Williams signs with Kennesaw State

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — Wednesday, February 7th was the second National Signing Day for Senior high school football players around the country and one of those Seniors was from Pickens High School. TE Isaiah Williams made it official on Wednesday putting pen to paper signing with Kennesaw State University to continue his academic and athletic careers.

 

Williams, played all four years for the Pickens Dragons football team playing both the tight end and defensive end positions. Williams, got offered the opportunity to play for the Owls during a visit on Sunday, January 28th. The next day, Williams was committed.

Williams, took a visit to Virginia Tech during his recruitment and had received offers from the United States Naval Academy, the University of Maine, Stetson University, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Reinhardt University, University of Virginia-Wise, Georgia Military College, North Greenville University, Erskine College, Carson-Newman University, and the University of Charleston.

 

Here is what KSU QB Coach Chandler Burks had to say about Williams after he signed with the Owls:

“Plays with Passion and edge that fits our mold! Great addition to the TE room. Welcome to the Family!”

 

Owls Defensive Coordinator Greg Harris, added this about the signing:

“This offense is a TE’s dream and we got a good one!!”

 

The Owls, have big things to look forward to as a program as they make the leap into the FBS and Conference USA which includes the likes of Florida International University, Jacksonville State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, UTEP, Western Kentucky University, and Delaware joining in 2025.

 

Congratulations to Isaiah and his family for this achievement and we look forward to seeing what you do in the future.

 

PHS hires new head football coach

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — On Thursday, January 4th, the Pickens County Board of Education approved the hire of Craig Bennett to become the new head football coach of the Pickens Dragons. Bennett, comes to Pickens after serving as the head coach of the Cambridge Bears from 2012 to 2023 accumulating a record of 65-62. He would lead the Bears to a 6-AAAAA region championship in 2022. During his time at Cambridge the Bears made the playoffs 5 times, and made 3 trips to the second round.

 

Bennett, has a total of 19 years of coaching in the high school ranks including stops at Darlington, Milton, Pope and the previously mentioned Cambridge. Bennett, will take over a Dragons team that has a young core group of kids coming back led by Hayden Jones and McCord Purdy just to name a few. While the Dragons have made several playoff appearances in the last couple of years, they will look to post their first winning record since the 2019-20 season.

 

The Dragons, will also be in a new region this upcoming season. Pickens, will be in the new version of 6-AAA along with familiar faces like Dawson, Lumpkin, and White County. New additions to the region will include Chestatee, Greater Atlanta Christian, Johnson-Gainesville, and North Hall.

Below is the press release sent out by Pickens High School:

Dragons come up just short of making the playoffs

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Peachtree Corners, Ga — The first Friday of November was a cold one as the Pickens Dragons made the trip down to Peachtree Corners to take on the Wesleyan Wolves for just the second time ever. While the Wolves had the #2 seed out of 7-AAA locked up coming into the game, the Dragons needed a win and some help from their friends from Gilmer to make it into the playoffs. The Wolves, led by ’24 4-star Syracuse commit, Jamie Tremble, were able to pull away and get the win over the Dragons, 42-20.

 

The Dragons, got the ball first to begin the ball game. After their opening drive stalled, they would be forced to punt. The Wolves, would block the punt and return it to the Dragon 20-yd line. The next play, Wolves QB Ben Brown found Tremble for a 20-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 10:31 left in the first quarter, Wesleyan led Pickens, 7-0. The Dragons, saw some success with their second drive of the game as they drove into Wolves territory.

The Dragons, would go for it on fourth down, but would not be able to convert. The Wolves, would add to their lead on their following possession as Brown would keep it and score from 20 yards out. The PAT was good and with 5:35 left in the first quarter, Wesleyan led Pickens, 14-0. The Dragons, got on the board as Senior QB Sam Streicher found the receiving touchdown leader in 3A, McCord Purdy for a 26-yd touchdown. The PAT from Senior Charlie Gibbons was good and they’d head to the second quarter with Wesleyan leading, 14-7.

 

The Wolves, who started their latest drive towards the tail end of the first quarter, found the end zone on the second play of the second quarter as Brown found Tremble for a 9-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 11:12 left in the first half, Wesleyan now led, 21-7. The Wolves, added to their lead as Brown tossed the ball to Townes Hardy as Brown was being dragged down for a 2-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 3:55 left in the first half, Wesleyan led 28-7.

The Dragons, found the end zone after Streicher hit Landon Poole with the screen pass and Poole broke several tackles and ran 44-yds for the touchdown. The PAT was no good and the two teams would go into the half with Wesleyan leading, 28-13.

 

The Wolves, got the ball first to start the second half. Wesleyan would score on their first possession of the second half as Brown found Tremble for a 53-yd touchdown. The PAT was partially blocked, but just still barely made it through. With 11:08 left in the third quarter, the Wolves led the Dragons, 35-13. The Wolves, would add a 35-yd touchdown near the end of the third quarter as Brown hit Carter Hayes. The PAT was good and as they headed to the fourth, Wesleyan led, 42-13.

 

The lone score in the fourth quarter came from the Dragons as Streicher hit Purdy for a 35-yd touchdown. The PAT was good from Gibbons and that would give us the final score of Wesleyan 42 Pickens 20.

 

Region 7 matches up with region 6 in the first round of the playoffs. The four teams representing region 7 in the AAA football playoffs will be Lumpkin, Wesleyan, White County, and Gilmer. Lumpkin, will host Gordon Lee, Wesleyan will host Ringgold, White County will travel to Bremen, and Gilmer will travel to Adairsville.

Dragons defeat Warriors to keep playoff hopes alive

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Cleveland, Ga — It was a beautiful night for football on Friday, October, 27th as the Pickens Dragons made their way up to Cleveland to take on the White County Warriors. Coming into the game, the Dragons looked to build off of a nice win over West Hall at home last week. The Warriors, looked to bounce back after a high scoring, 4 overtime affair with Lumpkin. In an action packed, intense, back and forth game, the Dragons came away with the 39-37 win to keep their playoff chances alive.

