finished 4/4 on PAT’s and 1/1 on field goals with a long of 27 yards

Pickens will finally be home after a 3-week road trip as they will host LaFayette in another 7-AAAA region match up. Next week will be Homecoming for PHS as there will be a week filled with activities and events. Pickens is 5-1 on the season and are tied with Heritage for 3rd place in the region 2-1. LaFayette is 1-5 on the year and 0-3 in region play.

Dragons Lose First Game In Tough Fashion

Team FYN Sports

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.

Defense Powers Dragons Past Ridgeland In Region Opener

Team FYN Sports

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.

 

Dragons Use Big 2nd Half To Defeat East Hall Move To 2-0

Team FYN Sports

Last night, the Pickens Dragons varsity football team traveled to Gainesville to take on the Vikings of East Hall. These two teams played last season in Jasper with the Dragons taking it. Pickens looked to build off their hard fought victory last week over White County.

 

The Vikings won the toss and elected to receive. With help from a pass interference called on 3rd down, East Hall found the end zone on their opening drive but missed the PAT to lead it, 6-0 with 8:34 left in the 1st quarter. After picking off a pass from Marcus Byrd in Dragon territory, the Vikings added to that lead with a 22-yd run and 2-point conversion making it 14-0 with 5:01 remaining in the opening quarter. The Dragons got their first points of the game on a Chris Pittman 3-yd run cutting the Viking lead in half 14-7 as we’d head to the 2nd.

 

Pickens tied things up at 14 just 5 seconds into the 2nd quarter with C. Pittman finding pay dirt from 5-yds out. After being backed up deep into their own territory, East hall connected on a 95-yd pitch and catch to take the lead right back 20-14 with 8:03 left in the 1st half. Ty Chastain cut that lead in half with a 38-yd field goal as we went into the break with the Vikings leading the Dragons, 20-17.

 

Byrd gave Pickens the lead for the first time in the ball game after a 55-yd run making it 24-20 Dragons with 10:22 left in the 3rd quarter. Caleb Brooks took it from 18-yds and found the end zone on a sweep play stretching the Dragons lead to 31-20 with 4:10 to go in the 3rd. 3rd time was indeed a charm for C. Pittman as he got in from 9-yds out at the 1:43 mark in the 3rd giving Pickens a 38-20 lead.

 

Trevon Hawkins made his mark on the game in the 4th as he scampered 13-yds for the score making it 45-20 Dragons with 5:08 remaining in the game. East Hall got their final score of the game at the 4:04 mark in the 4th after a 64-yd pass and catch making it 45-28 Pickens. Hawkins added a 2nd score of the quarter, this one from 20-yds giving us a final of 52-28.

 

STATS

Pickens had 24 first downs, went 5/12 on 3rd down and 3/5 on 4th down ran 77 total plays for 591 total yards with 517 of those yards coming on the ground. The Dragon defense forced 3 turnovers, 2 interceptions and 1 fumble.

Marcus Byrd went 6/12 for 74 yards passing and added 124 yards rushing on 12 carries and 1 touchdown

Chris Pittman ran it 27 times for 224 yards and 3 td’s, and Trevon Hawkins added 37 yards on 4 carries and 2 touchdowns

Defensively, Will Wotring lead the way for Pickens with 10 total tackles with 7 solo and 3 assisted while Jacob Gordon collected 9 total tackles, 5 solo, 4 assisted, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery

Byrd punted once for 55 yards, Brooks had 47 punt return yards on 3 attempts, and Dillon Gasaway lead the kick return yards with 45

Ty Chastain went 7/7 on PAT’s and 1/1 on field goals with a long of 38

The Dragons will be on a bye next week but will be back in action and at home on Friday, the 18th as they host the Knights of Johnson, Gainsville

 

 

Dragons Win Defensive Battle Over White County In Home Opener

Team FYN Sports

Last night, the Dragons varsity football team opened up the 2015 regular season in the friendly confines of Dragons Stadium against the White County Warriors. Coming off of a win in their scrimmage game against River Ridge two weeks ago, Pickens looked to open up the season with a big win. Last year in Cleveland, Ga, the Dragons beat the Warriors in a shoot out to open 2014.

 

White County won the toss but elected to defer to the 2nd half meaning the Dragons would get the first chance to put points on the board. After a good kickoff return, the Dragons were unable to find the endzone. The Warriors used the Wing-T/Triple Option offense to slow down the pace of play but as the 1st quarter ended, there would be no score from either team.

