This past Friday night, the Pickens Dragons varsity football team welcomed the Denmark Danes to Dragon Stadium for a scrimmage game one week before the 2019 season officially kicks off. Pickens, coming off of a historic 11-1 season, a region championship, & their first ever playoff victory. Coming into the 2019 season, the Dragons are looking to replace several key players from last season, & look for some of the younger kids to step up & fill some important roles.
There was no official score kept on Friday night, their was plenty of scoring going on during this scrimmage game. The Danes got the scoring started by getting only points in the 1st quarter with a 40-yd field goal. Going to the 2nd quarter, Denmark led things, 3-0. Early on in the 2nd quarter, the Danes extended their lead with a 15-yd rushing touchdown to make it unofficially, 10-0 with 11:46 left in the first half. Pickens, found the end zone for the first time on the night after a nice 31-yd touchdown pass from returning 6-AAAA Player of the Year CJ Streicher to Jarod Whitmore cut the Dane lead to 10-6 with 3:46 left in the first half. Kickoffs, punts, field goals, & PAT’s were not live during this game so after the Danes took over after the Dragon touchdown, they wasted little time getting those points back. An 80-yd touchdown pass gave Denmark a 17-6 advantage over Pickens. Denmark was looking to add to their lead late in the first half as they were down near the Dragon goal line with seconds to go. The Dragon defense buckled down and made the stand as Tucker Lowe intercepted the pass on 4th down in the end zone to send us to the half, Danes up, 17-6.
The 2nd half saw the younger groups get in and get some valuable playing time for later on down the road. The Danes opened the 2nd half scoring with their 2nd rushing touchdown of the game to extend their lead to 23-6 over the Dragons with 6:48 to go in the 3rd. Pickens came right back and scored on a beautiful 23-yd touchdown pass from TC Jarrett to Connor Browning to make it 23-13 Denmark, going to the 4th and final quarter. Denmark, stretched their lead out at the 11:42 mark of the 4th with their 3rd rushing touchdown of the game. This time, a 48-yd run. The Danes added a field goal in the final minute, to make it an unofficial 33-13 final.
All in all, some good things happened on the field Friday night for the Dragons. There was also some teachable moments for the coaches which is what these scrimmages games are for. Once this offense got to clicking, it was fun to watch. The defense made some really nice plays & held Denmark on several goal line stands & forced several Dane turnovers.
Looking ahead to next Friday, the Dragons will take a 10 game regular season win streak into Friday night as they host the Stone Mountain Pirates to kick off the 2019 season. The Pirates, are out of the 3-A classification and went 2-8 last season. As coaches & players will tell you though, last season was last season & 2019 brings on a whole new year & every team is different. You can catch the Dragons taking on the Pirates next Friday at Dragon Stadium at 7:30.
Jeff Nelson, new head coach for the Pickens Dragons, is ready for the upcoming season and to continue the momentum from an 11-1 record last season.
“Everybody expects you to be good. You gotta play and you gotta practice with that intensity and that pride of where you were,” said Nelson. “We gotta play with that kind of intensity that is going to get us back to that region championship again.”
Intensity is an important aspect to the game for Coach Nelson.
“I’m very intense, and I want that to spill over to the staff and then onto the kids…something that I’ve prided myself on as a defensive coach is getting all the kids moving towards the football, everyone wanting to be in on the play,” said Nelson.
The Dragons have an exciting season ahead of them, and you can watch the full interview with Coach Nelson below!
It was a hot one last night in Dawsonville as the PHS Dragons football team made the short trip over to Dawson County to take on the Tigers in the finale of spring practice. The last several years these two teams have played against each other in the spring game. Both teams are coming off of playoff appearances in the 2018 season, and looked to build momentum heading into the 2019 season.
The story for the first half, which was played by the varsity squads & the takeaway from the first half was defense. Neither offense could get anything going as the defense for both squads were very impressive for having been together for just two weeks. In the Dragons case, they were led by new defensive coordinator Grant Myers. Coach Myers came to PHS from Splading High School. The defensive line is still intact from last year, but other than that, there are many new faces in the linebacker & DB groups. Speaking of the DB group, a familiar face has been tasked to lead them as PHS Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Jordan Shaw, has returned to PHS to coach the DB’s. Another new defensive coach that is set to join the Dragons staff is new LB coach, Seth Deering, who will come to PHS from Denmark High School.
The varsity portion of this spring scrimmage ended in a 0-0 deadlock. The good thing about these spring games is, both teams have something to look at and improve on heading into the summer workouts & into the start of the new season.
