Cedartown, Ga — On October 16th, the Pickens Dragons made one of the longer trips of the season to Polk County where they met the Cedartown Bulldogs to start 7-AAAA play. These two teams have met 6 times previously with the last meeting coming in 2013. The last time Pickens came to Cedartown in 2012, they came away with the win in a game that featured former University of Minnesota and Dragon great Shannon Brooks along with former University of Georgia standout and current Cleveland Browns running back, Nick Chub
The Dragons won the toss and elected to receive to begin the ball game. Pickens came out with a a strategy of using a quick pass game plan as Cedartown was bringing pressure early. The Dragons went for it on 4th down near midfield and appeared to make the line to gain, but it was ruled short and the Bulldogs took over. On their opening possession, Cedartown would also be faced with a go for it on 4th down situation. They chose to go for it and the Dragon defense stood tall and held them. Just before the end of the first quarter, things got a little wacky. After forcing the Bulldogs to punt, the Dragons reached into their bag of tricks and pulled out the old double pass play. Sam Streicher hit Jarod Whitmore who then connected with a wide open Andrew Burrell for a 56-yd touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The Dragons had more surprises for Cedartown as they then went for an onside and recovered. Going to the second quarter, Pickens led the Bulldogs 7-0.
The Dragons had possession of the ball to start the second quarter after executing an onside kick just before the end of the first. Pickens got a long run from Whitmore, who then capped off the drive with a 1-yd touchdown run to make it 14-0 with 10:22 left in the first half. The Bulldogs got on the board for the first time at the 7 minute mark of the second quarter with a 3-yd touchdown run to make it 14-7 Dragons. Just before the end of the first half, Cedartown got on the board again. This time with a 10-yd touchdown pass. The PAT was no good however and the Dragons headed into halftime with a 14-13 lead over the Bulldogs.
In the third quarter, Cedartown took advantage of some miscues by the Dragons and turned those miscues into touchdowns. The Bulldogs scored three times off of turnovers to take the lead over Pickens going to the fourth, 31-14.
In the fourth quarter, Cedartown added to their lead with touchdown runs of 84, 11, and 35 yards. Pickens ended the ball game with something positive as Streicher found Tom Frechette in the corner of the end zone for a 14-yd touchdown pass. Final from Cedartown: Bulldogs 52 Dragons 21.
Central Carroll: 4-1 (1-0)
Cedartown: 3-2 (1-0)
Ridgeland: 1-5 (1-0)
Northwest Whitfield: 4-1 (0-1)
Heritage: 3-3 (0-1)
Pickens: 2-4 (0-1)
Next week, the Dragons will be back home as they welcome the Ridgeland Panthers into town as they continue 7-AAAA play. Ridgeland picked up it’s first win of the season against Heritage 21-14, holding on after leading 15-0 at halftime. Kickoff is set for 7:30.
Blairsville, Ga — Friday, October 2nd marked the first time that the Pickens Dragons and Union County Panthers faced off since 1991. Pickens won that game 34-0 on 11-1-91. The first meeting between these two schools came in 1960. The Dragons came in with a 2 game win streak and the overall series was tied a 5 a piece. This was Union’s first game since having to cancel a game due to Covid protocols, a young man on the team was involved in a wreck, and did we mention, it was homecoming. The Panthers were able to capitalize on some mistakes by the Dragons and took this one, 28-14.
The Dragons opened the ball game on offense as they seem to have done to begin every game this season so far. Union was able to force a 3 and out to get the ball for the first time. A short punt, gave the Panthers good field position to work with on their first drive, but the defense of Pickens held strong and forced a punt. The punt backed the Dragons up all the way to their 3-yd line. Desperate to get out of their own end zone, Sam Streicher lobbed it up for Senior receiver Mykel Hand and he made a spectacular catch along the sideline to move the chains and give Pickens some breathing room. The second Dragon drive would stall as both defenses looked strong early on. Going to the second quarter, we remained scoreless.
A minute and six seconds into the second quarter, the Panthers struck first with a 14-yd touchdown run to give them a 7-0 lead with 10:54 left in the first half. During their final drive of the half, the Dragons were setting up for a 42-yd field goal attempt. A false start, caused head coach Jeff Nelson to call a timeout, talk to his team, and decide to send his offense back out there. On 4th and fifteen, Streicher completed a pass to Senior running back Jarod Whitmore and Pickens had 1st and goal set up at the Union 9-yd line. Several plays later Whitmore would mash his way into the end zone for the 1-yd touchdown to tie things up with 27 seconds left in the half. Union took the ensuing kickoff deep into Dragon territory, but a holding call on the Panthers negated that run and we hit the half all tied at 7.