 

The Dragons, got the ball first to start the ball game and moved down the field pretty effectively. As the drive looked like it was possibly about to stall, QB Sam Streicher tossed the ball to Landon Poole on a screen play and Poole took it 32 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was blocked and with 8:40 left in the first quarter, Pickens led White County, 6-0. The Warriors, would answer nearly two minutes later as QB Tripp Nix took it in from 15-yds out. The PAT would be good and with 6:41 left in the first quarter, the Warriors led the Dragons, 7-6.

The Warrior defense, then created a turnover on the Dragons next possession as a pass was tipped and intercepted. The Warriors, would cash in on the turnover and score a 1-yd touchdown. The PAT would be blocked and with 5:26 left in the first quarter, White County led Pickens, 13-6. The Dragons, turned to the run game with their next possession as RB Miguel Salto took the handoff and ran 66-yds for the touchdown. The PAT from Charlie Gibbons was good and as they headed to the second quarter, the game would be tied at 13.

Streicher looking down field to throw

The Dragons, began the second quarter by capping off a drive that started towards the end of the first quarter as Streicher found WR McCord Purdy for an 8-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 10:39 left in the first half, Pickens led White County, 20-13. The Dragons, then caught the Warriors by surprise as Gibbons executed a picture perfect onside kick that landed right into Poole’s arms. The defense for White County, was able to get a stop and their offense responded with a drive that led to a 9-yd touchdown run by Nix. The PAT was no good and with 3:52 left in the first half, the Dragons led the Warriors, 20-19.

Just before the end of the half, Streicher connected with Purdy again from 8-yds out for the score. The PAT was good and Pickens went into the break leading White County, 27-19.

Dragons looking to stop a running play

The Warriors, got the ball first in the second half looking to cut into the Dragons lead or possibly tie it. RB Ryan Fowler, capped off the drive with a 4-yd touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good and with 8:23 left in the third quarter, the Dragons led the Warriors, 27-25. Later on in the quarter, Streicher found Purdy for the 3rd time as Purdy got in from 7-yds out. The PAT was no good. Going to the fourth quarter, Pickens led White County, 33-25.

Dragons set to run a play inside the 10-yd line

Almost three minutes into the fourth quarter, the Warriors scored after the third rushing touchdown from Nix. This one from 5-yds out. White County, tried going for two, but the pass was batted down. With 9:02 left in the game, Pickens held on to a 33-31. The next drive for the Dragons saw WR Hayden Jones come up with some massive catches including a one handed catch.

That incredible catch help set up a 2-yd touchdown run by Streicher. The PAT was no good and with 6:40 left in the game, Pickens led White County, 39-31. The Warriors, once again found the end zone as their guy, Nix, ran it in from 6-yds out for his fourth rushing score of the game. The ensuing 2-point conversion attempt was almost complete, but the ball fell out of the receivers hands as he went to the ground. The Dragons, held onto a 39-37 lead with 3:40 left in the game. The Dragons offense, behind Streicher making a couple of clutch throws to Jones and getting some tough yards with his legs, was able to run out the remaining time and pick up a massive road win, 39-37.

7-AAA Football Standings:

Lumpkin: 9-0 (5-0) Region Champions

Wesleyan: 5-3 (4-1) #2 seed (regardless of outcomes next week)

Gilmer: 6-3 (3-2)

Pickens: 3-6 (2-3)

White County: 4-5 (2-3)

Dawson County: 2-8 (2-4)

West Hall: 1-8 (0-5)

The Dragons, will once again be on the road to finish out the 2023 regular season as they head to Wesleyan to take on the Wolves on Friday, November, 3rd. There will be some scoreboard watching going on that night. A win by the Dragons, plus a win by their friends to the north, Gilmer (play at White County), will put the Dragons into the playoffs. Kick off against Wesleyan is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons get much needed win over West Hall

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was a nice, cool night on Friday, October 20th as the Pickens Dragons hosted the West Hall Spartans for their final home game of the 2023 season. Both teams were coming into the game on losing skids and still searching for their first region win. The Dragons, would send the Seniors out with a win in their final home game as they pulled out a 35-12 victory.

 

The Spartans got the ball to start the game. On the first play from scrimmage, QB Brett Sturm pitched it to RB Elijiah Hayes and he took it 85 yards for the touchdown. The PAT attempt hit off the crossbar and with 11:43 left in the first quarter, the Spartans led the Dragons, 6-0. The Dragons, got on the board after a 6-yd touchdown run from RB Miguel Salto. The PAT from Charlie Gibbons was good and with 5:01 left in the first quarter, the Dragons now led the Spartans, 7-6. At the 2:39 mark of the first quarter, the Dragons defense, led by Oscar Rivera, forced and recovered a fumble. Pickens, had possession as they went to the second quarter holding a 7-6 lead.

 

Salto receiving the handoff from Streicher

The only score in the second quarter came after the Dragons took advantage of the fumble recovery and turned it into points as QB Sam Streicher rolled to his right and the lefty threw a nice pass to WR Hayden Jones for a 10-yd touchdown. The PAT from Gibbons was good, and with 10:14 left in the first half, Pickens led West Hall, 14-6. Just before the end of the first half, the Dragons caused another turnover as Landon Poole came down with the INT. Heading into the break, the Dragons led, 14-6.

Dragons stopping the run attempt by Hayes

The Spartans, looked to even things up in the third quarter as Hayes would run it in from 28-yds out for his 2nd score of the day. The 2-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful and with 3:29 left in the third, Pickens led West Hall, 14-12. The Dragons, answered right back after a couple of great catches from Jones and nice runs from Salto set up a 1-yd TD run from Streicher to make it 21-12 Pickens going to the fourth.

Streicher looking for an open receiver

The Dragons, would add to their lead at the 7:11 mark of the fourth quarter as Salto powered his way in from 10-yds out for his 2nd TD of the game. The PAT was good and Pickens now led West Hall, 28-12. The Dragons, once again took advantage of turnovers as Ezra Faber picked off the pass attempt and ran it back into Spartan territory. A late hit penalty on the Spartans gave the Dragons even better field position. Streicher, made his way in from a yard out for his 2nd rushing touchdown of the game and 3rd overall. The PAT was good and with 2:25 left in the game, the Dragons were up 35-12. The Pickens defense, would force a turnover on downs during the next possession by the Spartans and the offense ran out the clock as Pickens took this one, 35-12.

