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.