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.

Dragons use late game heroics to pick up win in home opener

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was a welcome sight for Dragon fans on Friday, September 16th as the Pickens Dragons were at home for the first time during the 2022 season as they welcomed the Christian Heritage Lions for Homecoming, and the final non-region contest. It had been a rough go to start the season for the Dragons as they were on the road against three playoff caliber teams and couldn’t come away with a win. The Lions, came in looking for a win as well as they came in with a 1-2 record. After some back and forth, a late touchdown and interception by the Dragons sealed a 24-22 win.

 

Christian Heritage, won the toss and elected to differ to the second half. The Dragons, got the ball first and drove down the field to punch it in for the first score of the game. Freshman Landon Poole took the hand off and ran it in from 15 yards out. Pickens went for two, but were unsuccessful in the attempt. With 8:04 left in the first quarter, the Dragons held a 6-0 lead over the Lions. The Dragons added to their lead as Senior Kadyn Hampton punched it in from 4 yards out. The ensuing PAT attempt was blocked and with 2:08 left in the opening quarter, Pickens led Christian Heritage, 12-0.

The Lions answered with a screen pass from Sophomore Carter Triplett to Senior Eli Thomason went 55 yards for the score. The PAT was good and as we headed to the second quarter, the Dragons led Christian Heritage, 12-7.

Dragons on offense in the first quarter

The next drive for Pickens started as the first quarter was coming to an end. As the second quarter began, the Dragons faced a third down just inside Lion territory. The Dragons were able to convert, and end up scoring on the drive as Junior Sam Streicher found Junior Marcus Pike in the corner of the end zone for a 13-yd touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good and with 11:10 left in the first half, Pickens led Christian Heritage, 18-7. AS time expired in the first half, the Lions hit a 39-yd field goal to cut the Dragons lead down to 18-10 as we headed to the break.

Dragons on defense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third quarter was dominated by defense as both teams kept the offenses out of the end zone. Both teams had opportunities, but could not score. Going to the fourth quarter, Pickens still led Christian Heritage, 18-10.

Isaiah Williams with the catch on the screen pass

In the fourth quarter, the scoring would resume. The Lions, got in on a 9-yd touchdown run by Sophomore Jaylon Gay. The 2-point conversion to try to tie the game was no good, and with 8:11 left in the game, the Dragons were clinging to an 18-16 lead. Christian Heritage took the lead for the first time after a 45-yd touchdown pass from Triplett to Senior Braden Koneman. Once again, the 2-point try would be unsuccessful, and with 5:08 left in the game, it was the Lions that held a 22-18 lead. Down, but not out, the Dragons offense took the field looking to send the Dragon faithful home happy. After a hold was called on the Lions, Streicher found Junior Isaiah Williams, who ripped the ball away from a defender, at the 50-yd line for a big gain.

Faced with fourth and long and the game on the line, Streicher, again made a big time throw as he connected with Senior Mason Powell, who made a fantastic sliding grab for the first down. Streicher then found Senior Colby Brooks on the screen pass and Brooks took it to the 7-yd line. Streicher, then kept it himself and got into the end zone from 7 yards out to give the Dragons the lead. The PAT was blocked, and with 47 seconds left in the ball game, Pickens led Christian Heritage, 24-22. The Lions, still had time on the clock to try to make a comeback as well. After getting near midfield, Christian Heritage had one last shot. The final pass was intercepted by Junior Mason Stanfield to end the ball game and give the Dragons a 24-22 win.

 

With the win, the Dragons finish off the non-region portion of their schedule at 1-3. With the non-region schedule done, the Dragons will now turn their focus to 7-AAA play next week. The Dragons will kick off region play as they travel to Dahlonega to take on the Lumpkin County Indians, who have been one of the surprise teams early on, have started the season 4-0. This will be the 39th all time meeting and the first meeting between the two schools since 2009. The Indians currently have a 3-game win streak against the Dragons. Pickens last win against the Indians came on the road in 2006. The Dragons lead the all time series 19-18-1. Kick off is set for 7:30.