 

As the 2nd quarter of play moved along, White County believed they had the first score of the ball game. A penalty negated that score, and we remained deadlocked at 0. The first score of the game came at the 4:14 mark of the 2nd quarter as Ty Chastain booted a 40-yd field goal through the uprights to give his team a 3-0 lead. Pickens took that 3-0 lead into halftime over the Warriors.

 

Penalties and stalled drives hindered both teams in the 3rd quarter until the Warriors’ Caleb Crane was able to hit pay dirt from 7-yds out. A missed PAT gave White County a 6-3 lead with 2:51 left in the 3rd. Pickens found it’s most sustained drive as they headed to the 4th, looking to reclaim the lead.

 

Just 35 seconds into the 4th and final quarter of play, quarterback Marcus Byrd hit the open hole on the left side and found the endzone to give the Dragons a 10-6 lead with 11:25 left in this one. Chastain added his 2nd field goal of the night with 1:35 to go to make it a 13-6 game. The Warriors had one final drive to try and tie things up, but the Pickens defense came up big and forced a turnover on downs allowing the offense to run out the clock giving the Dragons a 13-6 victory.

 

STATS

First Downs: Pickens 11 White County 7

3rd Downs: Pickens 6/14 White County 3/12

4th Downs: Pickens 1/2 White County 0/2

Total Yards: Pickens 244 White County 149

Total Plays: Pickens 54 White County 47

Rush Yards: Pickens 244 White County 23

Pass Yards: White County 126

Total Takeaways: Pickens 2 White County 0

Offensive leaders for Pickens: Byrd 60 yds rushing on 10 attempts and 1 touchdown, Chris Pittman 157 yds rushing on 31 attempts

Deffensive leaders for Pickens: Dillon Eilers 10 tackles, 1 sack, Kyle West 8 tackles, 1 TFL, Nick Southern & Andrew Ortiz 7 tackles each

Special Teams: Byrd 5 punts for 191 yards and 2 inside the 20, Caleb Brooks 3 punt returns for 42 yards and a kick return for 21 yards, Dillon Gasaway 1 kick return for 55 yards

Ty Chastian: 1-1 on PAT’s 2-3 on field goals with a long of 40 yards

 

Pickens will look to build off this hard nosed win and prepare for the first road test of the season, a match up with the Vikings of East Hall next Friday while White County will get ready for their home opener against Jackson County.

Dragons Win Scrimmage Game Over River Ridge

Team FYN Sports

Last Friday night, the Pickens High School football team traveled to Woodstock to take on the 5-A River Ridge Knights. The Knights are a former region foe of the Dragons and the Dragons were victorious the last time these teams squared off. River Ridge won the toss and elected to receive the opening kick. The Dragons defense wasted little time making an impact as Caleb Brooks came up with the interception and almost took it back the other way.

 

PHS would have to settle for a Ty Chastain field goal however as they went up 3-0 with 8:42 remaining in the 1st quarter. Chris Pittman then would add to that lead for the Dragons as he muscled his way in from 3-yards out to give his team a 10-0 advantage with 5:51 still remaining in the opening quarter. One of the main things to work on early in the season is penalties and it would be some costly penalties by the Dragon defense that would lead to a River Ridge field goal making it 10-3 with 2:27 left in the 1st quarter. As the opening frame came to a close, Dillon Gasaway got in to the end zone from 21-yards out to stretch the lead to 17-3 after one quarter.

 

The only scoring in the 2nd quarter would be a 1 yard run by the Knights to cut the PHS lead to just 7, 17-10, with 3:15 remaining in the first half. The Dragons were able to pick off River Ridge for the 2nd time in the opening half, but were unable to do anything with it and took a 17-10 lead into the break. The Dragons started the 2nd half with the ball as Michael Casey nearly took the kickoff to the house. Chris Pittman took it in for his 2nd score of the night giving PHS the 23-10 lead with 11:32 left in the 3rd quarter.

 

To the Knights credit, they came right back and scored on a 58-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 23-17 with 10:39 to go in the 3rd. Dylan Huffman scored on a long touchdown run of 39 yards to bring the Dragon lead back to double digits 30-17 with 2:08 left in the 3rd quarter. PHS then secured it’s third interception of the game just before the 3rd quarter came to a close and looked to add more to their score. Just 7 seconds into the 4th quarter, Freshman Trevon Hawkins got in from 10-yards out, adding to the Dragons lead, 37-17 with 11:53 to go in the game.

 

Hawkins added a 2nd touchdown run, this time from 3-yards out giving the Dragons a 44-17 lead as that ended up being the final for this scrimmage.

 

The Dragons will now prepare and work on things for the season/home opener against non-region opponent, White County. This opening game will be on the 28th of this month at 7:30 at Dragons Stadium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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