The 2nd half saw the younger kids get into the action, & that’s where the scoring really picked up. Dawson, got the scoring going in the 3rd with a 1-yd TD run. The extra point was converted & the Tigers led the Dragons 7-0. The next offensive play for Pickens, QB Jarod Whitmore found a streaking Devin Hand who snuck behind the Tiger defense & scored a 65-yd TD connection. Sophomore kicker Jose Sanchez drilled the extra point through the uprights to tie things up at 7. Just before the 3rd quarter ended, the Tigers attempted a 46-yd uncontested field goal, & converted it, giving Dawson a 10-7 lead going to the 4th.
The game featured a running clock throughout the contest. The last minute or so saw the final scoring by the two teams, Dawson, added to their lead with a 10-yd TD pass, making it 16-7 with 1:11 left. Pickens, drove down the field, & got in field goal range so Sanchez could attempt his lone field goal of the night. Sanchez would knock the 34-yd field goal attempt through, giving us a final of 16-10, Dawson.
- As mentioned earlier, the score in these games isn’t the important thing. It’s seeing where the players & the team is at heading into the summer & getting a feel for what needs to be worked on. Pickens, will break for a couple of weeks, & comeback in early June to continue preparation for the 2019 campaign. The Dragons, will host the Denmark Danes at Dragons Stadium for their 2nd scrimmage on August 16th, & open up the 2019 season at home against Stone Mountain the following week.
It had been a season of firsts for the PHS Dragons football team. First undefeated regular season, first region championship, & after last week, first state playoff win. Last Friday, was another first. First time playing in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Their opponent? The Troup County Tigers. Troup came into the game 10-1, & they represented region 5 as the #2 seed. This was the first ever meeting between these two schools in football.
The Tigers, took the opening kickoff deep into Dragon territory to begin the game. A 26-yd run at the 10:55 mark of the opening quarter gave Troup the 7-0 lead. Troup, would then recover a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, & score on the next play after a 31-yd run to make it 14-0, with 10:41 left in the 1st quarter. The Dragons, started building a drive as they crossed midfield & looked to cut into the Tiger lead. Troup, intercepted a pass by CJ Streicher, & would score to make it 21-0, with 8:38 to go in the 1st quarter. The Tigers, would again find the end zone after a 70-yd pass, to make it 28-0 Troup, going to the 2nd.
Troup scored twice in the 2nd quarter. Once after a 4-yd run, & once after a 46-yd run. Pickens, would find the end zone for the first time after a good drive & a 38-yd touchdown run from Senior Michael Burrell, that brought the crowd to their feet. Troup County led the Dragons, 41-7, at the half.
The Tigers added two scores in the 3rd. a 4-yd run, & a 51-yd pass to make it 53-7, going to the 4th. In the 4th, Burrell would find the end zone again as he was able to punch it in from a yard out. Your final, Troup 53, Pickens 14.
1st Downs: 19
3rd Down: 4/14
4th Down: 1/4
Total Yards: 359
Rush Yards: 221
Pass Yards: 138
CJ Streicher: 11/25, 138 yards, 19 rushes, 44 yards
Michael Burrell: 13 rushes, 115 yards, 2 TDs, 2 catches, 23 yards, 4 tackles, 6 punts, 244 yards, 3 inside the 20
Trevon Hawkins: 9 rushes, 50 yards, 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 blocked PAT, 4 kick returns for 74 yards
Hunter Hermann: 7 tackles
Andrew Macom: 7 tackles
Jay Jones: 6 tackles, 1 pass break up
Dallas McHale: 5 tackles
Kaleb Ray: 5 tackles
Jose Sanchez: 2/2 on PAT
This past Friday, it was a cold, drizzly night in Pickens County as the PHS Dragons varsity football team hosted the White County Warriors for the 1st round of the GHSA 4-A State Playoffs. White County, came into the game as the #4 seed from region 7, while the Dragons came in as the #1 seed from region 6. These two teams met earlier in the season as you may recall, with Pickens coming away with a 42-35 win.
The Dragons, won the toss & deferred to the 2nd half. White County, would manage a first down on their opening possession, but that would be all the Dragons defense would give up. On offense, the Dragons used the ground game & capped off their opening drive with points as QB CJ Streicher got in from 9-yds out to make it 7-0 Pickens, with 7:30 to go in the 1st quarter. Pickens then came up big on defense as the Warriors decided to go for it inside Dragon territory & were unsuccessful. Two plays later, Streicher found Zach Goss streaking down the far sideline & the Senior did the rest as he took it to the house for an 83-yd touchdown. As we headed to the 2nd, the Dragons were on top, 14-0.