Dragons fall just short in high scoring game against Mountaineers

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Chatsworth, Ga — It was a first time match up on Friday, August 26th as the Pickens Dragons took to the road for the second straight week as they battled the North Murray Mountaineers. Both teams came into this game looking to bounce back after tough losses to open the season as the Dragons fell to Sonoraville 27-15, and the Mountaineers fell to Dalton, 49-27. In this one, it seemed like if you blinked you missed another big play or touchdown. It came down to the final seconds as North Murray came away with a 54-50 victory.

 

In the first quarter, the Dragons got the ball to begin the game. As the Dragons were driving, the Mountaineers forced and recovered a fumble around mid-field. North Murray cashed in on that turnover and scored on a 5-yd touchdown run. The PAT was no good and with 8:11 left in the first quarter, the Mountaineers held a 6-0 lead. Pickens, came back out on offense, looking to answer. Answer they did as Sam Streicher found Marcus Pike streaking down the near sideline for a 57-yd touchdown. The PAT was successful and the Dragons took a 7-6 lead with 7 minutes left in the first quarter. The Mountaineers, came back with a 4-yd TD run by QB Seth Griffin. The PAT was good and North Murray took a 13-7 lead going to the 2nd quarter.

Canaan Denson with the hand off

Early on in the second quarter, the Dragons finished off a scoring drive with a 9-yd TD run from Canaan Denson. The PAT was no good, and with 11:34 left in the first half, the ball game was all square at 13. The Mountaineers, countered with a second rushing touchdown from Griffin. This one from 13 yards out. The PAT was good an North Murray retook the lead, 20-13 with 7:55 left in the first half. Pickens, needed just 2 minutes and 39 seconds of game time to get into the end zone as Mason Powell ran in for a 6-yd TD. The Dragons, then went for 2 and converted it to take a 21-20 lead with 5:16 left in the first half.

The Mountaineers, retook the lead on a 29-yd TD run that needed 81 seconds of game time. North Murray, went for the 2-point conversion attempt but was unsuccessful. With 4:35 left in the first half, the Mountaineers led, 26-21. The Dragons, got back into the end zone after a 39-yd TD pass from Streicher to Powell. The 2-point try was good and Pickens retook the lead, 29-26, with 1:12 left in the first half. North Murray, went hurry up in the final minute of the first half and got in with a 7-yd TD pass. The PAT was good, and the Mountaineers took a 33-29 lead over Pickens going to the half.

Dragons defense making a stop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The scoring definitely didn’t slow down in the second half. North Murray added to their lead after a 37-yd screen pass that went for a touchdown. The PAT was good and with 9:20 left in the third quarter, the Mountaineers took a 40-29 lead. The Dragons, looked to get back into the game as Powell plowed in for a 1-yd touchdown. His third total touchdown of the game. Pickens went for 2, but the attempt was unsuccessful. With 6:46 left in the 3rd, North Murray held a 40-35 lead. On the next Mountaineer possession, they ran a pitch play that had been successful for them prior, but the Dragons blew the play up and Kadyn Hampton recovered the fumble and took it into Mountaineer territory. Pickens cashed in on the turnover after a screen pass from Streicher to Isaiah Williams went for a 21-yd touchdown. The 2-point try was successful and with 4:46 left in the third, the Dragons retook the lead, 43-40.

After getting another stop on defense, Pickens extended their lead after Streicher found Hampton and he took the screen pass 66 yards for the score. The PAT was good and the Dragons would take a 50-40 lead over North Murray heading to the fourth quarter.

Sam Streicher slings it to Kadyn Hampton on the screen play

At the 9:32 mark in the fourth quarter, Griffin found the end zone for his fourth rushing touchdown of the game to cut the Pickens lead down to 50-47. Both teams had chances throughout the final quarter, but neither offense could quite break through. The Mountaineers, got into the end zone after a 24-yd TD pass. The PAT was good, and with 55 seconds left in the game, North Murray regained the lead, 54-50. The Dragons, had 55 seconds and all three timeouts to work with. The ensuing kickoff by the Mountaineers would go out of bounds and Pickens would take over at their 35-yd line. After a couple of runs and a big play to Pike, the Dragons were set up inside North Murray territory. With the seconds dwindling, Streicher heaved the ball towards the end zone, but it was batted down and the Mountaineers came away with the 54-50 win.