7-AAA Football Standings:

Lumpkin: 8-0 (4-0)

Wesleyan: 5-3 (3-1)

Gilmer: 6-3 (3-2)

White County: 4-4 (2-2)

Dawson: 2-7 (2-3)

Pickens: 2-6 (1-3)

West Hall: 1-7 (0-4)

The Dragons, will be back on the road next week as they head to Cleveland, Ga to take on the Warriors of White County on Friday, October 27th. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons fall to rival Bobcats on the road

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Ellijay, Ga — It was a rainy night as the Pickens Dragons traveled up north to take on the Gilmer Bobcats in 7-AAA play on Friday, October 13th. This matchup marked the 65th time these two teams have met. The Dragons, came into the game riding an 8-game win streak in this series, while Gilmer still held the lead in the series, 35-29-1. The Bobcats, behind their triple option attack, picked up the 35-24 win.

 

The Bobcats, got the ball first to start the game. Combined with their run game and several penalties committed by the Dragons, Gilmer got on the board first after a 15-yd touchdown run from QB Issac Rellinger. The PAT was good and with 9:48 left in the first quarter, the Bobcats led the Dragons, 7-0. Neither team got anything going for the rest of the quarter. Heading to the second quarter, Gilmer was ahead of Pickens, 7-0.

 

Dragons defense against the Bobcats

In the second quarter, the Dragons got on the board after a 28-yd field goal from Charlie Gibbons to make it 7-3 Bobcats with 8:05 left in the first half. The defense for the Dragons then made a play as Rellinger’s pass was tipped and Kael Deering came down with it. The Dragons, turned that interception into points as QB Sam Streicher punched it in from 4-yds out. The PAT from Gibbons was good and with 4:07 left in the first half, the Dragons led the Bobcats, 10-7. Just before the end of the first half, the Bobcats were able to retake the lead as Rellinger ran it in from 10-yds out. The PAT was good and as they went to the break, Gilmer led Pickens, 14-10.

 

Dragons offense in the red zone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dragons, began the second half with the ball. The drive didn’t last long as Streicher connected with WR Hayden Jones for a 70-yd touchdown. The PAT was no good however and with 10:03 left in the third quarter, the Dragons led the Bobcats, 16-14. The Bobcats, were able to reclaim the lead after a 9-yd touchdown run from FB Peyton Chancey. The PAT was good and with 7:18 left in the third, Gilmer led Pickens, 21-16. Gilmer added to their lead just before the end of the third as Rellinger scored his third rushing touchdown of the game after an 8-yd run. The PAT was good and as they headed to the fourth, the Bobcats led the Dragons, 28-16.

 

Dragons on defense in the second half

A couple minutes into the fourth quarter, the Dragons looked to get back into it as Streicher connected with Jones for a 17-yd touchdown. Streicher, was able to then run it in for the 2-point conversion to make it 26-24 with 8:34 left in the game. The Bobcats, answered back at the 3:30 mark of the fourth with a 1-yd touchdown run from Hunter Britain. The PAT was good and Gilmer extended its lead to 35-24. That would be your final as the Bobcats get their first victory over the Dragons since 2013.

 

7-AAA Region Standings:

Lumpkin: 7-0 (3-0)

Wesleyan: 5-3 (3-1)

White County: 4-3 (2-1)

Gilmer: 5-3 (2-2)

Dawson: 2-6 (2-2)

Pickens: 1-6 (0-3)

West Hall: 1-6 (0-3)

 

The Dragons, will be back home for the final time during the 2023 regular season as they play host to the West Hall Spartans on Friday, October 20th. Kickoff is set for 7:30.

 

Dragons fall to Dawson after tough second half

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — On a somewhat rainy and much cooler evening, the Pickens Dragons welcomed the Dawson County Tigers to Jasper for a 7-AAA region ball game. The Dragons, were looking to rebound after a tough stretch of games including falling in their first region game to Lumpkin. The Tigers, were kind of in the same boat as the Dragons were coming into the game with only one win, but that one win came against West Hall to begin 7-AAA play. The Tigers, would use a 28-0 second half to pull away from the Dragons and pick up the 42-7 win.

 

The Dragons, got the ball first to start the game and were forced to punt close to their own end zone. Dragons punter Hayden Jones, just did get the punt off and the Tigers had good field position for their first possession. The Dragons defense, did a great job backed up into their own territory and kept the Tigers out of the end zone. The Dragons, thought they found points after an 80-yd run by QB Sam Streicher, but that was called back due to a penalty. The Dragons, would get across midfield during the drive, but would turn it over on downs to end the drive. The Tigers, used a double pass to score the first points of the game as Sawyer Bearden found Dom LeBlanc for a 55-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and the Tigers held a 7-0 lead going to the second quarter.

 

Sam Streicher with the QB run

 

The Dragons, would tie things up in the second quarter as Streicher connected with WR McCord Purdy for a 79-yd touchdown. The PAT from Charlie Gibbons was good and with 8:35 left in the first half, Pickens and Dawson were tied at 7. The Tigers, were able to retake the lead at the 3:17 mark of the second quarter after a 5-yd touchdown run from Bearden. Going into halftime, the Tigers led the Dragons, 14-7.

 

Dragons defense looking to make a play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tigers, got the ball first to start the third quarter and and were set up with good field position after a kick returned out to the 50-yd line. Dawson, added to their lead with a 27-yd touchdown pass from QB Preston Bannister to LeBlanc. LeBlanc’s second touchdown of the game. His PAT was good and with 8:45 left in the third, the Tigers now led the Dragons, 21-7. Both teams had chances the rest of the quarter, but neither team could find points. Going to the fourth, Dawson led Pickens, 21-7.