The Dragons would add to their lead at the 9:17 mark of the 2nd quarter after Senior Michael Burrell made several moves including a fancy spin at the end of his 8-yd touchdown run, making it 21-0. The defense for Pickens once again came up big as a pass attempt by the Warriors was deflected, & Senior Chase Jarrett made a diving grab to nab the interception. The Dragons turned that turnover into points when Brady Moore ran it in from 29-yds out to make it 28-0, with 5:40 left in the first half. Just before the end of the half, another Dragon Senior, Trevon Hawkins, punched it in from 1-yd out, giving Pickens a 35-0 lead over White County heading into the break.
There was only one scoring drive in the 2nd half and that came on a 5-yd touchdown run from Jarod Whitmore in the 3rd quarter. Pickens, wins it’s first ever playoff game, 42-0.
Next week, the Dragons will again be home for the 2nd round of the 4-A Playoffs as they will welcome the Troup County Tigers to Jasper. Troup, is 10-1 on the season, & the #2 seed out of region 5. This will be the first meeting between the two schools in football. Kickoff set for 7:30 pm.
1st Downs: 11
3rd Down: 3/8
4th Down: 1/2
Total Yards: 397
Rush Yards: 239
Pass Yards: 158
Takeaways: 2 (1 interception, 1 fumble)
CJ Streicher: 6/8, 158 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 9 rushes, 43 yards, 1 TD
Trevon Hawkins: 9 rushes, 58 yards, 1 TD, 2 catches, 17 yards, 6 tackles, 1 pass break up
Brady Moore: 7 rushes, 52 yards, 1 TD, 1 pass break up
Michael Burrell: 8 rushes, 41 yards, 1 TD, 2 catches, 24 yards, 2 tackles, 3 punts, long of 53 yards, 1 inside the 20
Jarod Whitmore: 1 rushing TD
Zach Goss: 1 catch, 83 yards, 1 TD
Kaleb Ray: 1 catch, 34 yards, 1 pass break up
Hunter Hermann: 7 tackles, 1 pass break up
Dallas McHale: 6 tackles, 3 for loss
Chase Nelson: 6 tackles
Andrew Macom: 5 tackles, 1 forced fumble
Jake Rogers: 5 tackles, 1 sack
Chase Jarrett: 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception
Jose Sanchez: 6/6 on PAT
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sports Writer Player of the Week is Michael Burrell. Burrell, had two touchdowns this past Friday night against LaFayette. One on offense, & one on defense. Burrell, was also called on to punt a couple of times for the Dragons. On the night, Burrell threw a 15-yd touchdown pass to QB CJ Streicher, picked off a pass and took it 20-yds for a score (1 of 4 turnovers for the Dragons on the night), had a rush of 15-yds while in at QB, collected 4 tackles, & punted twice for 79 yards. One of those punts was inside the 20-yd line. For the season, on offense, Burrell is 6/9 passing for 158 yards & 3 TD’s, rushed for 315 yards on 39 attempts, & 5 TD’s, caught 4 passes for 128 yards & 2 TD’s. Defensively, Burrell has 24 tackles, 3 INT’s, 6 pass break ups, & 1 defensive TD. Burrell has also punted 5 times for a total of 187 yards (37.4 yd average), & have had 3 punts downed inside the opponents 20-yd line.
With the 48-19 win over LaFayette last Friday, the 6-AAAA region champion Dragons completed a 10-0 regular season for the first time in school history. You can catch Michael Burrell & the rest of the Pickens Dragons at home on November 9th as they host the #4 seed out of region 7 in the 1st round of the 2018 4A State Playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
Soggy weather was the theme this past Friday as the PHS varsity football team traveled up to Walker County, to take on the LaFayette Ramblers for their regular season finale. Pickens, by virtue of their win last week against Ridgeland, clinched the 6-AAAA crown, but was looking for another PHS first, an undefeated season. To do that, they would have to get by a much improved Rambler team.
LaFayette, got the ball to start the ball game and looked to get something good going early for their Senior Night. On a 3rd & long play, the Rambler QB scrambled to his left and found a receiver down the field, who would then take it 76-yds for the score at the 10:47 mark to make it 7-0 LaFayette. The Dragons, were able to drive down on their first possession, & tie things up after a 10-yd TD run for Robert Davis, to make it 7-7, with 7:27 to go in the 1st quarter. Pickens took the lead after a little trickery when QB CJ Streicher handed it off to Michael Burrell, who acted like he was running a reverse. Instead, Burrell stops, & throws back to a wide open Streicher for a 15-yd touchdown. Pickens tried a two point conversion, but were unsuccessful. We would go to the 2nd, Dragons ahead, 13-7.