 

The Dragons, will look to rebound after a tough couple of weeks as they will again be on the road when they head to Blue Ridge to take on the Fannin Rebels for the first time since 2011. Both teams will be looking for their first win of the 2022 season and it is surely to be an exciting one between these two 515 schools. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm on September 2nd.

Dragons football releases 2022 schedule

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — With the 2022 football season seemingly around the corner, teams around our area and the entire state of Georgia are releasing their schedules for the upcoming season. On Friday, January 14th, the Pickens Dragons football team revealed their schedule and it looks to be an exciting one for Dragon fans. The schedule is littered with new match ups, some renewed older match ups, and a new slate of region opponents. Let us take a look at this schedule shall we.

 

On May 20th, the Dragons will conclude spring practice with a home scrimmage  game against the Dalton Catamounts. Some of you might remember that Pickens and Dalton, were once in the same region. Dalton has since moved on to 6A. The Catamounts finished the 2021 season at 2-8, but they will be a good, early challenge for the Dragons to go up against.

 

On August 12th, the Dragons will host a fall scrimmage as Rockmart will come to Jasper for the final tune up before the regular season. The Yellow Jackets, have been a very good, and very consistent football team over the last several years. Rockmart finished 2021 at 9-2 overall and won their region (6-AAA) with an undefeated 8-0 record. A big test for the Dragons right before the regular season kicks off.

 

The Dragons, will be road warriors early on in the 2022 season as their first three games will be away from Dragons Stadium. The first game, the Dragons will travel to Calhoun to take on the Sonoraville Phoenix on August 19th. Sonoraville, is actually taking the place of Pickens and Ridgeland next season in 7-AAAA as the Dragons bump down to 7-AAA, and the Panthers bumped down to 6-AAA. As for the Phoenix, they finished 2021 with a 6-4 record and a 4-4 record in 6-AAA. A tough game for the Dragons to officially start 2022 as Sonoraville picked up wins over an up and coming LaFayette team, and shut a Fannin team that has won it’s region in back to back years out.

On August 26th, the Dragons will head north again. This time, to North Murray. North Murray, is another one of those region 6-AAA schools that finished the year over .500 as they went 7-4 (5-3). The Mountaineers, will have a talented quarterback and a good set of receivers coming back so again, another tough challenge for the Dragons on the road.

On September 2nd, the road trip to begin the season concludes as the Dragons head to Blue Ridge to take on the Fannin Rebels. These two teams, despite seemingly playing each other in every sport, haven’t played one another on the football field since 2010. Everyone in our area knows about the recent success of the Rebels. A region championship in and a deep playoff run in 2020, another region championship in 2021. One thing’s for sure, both sides of the stands will be packed for this one.

The Dragons, will have a bye week on September 9th, as they will prepare for their final non-region game and their official home opener of the 2022 season as they take on the Christian Heritage Lions on September 16th. The Lions, went 4-7 in 2021, but finished Single-A Private region 7 at 2-2. Good enough for 3rd place. With it being the first home game of the season, you know the Dragons will be fired up for this one.

On September 23rd, the Dragons will once again be on the road to start 7-AAA play as they face an opponent they haven’t seen in a while in the Lumpkin County Indians. The last time these two met on the football field was way back in 2009. Pickens leads the series, 19-18-1, but the Indians have won three straight in the series. The Indians, have seen their share of tough times over the past couple of seasons, but they have a new head coach and some young players on the team looking to make an impact.

After a second bye week, the Dragons will go back on the road again as they head to Dawsonville to take on the Dawson County Tigers on October 7th. These two teams have scrimmaged each other in the last couple of years, but the last regular season game that took place between these schools was back in 2011. Pickens leads the series 7-1 all time. The Tigers did win the last regular season match up in 2011. Dawson, is another team that has been good and consistent for multiple years. The Tigers went 7-5 overall and 5-1 in 7-AAA play in 2021. Dawson even knocked off Sandy Creek in the playoffs last season. This one, will surely be one to watch.