 

Dragons on offense in the third quarter

A little over a minute into the fourth quarter, the Tigers capped off a drive that began in the late stages of the third quarter with a 1-yd touchdown run from Blake Arp. The PAT was good and with 10:55 left in the game, the Tigers led the Dragons, 28-7. Dawson, added to that lead shortly after as Alex Stewart picked off a pass attempt and took it for a 30-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and the Tigers now led, 35-7. After a fumble recovery by the Tigers, Bearden would get in for his second rushing touchdown of the night. The PAT was good and Dawson led, 42-7. The final score from Jasper, Dawson 42 Pickens 7.

 

7-AAA Region Standings:

Lumpkin: 7-0 (3-0)

Wesleyan: 4-3 (2-1)

Dawson: 2-5 (2-1)

White County: 3-3 (1-1)

Gilmer: 4-3 (1-2)

Pickens: 1-5 (0-2)

West Hall: 1-5 (0-2)

 

The Dragons, will be back on the road next week as they make the short drive up 515 to Ellijay to take on the Gilmer Bobcats. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons drop region opener to Lumpkin

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — 7-AAA region play began on Friday, September 22nd as the Pickens Dragons took on the Lumpkin County Indians. The Dragons, came into the game with a 1-3 record after a couple of tough games to close out their non-region schedule. The Indians, came into the game undefeated at 4-0 and ranked inside the top 10 in AAA in several polls. While the Dragons had several chances to make something happen, the Indians were able to pick up the win to begin region play, 49-14.

 

The Indians, won the toss and elected to receive to begin the ball game. The Indians, were able to drive down the field using mainly their run game. Their first drive ended after QB Cal Faulkner tossed a pop pass to Nolan Matthews on a sweep and he took it 18 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was good and with 9:04 left in the first quarter, the Indians led the Dragons, 7-0. The Indians, added to their lead after Mason Sullens scored on a 60-yd touchdown run to make it 14-0. Going to the second quarter, Lumpkin held a 14-0 lead over Pickens.

 

Dragons on defense in the 1st quarter

Nearly halfway into the second quarter, the Indians added to their lead with a 14-yd touchdown run by Faulkner. With 6:45 left in the first half, the Indians now led, 21-0. Sullens, punched in his 2nd touchdown of the night with a 3-yd run to give Lumpkin a 28-0 lead over Pickens heading into the break.

 

Sam Streicher dropping back for a pass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dragons, got the ball to start the second half. This drive, would be the most successful drive for the Dragons up to this point as QB Sam Streicher found WR McCord Purdy in the corner of the end zone for a 10-yd touchdown. the PAT from Charlie Gibbons was good and with 6:45 left in the third quarter, the Indians led the Dragons, 28-7. The Indians, were able to answer that score as Sullens scored his 3rd rushing touchdown of the game with another 3-yd run. Going to the fourth quarter, Lumpkin led Pickens, 35-7.

 

Dragons on offense in the second half

The Indians, opened up the scoring in the fourth quarter as Faulkner ran it in from 8-yds out for his 2nd rushing touchdown of the game to make it 42-7 Indians with 9:54 left in the game. Streicher and Purdy, connected for the second time in the game as Streicher found Purdy for a 53-yd touchdown. The PAT by Gibbons was good and with 8:58 left in the game, Lumpkin led Pickens, 42-14. The Indians, found the end zone one last time as Jackson Bell scored after a 2-yd run. The final in Jasper, Lumpkin 49 Pickens 14.

 

7-AAA Football Standings:

Lumpkin: 5-0 (1-0)

Wesleyan: 3-2 (1-0)

Dawson: 1-4 (1-0)

White Co.: 2-2 (0-0)

Gilmer: 3-2 (0-1)

Pickens: 1-4 (0-1)

West Hall: 1-4 (0-1)

 

The Dragons, will be on a bye week next week as they will have two weeks to get ready for the Dawson Tigers. That game will be at Dragons Stadium on Friday, October 6th. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons fall short against Lions; prepare for region play next week

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Dalton, Ga — After having last week off, the Pickens Dragons were back on the field on Friday, September 15th as they took to the road for the first time during the 2023 season as they faced the Christian Heritage Lions in the final tune up before region play begins. An interesting part with these two teams playing is the head coach of the Lions, Frank Barden, used to coach the Dragons from 94-95. This was just the second ever meeting between these two schools in football as the Dragons came away with a 24-22 win in Jasper last year. This year, it was the Lions coming away with the win as they were able to hold onto a 29-24 victory.

 

The Dragons, much like they’ve done throughout the season so far, won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Pickens, couldn’t get anything on their opening drive, and had to punt it away to the Lions. The Lions, saw their first possession of the game stall out as well and they would have to punt it back to the Dragons. It wasn’t until the 2:36 mark of the opening quarter when we saw the first points being scored as the Lions connected on an 8-yd touchdown pass. The snap on the PAT attempt was high, but it helped the Lions pick up a 2-point conversion to make it8-0. The Dragons, wasted little time answering as McCord Purdy took the ensuing kickoff back 80+ yards for the touchdown. The PAT attempt would be blocked and as they headed to the second quarter, the Lions led the Dragons, 8-6.

 

Dragons defending the Lions early on

Scoring in the second quarter was hard to come by for both teams as Christian Heritage would add to their lead with a 4-yd touchdown pass. The PAT attempt was good and with 4:12 remaining in the first half, the Lions now led the Dragons, 15-6. The Dragons, were then able to sustain their first big offensive drive of the game and answer with points of their own as Miguel Salto, with a little help from his buddies up front on the offensive line, powered in for a 7-yd touchdown run. Pickens, then went for two to try to make it a 1-point game, but they were stopped short and with 1:18 left in the first half, the Lions lead was cut down to 15-12. After getting a stop on defense, the Dragons had a chance to tie or take the lead late in the first half. After picking up one first down, Sam Streicher’s pass into the end zone as time expired would be tipped away and as they went into the half, Christian Heritage led Pickens, 15-12.

