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.
Last night, the Pickens varsity football team hosted the LaFayette Ramblers in a 7-AAAA match up. The Dragons were finally back home after nearly a month on the road and looked to build off of their road win against Southeast Whitfield last week. The Homecoming crowd would not be disapppointed.
Pickens won the toss and differed to the 2nd half giving LaFayette the ball first. After the defense made a stand, Chris Pittman scored the 1st of his 2 rushing touchdowns with 9:40 to go in the 1st quarter. The other score came with 33 seconds left as the Dragons took a 14-0 lead into the 2nd quarter
The Pickens defense and punt return teams continued to give the Dragon offense great starting field position in the 2nd quarter. This quarter offensively belonged to Dillon Gasaway, who found the end zone twice on touchdown runs. The first one came from 5-yds out at the 11:24 mark stretching the Pickens lead to 21-0. The 2nd Gasaway touchdown run came from 6-yds out at the 1:11 mark giving us a halftime score of 28-0 Dragons.
During the intermission, Homecoming Maid of Honor & Queen were crowned. Hunter Harrington was named Maid of Honor & Kerrie Lee was named Homecoming Queen for the 2015-16 season.
In the 3rd quarter, the Pickens running game continued it’s strong performance as Dillon Gasaway found the end zone from 32-yds out for his 3rd score of the game making it 35-0 Dragons with 9:04 left in the 3rd quarter. Freshman Trevon Hawkins got in on the scoring as he plowed through from 2-yds out making the score 42-0 Dragons with 6:57 left in the 3rd. Ty Chastain then tacked on a 42-yd field goal giving Pickens a 45-0 lead going to the 4th.
Ten seconds into the 4th quarter, Hawkins again found pay dirt. This time, from 35-yds out giving the Dragons a 52-0 lead. The Pickens defense shut out the Rambler offense and the Dragons took this one 52-0. Pickens is now 6-1 on the season and now in 2nd in 7-AAAA at 3-1.
On the night, the Dragons collected 14 first downs, went 4/9 on 3rd down, & 1/2 on 4th down. Pickens 55 total plays for 408 yards including 356 yards coming on the ground and 7 touchdowns. Defensively, the Dragons forced 4 turnovers (3 fumbles & 1 INT), & held the LaFayette offense to 83 total yards.
In spot start duty, Jacob Brumby went 6/10 for 52 yards passing
Dillon Gasaway led Pickens in rushing with 147 yards on 12 carries, a 12.3 ypc average & 3 touchdowns, Trevon Hawkins finished the night with 103 yards on 11 carries for a 9.4 ypc average & 2 touchdowns, & Chris Pittman added 63 yards on 9 carries for a 7 ypc average and 2 touchdowns.
Hunter Golden led the Dragons in receiving on the evening with 3 catches for 25 yards while Walker Lawrence added 21 yards on 2 catches
Kyle West led Pickens in tackles on the night with 7 total 3 solo, 4 assists, and 1 fumble recovery, Dillin Eilers had 6 total tackles 4 solo, 2 assists, 2 TFL, & 1 INT, & Jacob Gordon added 6 total tackles 5 solo, 1 assist, & 1 forced fumble. Austin Massey & Nick Southern also had fumble recoveries.
Chris Pittman punted twice for 72 yards a 36 yard average, with a long of 37 & 1 inside the 20
Zack Hermann returned 4 punts for 68 yards a 17 yards average with a long of 33 yards
Caleb Brooks took 1 kickoff return back 38 yards
Ty Chastain was 7/7 on PAT’s & 1/1 on field goals with a long of 42 yards
Pickens again will be home next week as they host the Generals of Heritage, Catoosa in another key 7-AAAA game. Heritage is 4-3 on the season & 2-2 in region play.
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.
Last night, the Dragons varsity football team played host to the Knights of Johnson-Gainesville in what was the final non-region game for Pickens. This was the 14th time these two schools have met with the Dragons leading the all-time series, 7-6 and winners of three straight. Prior to kickoff, Tucker Green and Sydney Romine would be named Mr. & Miss PHS.
Pickens won the toss but elected to differ to the 2nd half, giving the Knights the ball to begin the game. Both teams struggled offensively as both defenses played well in the 1st quarter. A Ty Chastain 36-yard field goal proved to be the only points scored in the opening frame as the Dragons took a 3-0 lead into the 2nd quarter.
Much like the 1st quarter, defense was the story in the 2nd quarter. With 37 seconds left in the 1st half, Marcus Byrd found the end zone with a 20-yd run stretching the Pickens lead to 10-0 over the Knights as we headed to the break. The Dragons got the first crack in the 2nd half, looking for more points.
However, the Knights defense played tough and held the Pickens offense scoreless. At the 4:46 mark in the 3rd, Chris Pittman was able to bust through past the defense on the 1 yard line giving the Dragons a 17-0 advantage. 1:22 later, Darian Bunch scampered 73 yards for the touchdown cutting the Dragon lead to 17-7 with 3:24 to go in the 3rd.
As the 3rd quarter came to a close, Pickens had the ball moving looking to punch it in. Just 6 seconds into the 4th, C. Pittman got in for his 2nd score after a 6-yd run to the left side to make it 24-7 Dragons with 11:56 left in the ball game. The Knights would not go quietly however as Cody Long found pay dirt from 9-yds out cutting it to 24-14 with 5:03 left in the game. The defense for Pickens stepped up when it had to and the offense ran out the clock giving the Dragons a 24-14 win, moving them to 3-0 on the season.
The Dragons collected 17 first downs, were 4/13 on third down, and 2/5 on 4th down. Pickens racked up a total of 376 yards on 67 plays, 271 on the ground and 105 through the air. Defensively the Dragons were able to recover two fumbles and had two sacks.
Offensively, Marcus Byrd was 7/13 for 105 yards passing while adding 72 yards rushing on 15 carries and a touchdown
Chris Pittman led the Dragons in rushing with 119 yards on 23 carries and 2 touchdowns
Walker Lawrence had 2 catches for 36 yards, Zack Hermann caught 2 passes for 24 yards, Hunter Golden had 2 catches for 20 yards and Bradley Ragano caught 1 pass for 25 yards
The Dragons held the Knights offense to 165 total yards. Jacob Gordon led the way with 18 total tackles, 11 solo, 7 assists, 1 TFL, and a fumble recovery, Dillin Eilers added 16 total tackles, 7 solo, 9 assists, 1 TFL, and 1 sack, while Avery Luke had 8 total tackles, 6 solo & 2 assists
Byrd punted two times for 75 yards with a long of 46 yards
Ty Chastain went 3/3 on PAT’s and 1/2 on field goals with a long of 36 yards
Pickens finishes the non-region portion of their schedule at 3-0 with the 2nd season set to begin next week. The Dragons will be on a 3-week road trip to start region play with the 1st game being at Ridgeland on the 25th.
The Pickens High School Dragons football team traveled to LaFayette High School to take on the Ramblers. This game was the first road game for Pickens since September 19th. It was also be the first meeting between the two teams. LaFayette’s Homecoming would serve as the backdrop for this game; however, the celebration was short lived as the Dragons’ offense roasted the Ramblers to the tune of 69 points, en route Pickens picking up the 69-34 win.