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.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the week is Junior running back Jarod Whitmore. Whitmore, scored 4 total touchdowns against the Dragons arch rival, the Gilmer Bobcats, in a 35-23 Pickens victory. This is Whitmore’s 2nd Player of the Week honor. Whitmore, with the help of the big boys up front, the Dragon offensive line, scored from 51-yds, 27-yds, & 5-yds out. He also caught a 23-yd touchdown pass from Senior QB CJ Streicher. Whitmore, along with Streicher & Alex Snelgrove, were a real driving force on offense for Pickens against Gilmer.
The Dragons, now move to 3-2 on the season & more importantly, 1-0 in 6-AAAA play. They will be back home next week, as they host the Southeast Whitfield Raiders in another key region game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 next Friday, so be sure to come out and see Whitmore, & the rest of the Dragons take on the Raiders.
The 63rd all-time meeting between the Pickens Dragons & the Gilmer Bobcats certainly will leave it’s mark in the storied history between these two schools. Both came into the game sporting 2-2 records, & were looking to start region play by defeating their main rival. An unexpected opponent tonight? Mother nature. After thunderstorms with severe lightening made it’s way through Ellijay, we officially had a 90-minute delay & things got underway between the two teams at 9 pm.
Pickens won the toss & elected to receive the opening kickoff. After converting several 3rd down plays on the drive, the Dragons capped it off with a 27-yd touchdown run by Jarod Whitmore, giving Pickens a 7-0 lead with 9:34 left in the opening quarter. Not to be outdone, on their opening drive, Gilmer, completed a 66-yd touchdown pass to even the score at 7, with 4:04 left in the 1st. Whitmore, would find the end zone for the 2nd time in the quarter after a 51-yd touchdown scamper, to make it 14-7 Pickens, at the end of the 1st quarter.
The Bobcats, answered rather quickly to begin the 2nd quarter as they had the ball deep inside Dragon territory to start the frame. Gilmer scored on a 3-yd touchdown run at the 11:18 mark. The PAT was no good however, & Pickens still maintained a lead of 14-13. Later in the quarter, the Dragons stretched their lead out after a 23-yd touchdown pass from CJ Streicher to Whitmore. The PAT was good, & Pickens now led the Bobcats, 21-13, with 3:22 to go in the half. Gilmer was able to knock in a 26-yd field goal with 8 seconds left, to cut the Dragons lead down to 21-16 at the half.
Each team had one scoring drive in the 3rd quarter. Streicher, was able to muscle his way into the end zone from 4-yds out, to make it 28-16 Dragons with 5:52 left in the 3rd quarter. Gilmer came right back, & scored on a 3rd & goal from the 1-yd line to make it 28-23 Pickens, going to the 4th & final quarter of play.
Pickens started off the 4th quarter deep inside Bobcat territory & Whitmore was able to punch it in from 5-yds out, giving the Dragons a 35-23 lead. That lead would hold up as Pickens came away with a hard fought win from a very game Gilmer Bobcat team, 35-23.
With the win, the Dragons move over .500 for the season, & more importantly, 1-0 in 6-AAAA play. Next week, Pickens will be back home as they host the Southeast Whitfield Raiders in another big region match up. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm next Friday.
The PHS varsity football team were finally back home after nearly a month on the road as they welcomed the Chamblee Bulldogs to Dragons Stadium for their final non-region game of the season. After falling in back to back tough games on the road, the Dragons looked to get back on the right track heading into next week.
The first quarter, was one of a coaches worst nightmares. Turnovers. In total, the two teams combined to turn the ball over 5 times in a sloppy start to this one.
Pickens forced two of those turnovers with a fumble recovery by Alex Snelgrove and an interception by Tucker Lowe. The Dragon defense forced a safety at the 9:25 mark of the 1st quar
ter, giving Pickens a 2-0 lead. With 30 seconds left in the quarter, the Bulldogs connected with a 22-yd field goal, to give them a 3-2 lead, going to the 2nd quarter.
58 seconds into the 2nd quarter, the Dragons retook the lead after a 30-yd touchdown pass from CJ Streicher (who was named Mr. PHS prior to the game) to Snelgrove. The PAT was good and Pickens took a 9-3 lead with 11:02 left in the first half. Soon after that, Tucker Lowe collected his 2nd interception of the first half. Pickens later added to their lead when Jarod Whitmore scampered 28-yds for the touchdown, giving the Dragons a 16-3 lead over Chamblee at the half.