 

Miguel Salto with a touchdown run

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was not a lot of scoring in the third quarter for both teams, but the lone points in the quarter came from the Lions as they were able to score on a 54-yd touchdown on a screen pass. The PAT would be good and as they headed into the fourth quarter, Christian Heritage held a 22-12 lead over Pickens.

 

Dragons looking to stop a Lions run play

In the fourth quarter, the Lions added to their lead as their QB Carter Triplett scrambled for a 22-yd touchdown to make it 29-12 Lions with 10:09 left in the ball game. The Dragons, were able to cut into the lead as Streicher found Purdy for a 7-yd touchdown. The PAT attempt was no good and with 8:38 left in the game, the Lions now led the Dragons, 29-18. The Dragons, after getting a stop, looked to again cut into the lead. On fourth down, the Dragons Streicher rolled to his left, and his pass would be tipped by a Lions defender right into the waiting arms of Ezra Faber, who took it the rest of the way for a 44-yd touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good and with 1:54 left in the game the Lions lead was down to 29-24. The Dragons, then went for the onside kick attempt and nearly came up with it, but the Lions were able to fall on it. Christian Heritage would then run out the clock to get the win, 29-24.

 

After a tough stretch to end their non-region schedule, the Dragons will now turn to 7-AAA play as they will host a team in who many believe are the region favorites, the Lumpkin County Indians next Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30.

Dragons fall in heartbreaking shootout with North Murray

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was a hot night on Friday, August 25th as the Pickens Dragons welcomed the North Murray Mountaineers to Dragons Stadium for a non-region contest. Last season, these two teams met in Chatsworth, where 104 total points were scored between the two teams as the Mountaineers took that one, 54-50. This one, started off slow, but the fourth quarter was action packed as it gets. The Mountaineers, were able to hold off the Dragons at the last second as North Murray got the win, 44-37.

 

The Dragons, won the toss and elected to receive the opening kick. Driving down the field, the Dragons, got on the board first as RB Miguel Salto ran it in from 18 yards out. The PAT attempt from Charlie Gibbons was blocked and with 8:02 left in the first quarter, the Dragons held a 6-0 lead. The Mountaineers, wasted little time answering as QB Skyler Williams found RB Judson Petty for a 69-yd touchdown pass. Much like the Dragons first PAT attempt, the Mountaineers first PAT attempt was blocked and with 6:54 left in the first quarter, the game was all tied at 6. Gibbons, would give the Dragons the lead with a 22-yd field goal to make it 9-6 Pickens with 2:22 left in the first quarter.

The Dragons would extend their lead just before the end of the first quarter as QB Sam Streicher found WR Landon Poole for a 21-yd touchdown. The PAT from Gibbons was good and as they headed to the second quarter, the Dragons led the Mountaineers, 16-6.

Miguel Salto receives the hand off from Streicher

 

In the second quarter, the Mountaineers got back into the game. A 14-yd field goal from Juan Martinez cut the Dragons lead down to 16-9 with 7:47 left in the first half. Right as the first half was about to end, Willams found Petty from 5-yds out for their second touchdown of the half. The PAT was good and as they hit halftime, Pickens and North Murray were once again tied. This time, at 16 a piece.

Dragons defense going against the Mountaineers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the third quarter, the Mountaineers would take the lead for the first time in the ball game as Williams ran it in from 5 yards out to make it 23-16 North Murray with 9:16 left in the third. The Mountaineers, extended their lead as Williams found Petty, his favorite target, for a 24-yd touchdown. The PAT was good from Martinez and heading to the fourth quarter, North Murray led the Dragons, 30-16.

Dragons running to the near side of the field

 

In the fourth quarter, the Dragons got the scoring started as Salto punched it in from 6 yards out for his second score of the game. The PAT from Gibbons was good and with 10:50 to go in the game, the Dragons cut the Mountaineers lead down to 30-23. North Murray, stretched their lead out to 14 again as Williams and Petty connected for the fourth time after a 32-yd screen pass. With 9:15 left in the fourth, Pickens now trailed 37-23. Streicher, found Hayden Jones streaking down the left sideline and Jones was able to take it to the house for a 69-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and it was now, 37-30 North Murray with 8:18 left.

The Dragons, then set up for an onside attempt as McCord Purdy placed it beautifully and Pickens would recover. After the Dragons drove down field, Streicher, was scrambling around looking for an open receiver and found Senior TE Isaiah Williams for a 6-yd touchdown. The PAT from Gibbons was good and just like that, Pickens and North Murray were tied at 37 with 6:05 left in the game. On their next possession, the Mountaineers would be forced to punt as Gibbons made an impact defensively and took down Williams for the sack. Pickens, needing a big play on a third and long, drew up a TE screen for Williams who barreled his was past the first down marker.

The drive for the Dragons ended up stalling and they would have to punt. During the punt, the Mountaineers fumbled the catch and the Dragons almost came up with it, but North Murray got it back. After a long pass down field to start the drive, the Mountaineers were able to take the lead after a 5-yd TD run by Williams to make it 44-37 with 29 seconds left. On the ensuing kickoff, Martinez squibbed it, and Poole had to go pick it up. He proceeded to take the kick all the way back for a touchdown, but a holding penalty was called. Pickens, went for the hook and ladder to try to make something happen, but the Mountaineers were able to hold on to come away with the 44-37 win.

 

The Dragons, will be back at it next week as they host the Fannin Rebels on Friday, September 1st. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons open 2023 season with big win over Sonoraville

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — The Pickens Dragons began their 2023 campaign on Friday, August 18th as they welcomed the Sonoraville Phoenix to Dragon Stadium. The Dragons also recognized their Seniors on the football team and cheerleading squad before the ball game. Behind a great offensive showing and a physical defensive outing, the Dragons came away with an impressive 38-21 win over the Phoenix.

 

The Dragons won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. During their first drive of the season, the Dragons used a good mix of the run and pass game as they drove down the field 80 yards and capped off the drive with a 1-yd touchdown run by Senior Miguel Salto. The PAT from Senior Charlie Gibbons was good and with 8:30 left in the first quarter, the Dragons led the Phoenix, 7-0. The Phoenix wasted little time answering as a quick 3-play drive saw QB Jaxson Pate find Keegan Townsend for a 69-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and we were all tied at 7.