The Dragons, added to their lead early on in the 2nd quarter when Streicher threw a lob pass & Zach Goss, was able to haul it in & get a foot down in the back of the end zone for the 16-yd score at the 10:36 mark of the 2nd. Dragons led, 20-7. The Ramblers, had a good drive of their own, and capped it off with points after a 5-yd TD run at the 6 minute mark of the 2nd. The PAT was ruled no good, so Pickens held a 20-13 advantage. The Dragons, were able to march down the field and end their drive with 6 after a 23-yd TD run from Davis. Davis’ 2nd touchdown of the night gave Pickens a 27-13 lead with 4:20 left in the first half. At the 2:39 mark, the Dragons defense came up with a big play as Burrell, playing corner, tipped a pass to himself, & took it 20 yards for the touchdown. Making it 34-13 Pickens. Just before the half ended, Brady Moore was able to get in from 2-yds out, to make it 41-13 Dragons, going to the break.
There were only two scores in the 2nd half & both came in the 3rd quarter. The first, came at the 6:27 mark when Alex Snelgrove, got in from 2-yds out to make it 48-13. LaFayette, found the end zone just before the quarter ended after a 10-yd run. Your final score for the evening, Dragons 48 Ramblers 19.
Pickens: 10-0 (6-0) Region champions
Ridgeland: 6-3 (4-1) clinched 2nd seed
NW Whitfield: 6-3 (3-2) play Heritage next week for 3rd/4th
Heritage: 4-5 (3-2) play NW Whitfield next week for 3rd/4th
LaFayette: 4-5 (1-5)
SE Whitfield: 3-6 (1-5)
Gilmer: 0-9 (0-5)
1st Downs: 17
3rd Down: 7/12
4th Down: 2/3
Total Yards: 390
Rush Yards: 234
Pass Yards: 156
Takeways: 4 (2 INT, 2 fumble recoveries)
CJ Streicher: 7/18, 114 yards, 1 TD, 8 rushes, 52 yards, 1 catch, 15 yards, 1 TD
Michael Burrell: 1/1, 15 yards, 1 TD, 1 rush, 15 yards, 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 Def. TD, 2 punts, 78 yards, 1 inside 20
Robert Davis: 4 rushes, 66 yards, 2 TD
Brady Moore: 6 rushes, 31 yards, 1 TD
Alex Snelgrove: 2 rushes, 9 yards, 1 TD
Zach Goss: 3 catches, 61 yards, 1 TD
Kaleb Ray: 3 catches, 37 yards, 4 tackles, 1 INT
Hunter Hermann: 7 tackles
Trevon Hawkins: 6 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack
Chase Jarrett: 6 tackles
Jay Jones: 5 tackles, 1 pass break up
Dallas McHale: 4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery
Andrew Macom: 3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery
Jose Sanchez: 6/6 on PAT
The Dragons, have completed their regular season, finishing 10-0 for the first time in school history. With a bye week this upcoming week, the Dragons next game will be in the 1st round of the State 4A playoffs on November 9th at home at 7:30 pm. Their opponent, is still to be determined. There is a possibility that the region 7 #4 seed, will come down to a 3-way tiebreaker if West Hall defeats Chestatee, Denmark loses to Flowery Branch, & White County loses to Blessed Trinity this Friday. Denmark, West Hall, & White County would all then be tied for 4th place. All three of those teams defeated each other during the season. How they will determine who gets the 4th seed, is unknown.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sports Writer Player of the Week is Senior Kaleb Ray. Kaleb, plays almost everywhere for the Dragons. On offense he plays receiver & running back, on defense he plays corner, & he’s a big part of special teams. Kaleb came up big this past Friday against Ridgeland with the 6-AAAA region championship hanging in the balance. Ray, had two momentum shifting plays back to back. First, with Pickens leading 17-14 in the 2nd quarter, the Panthers lined up for a field goal to tie the game. Ray, came off the left side of the line, & blocked the would be attempt. On the very next play, QB CJ Streicher found Ray open down the left sideline & he took it to the house for a 73-yd touchdown, Giving the Dragons a 24-14 lead. On the night, Ray had 15 yards rushing. 13 of those yardscame on one play and resulted in a 1st down, had 1 catch for a 73-yd touchdown, made 2 tackles on defense & broke one pass attempt up, gained 24 yards on a kick off return, & blocked a field goal.
The Dragons are 9-0 for the first time in school history & have won their first ever region title. They will be back in action next Friday in LaFayette as they take on the Ramblers to close out the regular season. Kick off is scheduled for 7:30 pm.