This past Friday night, the PHS Dragons varsity football team took to their home field in Dragons Stadium to begin the 2016 season. The Dragons hosted the Chattahoochee Cougars out of the 6-A classification in what would surely test them early on in non-region play.
The Cougars won the toss and elected to receive to begin the ball game. The Pickens defense came ready to play on the opening drive as they forced a punt. A good punt return by Dylan Huffman set up the Dragons offense in prime position for points. Chris Pittman found those 6 points by way of a 9-yd touchdown run. The PAT from Rudy Perez was good and the Dragons held an early 7-0 lead on Chattahoochee. Chattahoochee tied things up when they were able to recover a fumble and take it back 46-yds for the score. We ended the opening quarter of the 2016 season as we began it, tied at 7 a piece.
The 2nd quarter was a wild and crazy ride to say the least. After tight end Alex Pittman made a catch down field, the Cougars punched the ball away, but Trevon Hawkins was there at the right time and fell on it in the endzone to give the Dragons a 14-7 lead. Pickens stretched their lead out to two scores as Kelton Gilbert got in from a yard to make it 21-7 with 6 minutes left in the 1st half. Chattahoochee came back with a 90-yd kick return for a score to cut the Dragon lead to 21-13. C. Pittman found pay dirt for a 2nd time, this one from 5-yds to make it 28-13 with 3:48 still to go in this 1st half.
After a 38-yd touchdown pass for the Cougars, they were unsuccessful at the two-point conversion making it 28-19 Pickens with 2:15 left in the 1st half. The Dragons had one more score left in them before halftime as Jacob Brumby found Huffman down the sideline for a 65-yd touchdown making it 35-19 Dragons as we headed to the break.
Pickens wasted little time getting more points after starting the 2nd half with the ball. Brumby found Hawkins for a 5-yd score to make it 42-19 with 9:14 left in the 3rd. Hawkins found the endzone again at the 4:26 mark this time, by way of the ground as he got in from 16-yds out, making it 49-19 Dragons.
The 4th quarter saw a running clock and the young guys getting a chance to play and they did really well. With no scoring from either side in the 4th and final quarter, the Dragons came away with their first win of the season in the opener, 49-19.
Stats for the night
Pickens had 14 1st downs on the night, went 8-11 on 3rd down, had 499 total yards on 54 plays for a 9.2 yard average, 356 rushing yards on 48 attempts for a 7.4 yard average, & 143 yards passing on 6 attempts for a 23.8 yard average
Jacob Brumby went 5-6 for 143 yards and 2 touchdowns
Chris Pittman led the way in rushing with 133 yards and 2 tds, Dylan Huffman had 77 yards, Kelton Gilbert had 63 yards a 1 score, Trevon Hawkins had 26 yards and a score, freshman C.J. Streicher had 33 yards
Dylan Huffman led the team in receiving with 66 yards & a score followed by Alex Pittman with 1 catch for 42 yards, Colby McDowell had a catch for 24 yards, & Trevon Hawkins had a catch for 5 yards & a score
Defensively the Dragons were all over the field and especially in the backfield. Pickens totaled up 5 sacks Friday night and 11 tackles for loss as a team
Devin Grant led the team with 10 total tackles. 4 solo, 6 assts, 2 TFL, and 2 sacks, Will Wotring had 9 total tackles on the night, 6 solo & 3 asst, Josh Cain had 7 total tackles, 5 solo, 2 asst, 1 TFL, Michael Cain had 6 total tackles, 4 solo, 2 asst, 2 TFL, Jordan Burton had 6 total tackles, all assts, Alex Pittman had 4 total tackles, 3 of which went for a loss, and 2 of those were sacks. Nick Southern also had a sack.
Chris Pittman punted twice on the night for 72 yards
Dylan Huffman had 3 punt returns for a 52 yard total and a long of 31
Rudy Perez went 7/7 on PAT’s
Pickens will have next week off as they prepare to face the Dragons of Pepperell on the 2nd of September. That game will also be at home and will have a kickoff time of 7:30
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.
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.
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.