 

The Dragons had an answer of their own as Senior QB Sam Streicher found Sophomore WR McCord Purdy in the right corner of the end zone for an 18-yd touchdown. The PAT was once again successful and the Dragons retook the lead, 14-7.

Miguel Salto would score on the drive

We head to the second quarter now as the Dragons would extend their lead as Junior RB Canaan Denson punched it in from 1-yd out to make 21-7 with 8:57 left in the first half. The final score of the first half came when the Phoenix got their own 1-yd touchdown run from Ty Brown to cut the Dragons lead in half, 21-14.

Dragons defense during a timeout

Halfway through the third quarter, Streicher found Sophomore WR Hayden Jones in the left corner of the end zone for a 22-yd touchdown. With the PAT, the Dragons now led Sonoraville 28-14 with 6:06 left in the third. The Phoenix once again cut it to a one score game as Pate had to chase down a high snap and run around a bit until he found Langston Butler in the left corner of the end zone to make it 28-21 Pickens as they headed to the fourth quarter.

QB Sam Streicher drops back for a pass attempt

In the fourth quarter, the Dragons defense came up big as a big sack on Pate led to a fumble recovery by Sophomore Jacob Watkins, who took it 40 yards for a touchdown to make it 35-21. On the next series for the Phoenix, the Dragons defense again came away with a turnover as Junior Oscar Rivera recovered the fumble to give Pickens the ball right back. That drive ended with Gibbons connecting on a 27-yd field goal to make it 38-21. The Dragons, open the season with a 38-21 victory.

 

The Dragons will be back in action next Friday as they welcome the North Murray Mountaineers to Jasper. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Late game heroics sends Dragons into playoffs as 3rd seed

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, GA — It was the last regular season home game of the 2022 season as the Pickens Dragons welcomed the Wesleyan Wolves to Jasper for Senior Night. It was a first time ever meeting between these two teams, who had a lot to play for. A win for either team would secure the #3 seed in the upcoming State playoffs. In a game that was pretty much back and forth throughout, it was the Dragons that came up clutch to pick up the 20-13 win and the 3rd seed out of 7-AAA.

 

The Dragons, won the toss and elected to differ to the second half. The first possession for Wesleyan did not last very long as Senior Jack Flatt made a great play on the first pass attempt by the Wolves to get the interception. The first drive for the Dragons stalled as they were unable to capitalize on the turnover. Fortunately for Pickens, the defense came up with another interception on Wesleyan’s next possession as Senior Colby Brooks got in front of the receiver and took it to the Wolves 15-yd line. Miguel Salto ended the drive after one play as he took it in for a 15-yd touchdown. The PAT was no good and with 7:52 left in the first quarter, the Dragons led the Wolves, 6-0. Wesleyan, scored their first points of the game at the 3:55 mark of the first quarter after a 25-yd touchdown pass. Their PAT was successful and the Wolves now led Pickens, 7-6, as we headed to the second quarter.

Sam Streicher looking for Brooks

In the second quarter, the Dragons defense was up to it again as a high snap caused a timing issue for the Wolves and led to a fumble recovery for Pickens. The Dragons, cashed in on the Wolves third turnover of the game as Salto found the end zone from a yard out for his second score of the game. The PAT was again missed and Pickens would go into the break leading Wesleyan, 12-7.

This snap led to a Dragons fumble recovery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With no scoring in the third quarter, we’ll pick it up in the fourth. Wesleyan got down to the Dragon 1-yd line after a big pass and catch connection by the Wolves. To their credit, the defense for Pickens, still holding on to a 12-7 lead, held Wesleyan to a 20-yd field goal that made it 12-10 Dragons with 10:23 left in the ball game. Later on in the quarter, Pickens held the Wolves again to a field goal attempt. This one, from 36 yards out. Wesleyan also connected with that kick to retake the lead, 13-12 with 3:58 left in the game.

Trailing with time running down, this Dragons team, especially the Dragon team we’ve seen as of late, was not rattled. Hoping to engineer a potential game winning drive, Juniors Sam Streicher and Marcus Pike got their connection going. Streicher looked for Pike down the sideline, which drew the flag and set up the Dragons at the Wesleyan 9-yd line. Riding the hot hand, Streicher, connected with Pike in the corner of the end zone for a 9-yd touchdown. Pickens then made the decision to go for two to try to make it a 7 point game. They did just that as Streicher found Gabe Neil, who made an incredible one handed grab with a Wolves defender wrapped around him for the 2-point conversion.

With 1:03 left in the game, it was Wesleyan’s turn to try to come up with some magic of their own. Having just gotten over into Dragon territory with just around 20 seconds left, the Wolves threw a deep pass that was picked off by Mason Stanfield. That interception, sealed the Dragons fourth consecutive win, and the #3 seed out of 7-AAA.

 

Final 7-AAA Standings:

Dawson: 8-2 (6-0) Region Champion #1 seed

Lumpkin: 8-2 (5-1) #2 seed

Pickens: 5-5 (4-2) #3 seed

Wesleyan: 4-6 (3-3) #4 seed

White County: 4-6 (2-4)

Gilmer: 5-5 (2-4)

West Hall: 1-9 (0-6)

Big 2nd half propels Dragons into playoffs

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, GA — It was a beautiful Friday night for football as the Pickens Dragons hosted the White County Warriors in a critical 7-AAA game. Pickens, came into the game tied for 3rd in the region standings with Wesleyan. White County, were on the outside looking in coming into the game, but still had a shot at punching their playoff ticket. After being down early, the Dragons outscored the Warriors 48-14 to pick up their third straight win, 48-28.

 

The Dragons, won the opening coin toss and elected to differ to the second half. After both offenses had a crack with the ball, the Warriors struck first with a 16-yd TD pass. The PAT was good and with 4:11 left in the first quarter, White County led Pickens, 7-0. The Warriors, added on to their lead after a 73-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good and as they went into the second quarter, White County led the Dragons, 14-0.