Almost midway through the third, Union was able to retake the lead after a 14-yd touchdown pass. The PAT was no good, so the Panthers held a 13-7 lead with 7:34 left in the third quarter. Union would pick off a pass attempt from Streicher and took over near midfield. The Dragons defense settled in and forced a field goal attempt. The try was no good and Pickens took over at their own 20-yd line. The next play, the Panthers picked off a pass along the sideline to give it back to their offense. Union was able to turn the turnover into points with a 5-yd touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt was successful and the Panthers took a 21-7 lead over the Dragons going to the fourth quarter.
Union County added to their lead at the 9:38 mark of the 4th quarter with a 16-yd touchdown run to make it 28-7 Panthers. The Dragons found success on a drive going with a quicker tempo and running back Kenny Nelson would finish the drive off with a 4-yd touchdown run to make it 28-14 with 4:37 left. In the end, the Union County Panthers took this one, 28-14.
Northwest Whitfield: 4-0
With the exception of Central-Carroll, every other team in 7-AAAA is on a bye week next week. 7-AAAA play will start on October 16th. For the Dragons, they will open up region play on the road at Cedartown against the Bulldogs. This will be the 7th all time meeting between the two schools with the last one coming in 2011, the last time these two schools were in the same region. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
Jasper, Georgia — On Friday September 25th, the Pickens Dragons (2-2) hosted the Coosa Eagles (2-1) in non-region action at Dragons Stadium. The Dragons were back home for the first time in two weeks, and were looking for a spark to jump start their season. Coosa, came in putting big points up in two games with over forty in each contest. Last night was also Homecoming for Pickens. Behind a stellar defensive effort, the Dragons evened up their record with a 10-0 win.
The Eagles won the toss but elected to differ to the second half, giving the Dragons the ball first. After a quiet first drive, Pickens was forced to punt. Senior Jarod Whitmore got a great punt off that was downed at the Coosa 2-yd line. The Eagles picked up one first down, but that was it for their opening drive. The Dragons drove down a short field and set up for a 29-yd field goal attempt. That attempt was unsuccessful. Going to the second quarter, we had no score on the board.
In the second quarter, Pickens had several chances to punch in touchdowns and were finally able to cash in during the later stages of the first half with a 5-yd touchdown run by Whitmore which was helped set up by a beautiful pitch and catch by Sam Striecher to Mykel Hand. Going into halftime, the Dragons led the Eagles, 7-0.
In the third quarter, the Dragons added on to their after a 39-yd field goal by Jose Sanchez connected giving Pickens a 10-0 lead with 8:59 left in the third. The field goal was set up by an interception by Conner Browning, one of three turnovers forced by the Dragons defense. No other scoring occurred in the third and we headed to the fourth with the Dragons ahead, 10-0.
The fourth quarter saw the Dragons defense stuff any possible chance at a comeback for the Eagles as Pickens was able to hold on to the shutout and improve their record to .500 on the season with a 10-0 win.
Northwest Whitfield: 4-0
Next week, the Dragons will be back on the road as they head to Blairsville to take on the Union County Panthers in their final non-region game of the schedule. This will be the 11th all time meeting between the two schools having not played since 1991. Pickens currently is riding a 2-game win streak in the series. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
Cleveland Ga — Last night, the Pickens Dragons (1-2) traveled up to Cleveland Georgia to take on the White County Warriors (3-0) in non region action. These two teams have become very familiar with each other over the last several seasons meeting twice in 2018, once in 2019, and again in 2020. All together, this was the 46th all time meeting between the two schools. It was senior night for White County as they would continue their impressive start to the season defeating the Dragons 42-7.
The Dragons kept up their streak of winning the opening coin toss to start the season as they elected to get the ball first. Their opening possession for the Dragons was a short one as the Warriors were able to recover a fumble. White County cashed in on the turnover with a touchdown run to make it 7-0. The Warriors added to their lead with an 6-yd touchdown run to make it 14-o with 6:37 left in the first quarter. With 2:29 left in the first quarter, White County got into the end zone with an 8-yd touchdown run to make it 21-0 Warriors over the Dragons.
The first quarter ended as the Warriors were driving. twelve seconds into the second quarter, White County struck again with a 65-yd touchdown pass to make it 28-0 with 11:48 left in the first half. That would be the only score in the second quarter as we headed into halftime with the Warriors ahead of the Dragons, 28-0.
