Last night, the PHS Dragons varsity football team made the long trip down to Bogart Georgia to face the North Oconee Titans in the first round of the GHSA 4A State Playoffs. This, was this 6th consecutive season that the Dragons found themselves in the playoffs as they came into this game, looking for an upset. Pickens, came into the game as region 6-AAAA #3 seed & North Oconee came in as the #2 seed out of 8-AAAA.
Pickens, won the toss and elected to receive to begin the ball game. North Oconee, would force a punt, & it would be the Titans turn at offense. The Titans, struck first with a 45-yd touchdown run, to make it 7-0 North Oconee at the 9:31 mark of the opening quarter. The Dragons, with help from a spectacular catch by Senior Zach Tetterton, got on the board with a 40-yd field goal by Jose Sanchez, to make it 7-3, with 4:51 to go in the 1st. The Titans, would add to their lead with a 10-yd touchdown run to make it 14-3, going to the 2nd.
About halfway through the 2nd quarter, the Dragons cut into the Titan lead with a 14-yd touchdown pass from CJ Streicher to Alex Snelgrove, to make it 14-10 North Oconee with 6:32 left in the 1st half. A game changer occurred when the Titans took the ensuing kickoff back 91-yds for a touchdown, to make it 21-10 with 6:15 left in the half. As time expired in the 1st half, North Oconee would connect on a 32-yd touchdown pass to give them a 28-10 lead over the Dragons at the break.
Coming out in the 3rd, North Oconee had a long run to get into Dragon territory. The Pickens defense however, was able to hold the Titans to a 35-yd field goal, making it 31-10 with 9:27 left in the 3rd quarter. North Oconee would add a 21-yd touchdown pass at the 4:55 mark of the 3rd to make it 38-10 Titans. The Dragons, got on the board after Streicher threw a dart to Snelgrove & Snelgrove made a diving catch in the corner of the end zone for a 10-yd touchdown. Our score after 3 quarters was 38-17 North Oconee.
Both teams would find the end zone once in the 4th and final quarter. The Titans, scored on a 21-yd touchdown run at the 3:05 mark. Pickens, got their final score of the game with just under a minute left after Snelgrove ran it in from 1-yd out. The final score in this one, 45-24 North Oconee.
Things will be a little different in Jasper next year. Not only will the Dragons lose 22 seniors from this years team, but they will also be in a new region. Pickens will be in 7-AAAA with familiar faces like Heritage, Northwest Whitfield, & Ridgeland. But they’ll also be welcoming two new members to the region with Cedartown & Central-Carrollton.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the week is Senior Quarterback CJ Streicher. Last night, was Streicher’s final home game along with 21 other seniors. The Dragons needed this game against Lafayette to get into the playoffs. The Dragons got that win thanks in big part to the performance of it’s senior signal caller. Streicher, had a school record tying 7 total touchdowns last night in the Dragons thrilling 49-45 win over the Ramblers. Streicher, finished with 238 yards on the ground, 167 yards passing, 6 rushing touchdowns, & 1 passing touchdown. Streicher also converted two 2-point conversions, & helped convert a fake punt with a completed pass to fellow senior, Zach Tetterton. A special shout out goes to the 21 other seniors on this year’s Dragons football team. Yesterday’s win over Lafayette would not have been possible without them & they have been a part of what is most likely the best stretch of success in Pickens football history. With their win last night, they clinched a playoff berth for a 6th consecutive season. Just a fantastic job all around for the sustained success.
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.
Last night, the PHS Dragons varsity football team made the nearly 2 hour trip towards the Georgia/Tennessee line to Rossville to take on the Ridgeland Panthers. This, was the 2nd to last game of the regular season for the Dragons who were neck & neck with Heritage at the top of the region standings coming into this one. Oh, did I mention the rain? It rained… a lot.