On October 14th, the Dragons will host the Gilmer Bobcats. For the first time in a couple of years, it will be a region game. These two teams did not play each other in 2021 due to covid issues. The Bobcats lead the all time series 35-27-1. Pickens has won the last seven meetings dating back to 2014. Gilmer seems to have found a steady direction under head coach Paul Standard. You might not think it by seeing a 3-7 overall record and a 1-5 record in 7-AAA play in 2021 but, the Bobcats competed and took teams to the limit the majority of the season last year. With two rivals who haven’t played each other since 2020, this game will be an exciting one.

The Dragons go back on the road on October 21st as they take on the West Hall Spartans. These two teams did scrimmage recently, but their last regular season game took place in 2009. The Spartans lead the all time series, 6-4. Pickens did win the last meeting in 2009. West Hall, is another one of those teams that could be an up and coming team in the new season. The Spartans went 4-6 overall and 1-5 in 7-AAA play in 2021.

October 28th sees the Dragons welcome a team they have been very familiar with over the past couple of years, the White County Warriors. These two teams, are no strangers to one another meeting at least one time in the regular season and/or postseason since 2018. The Warriors lead the all time series 25-20-2. Pickens will look to right the ship against the Warriors as they have dropped the last three games against them. White County went 4-7 overall and 3-3 in 7-AAA play in 2021.

The Dragons end the regular season at home on November 4th as they host the Wesleyan Wolves. Wesleyan, is making the jump from Single-A Private, all the way to 3A after the GHSA decided to split up Single-A Public and Private. These two schools have no prior meetings on the football field. Wesleyan went 8-4 overall and 3-1 in A-Private region 5 in 2021.

 

All in all, this is a really good schedule for the Pickens Dragons. The spring and fall scrimmages will present challenges to the Dragons to help them prepare for the regular season. The non-region schedule is a good mix of teams to help get ready for region play. 7-AAA will give us games in the regular season we haven’t seen in a while like Lumpkin, Dawson, and West Hall. It rekindles and adds even more meaning to a rival game with Gilmer now that they are in the same region again. It gives us a chance to see how Wesleyan does going from Single-A Private to 3A. With the Dragons barely missing out on a playoff spot last season, I can definitely see them making that leap back into the playoffs and maybe even competing for a home playoff game.

 

Dragons face Generals in region battle

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Ringgold, Ga — It was a rainy day and a cool night on October, 29th as the Pickens Dragons traveled up to Ringgold to take on the Heritage Generals in 7-AAAA action. Coming into the game, the Generals were in a tie for second place in the region with Northwest Whitfield, while the Dragons were in a tie for fourth in the region with Central-Carroll. Pickens, needed a win to stay in that hunt for possibly the second seed going into the playoffs. In a tough match up, the Generals came away with a 24-14 win.

 

The Dragons, won the toss and elected to differ to the second half. After converting a third and long, Heritage was able to put the first points on the board after a 4-yd touchdown run. With 8:20 to go in the first quarter, the Generals led Pickens, 7-0. The rest of the quarter was a stalemate and we would head to the second quarter with Heritage ahead, 7-0.

Dragons defense looking to stop the run

The second quarter mirrored the first quarter as the Generals put up the only points in the frame. At the 6:40 mark of the second quarter, Heritage got in on a 5-yd run to make it 14-0. That would be your score heading into halftime in this soggy played ball game.

Collin Kellogg swings it to Devin Hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the third quarter, the Generals again would add to their lead with a 44-yd field goal at the 7:43 mark to make it 17-0. After a drive that took just over five minutes of game clock, Miguel Salto punched it in for the 3-yd touchdown to put the Dragons on the board for the first time. With 2:41 left in the third, Heritage led Pickens, 17-7. That would remain the score heading to the fourth quarter.

Dragons looking to punch it in the end zone

At the 7:08 mark of the fourth quarter, the Generals tacked on points with a 7-yd touchdown run to make it 24-7. Showing the fight that they always play with, the Dragons came back with a score of their own as Devin Hand got in with a 1-yd touchdown run with 3:05 left to make it 24-14. In the end, Heritage was able to hold on for the 24-14 victory.