The third quarter saw the Warriors add to their lead with a 2-yd touchdown run to make it 35-0 with 8:03 left. With fifty-three seconds left in the third, White County scored on a second 2-yd touchdown run to make it 42-0 going to the fourth and final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw the Dragons come up with their best drive of the night. Some highlights of the drive included a great catch by Mykel Hand and a 1-yd touchdown run by Jarod Whitmore just before time expired. Final from Cleveland, 42-7.
Northwest Whitfield: 3-0
Next week, the Dragons will be back home as they welcome the Coosa Eagles to Dragon Stadium. The Eagles, are 2-0 on the season after wins over Trion and Lookout Valley (TN). They are out of region 7 in AA. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
On a very unforgettable day in american history, September 11th, the Pickens Dragons (1-0) traveled to Summerville to take on the Chattooga Indians (0-1). This was the first ever meeting between the two schools in football. Chattooga, is out of the AA classification. They were coming off of a tough loss to Adairsville 28-21. The Dragons, came in riding high after defeating their 515 rival Gilmer Bobcats 17-8. In a tough game, Pickens had their chances in the second half, but several mistakes in the first quarter were too much to overcome as Chattooga took this one, 28-14.
The Dragons started off the ball game with the first possession, but were unable to get anything going. Chattooga used a heavy dose of their run game as they chewed up several minutes on the clock as they found the end zone for the first time on the night after a 1-yd touchdown run to make it 7-0 with 3:27 left in the opening quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Pickens couldn’t corral the ball and the Indians took over in Dragon territory. Shortly after, Chattooga connected on a 28-yd touchdown pass to make it 14-0 Indians going to the second.
The second quarter began with the Indians on offense as they were driving when the first quarter came to an end. Chattooga capped off that drive with an 8-yd touchdown pass to make it 21-0 with 11:40 left in the first half. The Dragons, got on the board for the first time in the later stages of the first half as Sam Streicher found Devin Hand for a 23-yd touchdown pass to make it 21-7 Indians with 2:14 left in the opening half. Pickens forced a turnover on Chattooga’s next possession, and looked to capitalize on it just before the half. On the first play of the drive however, Streicher’s pass would be picked off by the Indians. After a long pass play by the Indians, Chattooga scored on a 3-yd touchdown run to make it 28-7 as we hit halftime.
The third quarter saw the defenses for both teams really lock in and stand their ground. The biggest threat in the third, came from the Dragons as it looked like Pickens had crossed the plain for a touchdown but the officials ruled that the ball came out before the runner was down and Chattooga would recover the fumble. The defense for the Dragons continued to get better as the game wore on and held the Indians offense in check. Going to the fourth quarter, it was still 28-7 Chattooga.
The Dragons were driving as the third quarter came to an end, and looked to score quickly to cut into the Indians lead. On fourth down, Streicher found Jarod Whitmore for a 5-yd touchdown pass to make it 28-14 Chattooga with 10:21 left in the game. Pickens had several chances to try and cut into the lead, but the Indians were able to hold on as Chattooga took this one, 28-14.
Northwest Whitfield: 2-0
The Dragons, will again be on the road next week as they head to Cleveland Georgia to take on a familiar foe in recent years, the White County Warriors. As you may know, the Warriors dropped down to AAA and are off to a 2-0 start on the season. This will be the 46th all time meeting between the two schools with White County leading the series 23-20-2. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
On Friday September 4th, the 2020 high school football season got underway for the majority of the state of Georgia. With all of the ups and downs that has been this year and the will they won’t they speculation, to get to this opening night was a huge deal. In Jasper Georgia, two teams very familiar with each other took the field to open their seasons. The Pickens Dragons came into the 2020 season having to fill many major holes on both offense and defense after graduating most of their production from the team last season. The Gilmer Bobcats, came in with a lot of momentum having exceeded expectations last season, moving to a new region, and returning players with a lot of varsity experience. After it was all said and done, the Dragons picked up the win, 17-8.
The Bobcats won the toss, but elected to defer to the 2nd half, giving the Dragons the ball first. After a pooch kick was fair caught, the Dragons took over with a new starting quarterback in freshman Sam Streicher. If that last name sounds familiar, it should. Sam is the younger brother of Dragon football standout C.J. Streicher. The Dragons used a heavy dose of the run game on their opening drive with senior Jarod Whitmore getting the bulk of the carries. At the 9:44 mark of the opening quarter, Whitmore turned the corner on the right side and got in for the touchdown. The extra point from Juan Sanchez was good, and the Dragons took a 7-0 lead. After a Bobcat fumble on their opening drive, Pickens turned that into points with a 30-yd field goal by Sanchez to make it 10-0.