The third quarter, saw an explosion of offense from the Dragons. The first of three 3rd quarter scores came after Streicher lobbed it up for Mykel Hand from 27-yds out & Hand came down with it after a one handed leaping grab to give Pickens the 23-3 lead over the Bulldogs with 7:52 left in the quarter. At the 5:12 mark, Whitmore scored his 2nd rushing touchdown of the night, this time from 35-yds out, to make it 30-3 Dragons. The 3rd and final score of the quarter came at the 1:36 mark when Streicher made some nifty moves to get in from 17-yds out. Dragons held a 37-3 lead over Chamblee, going to the 4th and final quarter.
The 4th quarter saw a lot of backups and younger players get into the ball game to get some much valued varsity experience. After a long run by backup QB TC Jarrett, Andrew Burrell was able to take it in from 19-yds out, giving the Dragons a 44-3 lead. Your final score from Dragons Stadium, Pickens 44 Chamblee 3.
With the win, the Dragons improve their record to 2-2. But next week, the real fun starts. Region play. Pickens, will start region play next week on the road against their friends from the north, the Gilmer Bobcats. Both teams will come into this game with identical 2-2 records and looking to start region play off on the right foot. Game time is set for 7:30 in Ellijay.
It was another back and forth ball game on Friday night as the PHS DRagons varsity football team made it’s way up to Cleveland to take on the Warriors of White County, in a non-region tilt. Pickens, came in winners of two straight over White County, but the Warriors came in with the all time series lead at 22-20-2. Both teams were looking to bounce back after tough losses last wee, as they gear up for region play in a few weeks.
It didn’t take long for last week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week, Jarod Whitmore, to make an impact on this game as he would take the opening kickoff back 90-yds for a touchdown. The PAT hit off the left upright, & Pickens held a 6-0 lead over the Warriors. White County, would then find the end zone themselves on their opening drive with a 52-yd touchdown pass. The ensuing PAT was good, & the Warriors had their first lead of the night, 7-6, with 9:50 left in the opening frame. The Dragon defense would then come up big as Mykel Hand would make a great catch for the interception. Pickens would use that turnover as momentum to score on that ensuing possession, with a Whitmore 6-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good, & the Dragons retook the lead, 13-7, with 5:39 to go in the 1st. White County scored on a 5-yd touchdown pass, to make it 14-13 Warriors after one.
Early on in the 2nd quarter, the Dragons picked off another Warrior pass. This time, it was T.C. Jarrett. The interception, set up Pickens with great field position & Whitmore would end the drive with a 3-yd touchdown run. His 3rd of the first half. The PAT was once again good & Pickens took the lead back, 20-14, with 9:55 to go in the half. 55 seconds later, the Warriors answered that score with a touchdown run of their own. This one, from 49-yds out. The PAT was good, & White County reclaimed the lead, 21-20. No other scoring would occur for the rest of the half & we hit the midway point with the Warriors on top, 21-20.
In the 3rd quarter, both teams had to deal with another opponent, mother nature. The skies opened up & rain that was maybe supposed to come after the game decided that it wanted to make a surprise appearance. This made it a little difficult for both offenses to find any groove. White County would put together a drive late in the 3rd, but Jay Jones would come up with a big interception for the Dragons in the end zone. Going to the 4th, White County was still in front, 21-20.
Let’s flash forward to just about 6 minutes left to go in the ball game. Down one, the Dragons were looking to start the drive that could potentially win it. Pickens, marched down the field, executing key third downs along the way. The Dragons, would get all the way down to the Warrior 10-yd line, & then, White County would create a fumble, recover, & take it 88-yds down to the Pickens 2-yd line. The Warriors, scored on the next play, giving them a 27-20 lead with 1:35 left. They went for the 2-point conversion, but the Dragons were able to stop it. Pickens, again looked to start a big drive, but again the Warriors would come up with a key turnover as they picked off Streicher’s pass. To their credit, the Dragons defense stepped up in a big spot & stopped White County on a 4 & out to give the offense another chance. A pass by Streicher was completed on 4th down, but it was shy of the marker, giving the ball back to the Warriors. Your final, White County 27 Pickens 20.
Pickens, will look to bounce back after two tough road defeats as they host the Chamblee Bulldogs at home next week. Chamblee, is 0-2 on the season, & have had an extra week to get ready. Game time is set for 7:30.