Pickens won the toss & elected to receive the opening kickoff. The wet conditions played a factor early as a bad snap led to a Panther recovery on a fumble. Ridgeland would take advantage of the short field and score on a 25-yd touchdown run to make it 7-0, at the 9:56 mark. The Dragons would be forced to punt on their next drive & once again, it didn’t take long for the explosive run game of the Panthers to do it’s damage as Ridgeland was able to score on their first play of drive to make it 14-0. Towards the end of the 1st quarter, the Dragons defense started slowing down the Ridgeland run game & the Dragon offense, started to click as well.
Pickens got on the board early in the 2nd quarter with a 33-yd touchdown pass from C.J. Streicher to Jarod Whitmore at the 8:49 mark to cut the Panther lead in half, 14-7. Twenty-three seconds later, Ridgeland would answer with a 64-yd touchdown run to extend their lead out to 21-7, with 8:26 to go in the 1st half. Ridgeland, was looking to add to that lead prior to halftime, but the Dragons defense had other ideas. Pickens, forced a fumble & it was recovered and taken down into Panther territory, giving the offense a chance to cut into the lead before the break. On the ensuing drive, Streicher found an open Austin Chester for a big gain down the middle of the field. Streicher, would then cap off the drive with an 8-yd touchdown run to make it 21-14 Ridgeland with 47 seconds left in the half. The Panthers, tried to answer prior to halftime, but the Dragons defense made sure that would not happen. Going into the break, the Panthers led the Dragons, 21-14.
In the 3rd, the Panthers got the ball first to start the 2nd half. Ridgeland was able to drive down deep into Dragon territory, but Pickens was able to hold them to a 28-yd field goal, making 24-14, with 9:56 left in the 3rd. Ridgeland added a 48-yd touchdown run at the 2:30 mark of the 3rd to extend their lead over Pickens to 31-14. With time dwindling down in the 3rd, the Dragons may have been down, but they were not out as they drove it down the field as we headed to the 4th quarter.
Twenty-five seconds into the 4th, the Dragons struck. Jarod Whitmore, with a little help from offensive lineman Josh Cook, was able to power his way in from 10-yds out to cut the Ridgeland lead to 31-21, with 11:35 left in the game. The Dragons, were looking for more trailing by 10, but the Panthers were able to pick off a pass attempt & take it the distance to make it 38-21 Ridgeland, with 7:42 left in the ball game. Streicher was able to punch it in from 1-yd out to make it 38-28, with 1:35 remaining. The Panthers would add a late field goal, giving us a final of 41-28 Ridgeland.
Northwest Whitfield: 3-1
Southeast Whitfield: 0-4
Next week, the Dragons will be back home as they will host the Lafayette Ramblers in the regular season finale & Senior Night next Friday at 7:30. From what we were able to gather, a win for the Dragons means that they’re in. What seed they will be will not be determined in all likely hood. The winner of the Heritage/Northwest Whitfield game in two weeks will decide the Dragons fate. Should Heritage win, the Dragons look be the #3 seed due to their win over Northwest Whitfield. Should Northwest Whitfield win, Pickens would likely be the #4 seed due to the loss to Heritage.
Jasper, GA — The Dragons knew coming into this game that they needed a win. They were playing host to the top team in the region, Northwest Whitfield, sitting one game back of them in the standings. The Dragons, after last week’s heart wrenching loss to Heritage, knew they had to come out with intensity and determination to get a win in front of the home crowd.
Pickens won the opening toss and elected to receive the ball. 1:30 into the game, Pickens struck with a 39-yd touchdown run by Jarod Whitmore, to make it 7-0 Dragons with 10:30 to go in the opening quarter. The two teams would trade possessions until the 3:09 mark of the 1st when Northwest Whitfield scored on a 20-yd screen pass to tie it up at 7 a piece, going to the 2nd.
In the 2nd quarter, the defense was on display for the majority of the frame. The lone score of the quarter came after a 6-yd touchdown run by CJ Streicher, to put the Dragons up on the Bruins, 14-7, going into the break.