Defense was the name of the second quarter as neither offense could find hardly anything. The score remained 10-0 Pickens until late in the first half when the snap on a punt attempt by the Dragons sailed over the head of Whitmore and landed in the end zone. Gilmer picked up two points with the safety, and had a chance to get more before the half. The defense for the Dragons held and we would head to halftime with Pickens leading 10-2.
The Bobcats, started the second half with the football and with a tweak to their game plan. Gilmer came out throwing more for their first possession of the second half and found success with it. After a pass interference call against the Dragons, the Bobcats connected on a 36-yd touchdown pass to make it 10-8. The ensuing two-point conversion try was no good, and Pickens still held the lead, this time at 10-8 with 8:55 to go in the third. Using that momentum from having just scored, Gilmer transferred that over to the defensive side of the ball where they got the stop. The Bobcats next possession was a quick one as Andrew Burrell picked off a pass attempt and set the Dragons up with good field position. Pickens turned that interception into points when Streicher found the returning Mykel Hand after a nice pass for the touchdown. The first varsity touchdown pass for Streicher. The PAT was good and the Dragons extended their lead over the Bobcats 17-8, going to the fourth quarter.
In the fourth and final quarter, Gilmer had their chances to cut into the lead, but the Dragons defense held strong and helped Pickens come away with the win, 17-8.
After the set of games this week, here are the records for the teams in the new 7-AAAA:
Northwest Whitfield: 1-0
Cedartown: 0-0 (game canceled)
Central-Carroll: 0-0 (game canceled)
Pickens will travel to Summerville Georgia next Friday to take on the Chattooga Indians in non-region play. Chattooga is in region 7 in AA. They fell to Adairsville 35-28 on Friday night. Kickoff set for 7:30 pm next Friday.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week is Senior wide receiver Alex Snelgrove. Snelgrove, made sensational catches all throughout the game against the North Oconee Titans in the 1st round of the GHSA 4A State Playoffs. Snelgrove, scored 3 total touchdowns catching two touchdown passes of 14 & 10 yards and also added a 1-yd touchdown run late in the game.
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.
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.
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.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week is Senior offensive lineman, Aidan Sanchez. Aidan, has been a major part of the Dragons success over the last several years manning one of the offensive tackle positons. Against Ridgeland, Aidan did well against their defensive front. He helped open holes for the backs, & gave CJ time to throw the ball. The offensive line for the Dragons works as one. Aidan, Bailey Cannady at the tackle spots, Josh Cook & Mason Watkins at the guard positions, & Sam Stout stepping in as the center. The offense only goes as far as this unit take it & they do their job really well.
Next week, the Dragons are back home to take on the Lafayette Ramblers in the final regular season game. It’s also Senior Night as well. Hopefully, we’ll have better weather than we did last night next Friday. Kickoff set for 7:30.
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.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week is Sy Chadwick. Sy, was in the backfield on multiple occasions last night for the Dragons in their big 35-10 win over Northwest Whitfield. Seemed like all night Chadwick was stopping a run play before it began, or forcing the quarterback to scramble, allowing other teammates to make the play. Defense as a whole for the Dragons played arguably their best full game of the season with guys like Jay Jones, Chase Nelson, Andrew Burrell, Tucker Lowe, Clayton Holland, Dallas McHale, Jake Rodgers all making big plays last night. The Pickens defense held the Bruins to just one touchdown & one field goal on the night. I cannot leave out the job the Dragon offensive line did last night as well. Pickens, did not attempt a pass the entire game. Incredible job by the ofeensive line & the receivers opening up holes for Jarod Whitmore, Dawson Turner, & CJ Streicher to run through.
Next week, you can catch Sy & the rest of the Dragons in Rossville to take on the Ridgeland Panthers. Kickoff for that ball game is scheduled to begin at 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 Senior Alex Snelgrove. Alex has been a leader on and off the field for the Dragons for the past several seasons. Snelgrove, plays both ways for the Dragons on Friday nights. He’s a receiver on offense, & a linebacker on defense. Against Heritage, Snelgrove made a great catch in the corner of the end zone that resulted in a 23-yd touchdown. On defense, Snelgrove was there making several tackles, disrupting plays, & breaking up a pass attempt.
You can watch Snelgrove and the rest of his Dragon teammates next Friday at home as they host the Northwest Whitfield Bruins. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.