Dragons defending the run

The Dragons, got their offense going in the second quarter as they drove down the field and finished off the drive with a 2-yd touchdown run by Miguel Salto. The PAT was good and with 8:06 left in the first half, Pickens cut the Warriors lead down to 14-7. After the Dragons forced White County to punt, Pickens started their next possession on their own 6-yd line. After a loss of a yard on first down, the Dragons took a shot down field as Sam Streicher connected with Marcus Pike, who took it the distance for a 95-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 4:40 left in the first half, the game was now tied at 14. With 2 seconds left in the first half, the Warriors set up for a 41-yd field goal. The kick fell short and at the half, we were tied at 14 a piece.

Dragons looking to cut the lead in half

To start the third quarter, the Dragons got the ball first. The possession didn’t last long as Salto broke through for a 56-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 11:08 left in the third, Pickens took it’s first lead of the game at 21-14. White County, was able to come right back and tie things up with a 3-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good and we had a tie game again at 21. With the two teams going back and forth, it was the Dragons turn as Streicher found a wide open Gabe Neil for a 43-yd touchdown pass. The PAT was good and with 6:36 left in the third, Pickens led, 28-21.

The Warriors, matched that score with a 25-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good and with 3:56 left, the game was once again tied. This time, at 28 a piece. The Dragons, got the last score the quarter as Streicher rolled to his left and found a wide open Isaiah Williams for a 20-yd touchdown. The PAT was no good and as we headed to the fourth, Pickens led White County, 34-28.

Miguel Salto receiving the hand off

A little over midway through the fourth quarter, the Dragons added to their lead as Streicher again found Williams on the exact same play. Williams would take it in from 26 yards for his second score of the game. The PAT was good and with 5:38 left in the game, Pickens led the Warriors, 41-28. After a turnover on downs by White County, the Dragons used the short field to their advantage as Colby Brooks took it in from 2 yards out on the sweep. The PAT was good and with 1:57 left in the game, Pickens now led, 48-28. That would be your final score as the Dragons make it three in a row.

7-AAA Football Standings:

Dawson County: 8-2 (6-0) *Region champions

Lumpkin County: 7-2 (3-2)

Pickens: 4-5 (3-2)

Wesleyan: 4-5 (3-2)

Gilmer: 4-5 (2-3)

White County: 3-6 (1-4)

West Hall: 1-8 (0-5)

With the win, the Dragons have earned a spot into the AAA playoffs. Pickens, will be at home again next week as they welcome the Wesleyan Wolves to Jasper for a first time meeting. This will determine the 3rd place in the region standings heading into the playoffs. Kick off is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons defeat Spartans, tied for 3rd in region standings

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Oakwood, Ga — After a big win last week against their rivals, the Gilmer Bobcats, the Pickens Dragons looked to continue that momentum as they traveled to take on the West Hall Spartans. This was the first regular season game between the two teams since 2009. With a win and some help, the Dragons would find themselves tied for 3rd in the region standings with Wesleyan, who was on their bye week. At times it wasn’t pretty, but the Dragons did their part and defeated the Spartans, 29-7.

 

The Spartans, won the coin toss and differed to the second half, giving the Dragons offense first crack at points. Pickens, got a big down field play in their first possession as Sam Streicher found Colby Brooks on the screen play and Brooks was able to pick up big yardage. The Dragons, struck first as Canaan Denson powered his way for a 14-yd touchdown run. Pickens, went for a 2-point conversion, but it was unsuccessful. With 8:21 left in the first quarter, the Dragons led the Spartans, 6-0. As the first quarter came to an end, Pickens looked to add to their lead. West Hall, held the Dragons at the goal line on fourth down as time expired in the opening quarter. Going to the Second, Pickens led the Spartans, 6-0.

Colby Brooks takes the pass up field

Early in the second quarter, with West Hall backed up on what looked like their 1-inch line, the Dragons were able to force a safety. With 10:44 left in the first half, Pickens led the Spartans, 8-0. There was a bit of back and forth between the two teams during the second quarter with both sides receiving penalties. Going into the half, the Dragons maintained an 8-0 lead over West Hall.

Dragons defense forcing a safety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost midway through the third quarter, Pickens added to their lead as Kadyn Hampton scored an 8-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 6:27 left in the third, the Dragons led the Spartans, 15-0. Later on in the quarter, Hampton again found the end zone as he bullied his way to a 1-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 3:09 left in the third, Pickens led West Hall, 22-0. That 22-0 score held up till the end of the third and we’d head to the fourth.

Dragons driving on offense

A couple minutes into the fourth quarter, the Spartans got on the board with a 54-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 9:56 left in the game, the Dragons led West Hall, 22-7. A minute and 33 seconds later, Pickens got the touchdown back as Hampton found pay dirt for the third time in the second half with a 5-yd run. The PAT was good and with 8:23 left in the game, the Dragons led the Spartans, 29-7. That score would serve as the final score as the Dragons win their second straight game.

 

7-AAA Football Standings:

Dawson: 7-2 (5-0)

Lumpkin: 7-1 (4-1)

Pickens: 3-5 (2-2)

Wesleyan: 3-5 (2-2)

Gilmer: 5-4 (2-3)

White County: 3-5 (1-3)

West Hall: 1-7 (0-4)

 

The Dragons, will be back home next week as the host the White County Warriors in what can only be seen as a big game for both. A win for the Dragons, keeps them in the hunt for the playoffs. A win for the Warriors, gives them still an outside shot at making it. Kickoff set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons pick up big region win over rival Gilmer

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, GA — It was a cooler October night in Jasper as the Pickens Dragons welcomed their long time rivals, the Gilmer Bobcats. It was the first time these two teams have met since 2020, and the 64th all time meeting. Coming into the game, the Bobcats lost a tough one to the Lumpkin County Indians. The Dragons, came in off a bye week looking to right the ship a bit having lost two straight, and only scoring 7 points in the process. Pickens, got a big time boost from it’s run game and defense to lead them to a 27-10 win over Gilmer and their 8th win in a row in the series.