With their first possession of the 2nd half, Northwest Whitfield was able to drive down the field, but the Dragon defense held them to a field goal attempt. The 36-yd field goal attempt by the Bruins was successful, & that cut the Pickens lead down to 14-10. An 8-yd touchdown run by Whitmore, stretched the Dragon lead out to 21-10, with 3:25 to go in the 3rd. We would end the 3rd with Pickens ahead by that score of 21-10, and they were driving to add more going to the 4th.
Twenty-four seconds into the 4th quarter, Streicher found the end zone for the 2nd time on the evening with a 3-yd touchdown run. That score, extended the Dragons lead over Northwest Whitfield to 28-10. Not to be outdone, Whitmore was able to score for a 3rd time on the night after a 14-yd run, making it 35-10. Pickens would pick off a pass towards the end of the game to seal a much needed win, 35-10.
Heritage: 6-2 (3-1)
Pickens: 5-3 (3-1)
Northwest Whitfield: 5-2 (2-1)
Ridgeland: 3-4 (2-1)
Gilmer: 3-4 (1-2)
LaFayette: 3-5 (1-3)
Southeast Whitfield: 0-7 (0-3)
Offensively, Pickens didn’t attempt a pass play. Defensively, the Dragons played what could be considered their best all around game of the season. The Dragons now find themselves tied with Heritage atop the region standings as seen above. Heritage has the slight advantage due to their win over Pickens. Next week for the Dragons, a long road trip up to Ridgeland High School to take on the Panthers. This one will also be big for many reasons. 1. to keep up with Heritage, & 2. to move one step closer to possibly securing a home playoff game. Kickoff for this game in Rossville is set for 7:30 pm.
Last night, the PHS Dragons varsity football team made their way up to Catoosa County in Ringgold to take on the Heritage Generals in what could’ve been labeled as the most important game of the season up to date. With both squarely in the region championship picture for 6-AAAA, Pickens came in atop the standings at 2-0, while Heritage came in right behind them at 1-1. This game, has historically been back and forth in the last several seasons and this one turned out to be no different.
Heritage won the opening toss and elected to receive to begin the ball game. The Generals, generally, are a throw first type of team offensively, but came out running the first couple of plays on this opening drive. Heritage would end the drive with points as they connected on a 40-yd touchdown pass to make it 7-0 with 9:27 to go in the 1st quarter. Not to be outdone, the Dragons would drive down the field using their run game, & capped their first scoring drive off with a 23-yd touchdown pass from CJ Streicher to Alex Snelgrove. After one, the Dragons and the Generals were knotted up at 7 apiece. Both defenses took over in the 2nd quarter with only one score coming by way of a 1-yd touchdown run by Heritage. Going into the half, the Generals led Pickens by a score of 14-7.
The 3rd quarter mirrored the 2nd quarter as again, there was only one score. That came after a 4-yd touchdown run by the Generals at the 1:02 mark. Going to the 4th, Heritage had a 21-7 lead over Pickens, but the Dragons were not done yet.
Streicher got the comeback attempt started with a 1-yd touchdown run at the 10:51 mark to make it 21-14. After trading possessions for the majority of the quarter, Pickens broke through with a touchdown pass from Streicher to Jarod Whitmore. with 1:25 to go in the game. The ensuing PAT attempt was ruled no good however & the Generals kept their lead at 21-20. The Dragons almost got the ball back with under 30 seconds left after Heritage fumbled the ball trying to run the remaining time off the clock, but the Generals were able to recover, and take this one, 21-20.
6-AAAA Region Standings
Northwest Whitfield: 2-0
Southeast Whitfield: 0-3
While this type of loss will sting a little bit if your a Dragon fan, Pickens is certainly not out of any potential playoff spot yet. Next up for the Dragons, a date at home with the Northwest Whitfield Bruins. As you see from the standings above, this one will be another critical game next Friday at 7:30.