 

The Bobcats, got the ball first to begin the ball game. The Dragons, got the stop and gave the offense the ball for the first time. After a great drive by the offense, that included a halfback pass, Pickens got into the end zone with a 2-yd run by Kadyn Hampton. The PAT was good and the Dragons took a 7-0 lead with 5:54 left in the opening quarter.

Dragons looking to punch the ball in

Gilmer got the ball and were driving down the field as the first quarter came to an end. A great defensive stand by the Dragons left the Bobcats with a 24-yd field goal attempt. The field goal was good and Gilmer cut into the Pickens lead, 7-3, with 11:57 left in the first half. After a bit of a back and forth, the Dragons added to their lead after QB Sam Streicher tossed a screen pass to Colby Brooks and Brooks took it the rest of the way for a 79-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 4:37 left in the first half, Pickens led Gilmer, 14-3. After stopping the Bobcats on 4th down near mid-field, the Dragons were looking for more. Gilmer’s defense did a good job themselves stopping Pickens on 4th down as the Dragons also picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to help the Bobcats with field position.

 

After a good run by Brock Titus, QB Issac Rellinger heaved the ball into the end zone as time expired in the first half and Will Kiker was able to come down with it. The PAT was good and we headed into the half with the Dragons leading the Bobcats, 14-10.

Dragons on defense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the third quarter, there was no scoring, but the physicality, especially one that comes with the territory of a rivalry game, was definitely there during the quarter. As the quarter was coming to an end, the Dragons offense, with big help from their run game, got down close to the end zone as they headed to the fourth, still up 14-10.

Colby Brooks with the catch

A couple of seconds into the fourth quarter, Miguel Salto bullied his way into the end zone for a 2-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good and with 11:56 left in the game, Pickens extended it’s lead over Gilmer, 21-10. Later on in the quarter, the Dragon run game, really left its mark on this game as Hampton got in for his second rushing touchdown after a 1-yd run. The PAT was no good and with 5:20 left in the game, the Dragons now led the Bobcats, 27-10. The defense for Pickens on Friday night was at its best as they held a high scoring Bobcats offense scoreless in the second half and just one touchdown all night. Pickens runs its win streak over Gilmer to 8 in a row after a 27-10 victory.

 

7-AAA Standings:

Dawson County: 6-2 (4-0)

Lumpkin County: 6-1 (2-1)

Gilmer: 5-3 (2-2)

Wesleyan: 3-5 (2-2)

White County: 3-4 (1-2)

Pickens: 2-5 (1-2)

West Hall: 1-6 (0-3)

 

The Dragons, will be back on the road next week as they head to Oakwood to take on the West Hall Spartans. The last time these two teams met was in 2009. The last time Pickens traveled to West Hall was all the way back in 2008. West Hall leads the  all time series, 6-4. The first meeting took place in 1994. Kick off is set for 7:30.

Dragons fall in region opener at Lumpkin

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Dahlonega, Ga — It was a pretty and much cooler Friday night as the Pickens Dragons traveled to Dahlonega to open up 7-AAA region play against a team that some may think have had a surprising start to the season in the Lumpkin County Indians. These two teams hadn’t played each other since 2009. These two first started playing one another in 1962. It took a break after 1999, and came back in 2006 before again going on a break after 2009. Coming into the game, the Indians held a 3-game win streak dating back to 2007. The last win for the Dragons came in 2006. Pickens led the all-time series 19-18-1 coming into the game. The tie came in 1981. The Indians, kept their perfect start to the season as they were able to pull away, 42-7.

 

Lumpkin won the opening coin toss and elected to differ. After the Dragons were unable to get anything going on their opening drive, the Indians got the ball and drove down the field and scored on a 16-yd run by Junior Mason Sullens. The PAT was good and with 6:38 left in the first quarter, Lumpkin took a 7-0 lead. The Indians added to their lead at the 4:17 mark of the opening quarter as Senior Cooper Scott connected with his target for a 57-yd touchdown. After the PAT, Lumpkin led it 14-0. The Dragons got on the board after they were able to drive down the field and cash in with an 11-yd run by Senior Kadyn Hampton. The PAT was good and with 1:59 left in the first quarter, the Indians lead was cut in half, 14-7. Pickens got the ball back after the defense blew up a play and recovered a fumble. The Dragons had the ball going to the second quarter.

Isaiah Williams makes a catch for a first down

Starting the second quarter, Pickens looked to try and tie the game. After being stopped on 3rd down, the Dragons went for it on 4th. The Dragons picked up the first, but the officials ruled that a fumble occurred and that Lumpkin had recovered. The Indians added to their lead with a 1-yd touchdown run. With 4:13 left in the first half, Lumpkin led Pickens, 21-7. The score would remain the same as we headed into halftime.

Dragons defense gets to the QB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Indians, got the ball first in the second half. Lumpkin, again stretched their lead after a 15-yd touchdown pass. The PAT was good and with 7:26 left in the third, the Indians led the Dragons, 28-7. Both teams had chances the rest of the quarter, but the score remained the same as we headed to the fourth and Lumpkin ahead, 28-7.

Sam Streicher pitches to Kadyn Hampton

In the fourth quarter, the Indians added a 42-yd touchdown pass. The PAT was good and with 8:30 left in the ball game, Lumpkin led Pickens, 35-7. Late in the game, as the Dragons were trying to get something going, the Indians picked off the pass attempt and took it all the way back to make it 42-7. That would be the final score on the night as the Indians picked up the win.

 

7-AAA Football Standings:

Lumpkin: 5-0 (1-0)

Gilmer: 4-1 (1-0)

Dawson: 3-2 (1-0)

Pickens: 1-4 (0-1)

Wesleyan: 1-4 (0-1)

West Hall: 1-4 (0-1)

White County: 2-2 (0-0) *had a bye week

 

The Dragons, will be off next week as they have their region bye week. The next time Pickens will be in action is on Friday, October 7th as they again take to the road to battle the Dawson Tigers. The Dragons will look to get back on track and even up their region record. Kick off is set for 7:30.

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