After a long night in Ellijay last Friday, the Dragons were back home at Dragon Stadium hosting the Southeast Whitfield Raiders for their Homecoming game. The Raiders, came into the ball game 0-5, & 0-1 in region play, but on Tuesday during Dragon Talk, Coach Nelson talked about how you can’t afford to take anyone lightly, especially region teams.
Southeast Whitfield began the ball game with the ball, but only managed one first down as the Dragons defense forced a punt. The first drive for Pickens saw promise, but stalled out near the red zone. The Dragons would settle for a 26-yd field goal by Juan Sanchez, to put them on top 3-0, with 5:02 left in the opening quarter. The Raiders, on their next possession, connected on a 32-yd touchdown pass to take the lead over the Dragons, 7-3. Going to the 2nd quarter, The Raiders had a 7-3 lead, but the Dragons were driving.
A minute into the 2nd quarter, Senior QB CJ Streicher found the end zone for a 3-yd touchdown run, giving Pickens the lead back, 10-7. 2 minutes & 19 seconds later, Streicher made a nice cut to the far side of the field & scampered 77-yds for the touchdown. With 8:19 left in the first half, the Dragons led the Raiders, 17-7. Pickens found the end zone for the 3rd time in the quarter when Streicher lofted up a deep ball & Mykel Hand came down with it, giving the Dragons a 24-7 lead, going into the break.
Southeast Whitfield, got the scoring going in the 2nd half as they connected on another touchdown pass, to cut the Dragon lead down to 24-14, with 7:50 to go in the 3rd. Pickens answered the Raider touchdown with a touchdown of their own as Streicher took it in for 6 from 8-yds out, to make it 31-14, with 5:22 left in the 3rd. The Dragons scored again at the 1:36 mark of the 3rd when Streicher found fellow Senior Alex Snelgrove in the corner of the end zone with an 11-yd touchdown pass, making it 38-14. Pickens, would make one more house call in the 3rd quarter as Streicher found a wide open Dylan Arp for a 20-yd touchdown, to give the Dragons a 45-14 lead, going to the 4th.
With a running clock in the 4th, the Raiders scored their final touchdown after a 37-yd run. Pickens, picked off a pass just before time expired to seal their 3rd straight win overall, & their 2nd straight in region play, 45-21.
6-AAAA Region Standings:
Pickens: 4-2 (2-0)
Northwest Whitfield: 4-1 (1-0)
Heritage: 4-2 (1-1)
LaFayette: 3-3 (1-1)
Ridgeland: 1-4 (1-1)
Gilmer: 2-3 (0-1)
Southeast Whitfield: 0-6 (0-2)
Pickens, will be back on the road next week, as they take on the Generals of Heritage. As you see in the standings above, these two teams are firmly in the race for a region championship. Heritage is coming off of a back and forth win over LaFayette on the road, 37-34. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm next Friday.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sports Writer’s Player of the Week goes to Senior QB CJ Streicher. Streicher, had a fantastic night on the ground and through the air accounting for 6 touchdowns (3 rushing, 3 passing) tonight in the Dragons 45-21 win over the Southeast Whitfield Raiders. Streicher, nearly tied a school record for most touchdowns in a game, but fell one shy of Jordan Shaw’s 7 touchdown record. Shaw set that record against Southeast Whitfield during his senior season. Streicher threw touchdown passes to Mykel Hand, Alex Snelgrove, & Dylan Arp. Streicher’s biggest play of the night quite possibly was a 77-yd touchdown run. Streicher, wasn’t the only Dragon who had a big night however. A shoutout goes to Juan Sanchez. Sanchez, made all of his extra points, connected on a 26-yd field goal, & had several touch backs on kickoffs. Aiden Sanchez had a big night on offensive line pushing defenders around. Sy Chadwick, & Clayton Holland helped lead a great defensive performance as well.
Next week, Streicher and the Dragons will be on the road against Heritage in another crucial region game. The Dragons find themselves atop the region standings at 2-0, but the Generals are right behind them at 1-1. Kickoff will be at 7:30 pm.