 

7-AAAA Football Standings:

Cedartown: 7-1 (4-0)

Northwest Whitfield: 6-3 (3-1)

Heritage: 6-2 (3-1)

Central-Carroll: 4-5 (1-3)

Pickens: 4-4 (1-3)

Ridgeland: 1-8 (0-4)

*Southeast Whitfield: 2-8 (0-0) *Playing a non-region schedule

 

For the Dragons, they will close out the 2021 regular season on the road as they take on the Northwest Whitfield Bruins. By the looks of it, Pickens, can still find themselves in the playoffs with a win next week, and with a little help from their friends over at Ridgeland if the Panthers defeat Central-Carroll. The Bruins, will be looking to wrap up the #2 seed for 7-AAAA with a win so a lot on the line next week for both sides. Kickoff is set for 7:30.

 

Dragons fall in a heart breaker to Lions

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was another beautiful night for high school football in the north Georgia mountains as the Pickens Dragons welcomed the Central-Carroll Lions to Dragons Stadium for a big 7-AAAA showdown. This would mark the first ever meeting between these teams. Before the game, the Dragon senior football and cheerleaders were recognized for Senior Night.

 

The first quarter, saw both teams defenses step up as neither offense could get anything going on their respective drives. The Dragons, were able to breakthrough at the 2:48 mark of the opening quarter with a 38-yd field goal by Senior Jose Sanchez. Going to the 2nd quarter, Pickens led the Lions, 3-0.

Jose Sanchez hits the field goal attempt

The Dragons added to their lead early on in the second quarter as Sam Streicher found Isaiah Williams for a 24-yd touchdown. With 10:59 left in the first half, Pickens now led Central-Carroll, 10-0. Later on in the quarter, the Dragons were looking to add even more to their point total, but the Lions were able to pick off a pass attempt, and take it the other way for a touchdown. Going into the break, Pickens led Central-Carroll, 10-7.

Dragons defense pressures the Lions quarterback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the third quarter, the Lions picked up their first offensive score of the ball game as the quarterback ran to the right and just barely crossed the goal line before being ruled down. The PAT attempt was no good. With 5:08 left in the third, Central-Carroll now led the Dragons, 13-10. This would be the score going to the fourth quarter.

Streicher looking for an open man

In the fourth quarter, Central-Carroll was driving to add to their lead. The Dragon defense, was able to force a turnover and give the offense a chance to regain the lead. After two back to back spectacular catches from Senior Tom Frechette and Sophomore Marcus Pike, Streicher found Senior Devin Hand in the left corner of the end zone for a 17-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 8:07 left in the ball game, Pickens led the Lions, 17-13. After stopping the Lions on their next possession, the Dragons took over looking to melt time off the clock and add to the lead. With the ball near the 40-yd line of the Lions, Pickens decided to go for it on 4th and 1. An early snap however through off the timing of the play and Central-Carroll would take over. After a long pass play, the Lions got it down to the Dragons 8-yd line. A run play got it down to the 1-yd line. On 3rd down the Dragons defense tightened up and stopped the QB run. On 4th down, with a little help from his running back, the Lions QB was able to get in for the touchdown. With 1:31 left on the clock and now down by three, The Dragons offense went to work. Streicher picked up a big first down on 4th down and Pickens used the sideline to their advantage. One of the bigger plays of the game was when Streicher was running out of bounds, he took a hit that looked late, but wasn’t called. That set up a 44-yd field goal attempt to tie it and send it to overtime. Unfortunately for the Dragons, the kick sailed left and was no good. Your final score, Central-Carroll 20 Pickens 17.

 

7-AAAA Standings:

Cedartown: 6-1 (3-0)

Northwest Whitfield: 4-3 (2-1)

Heritage: 4-2 (2-1)

Central-Carroll: 4-4 (1-2)

Pickens: 4-3 (1-2)

Ridgeland: 1-7 (0-3)

*Southeast Whitfield: 1-7 (0-0)

*Not playing a region schedule

 

The Dragons, will have a bye week next week as they get ready for their next game against the Heritage Generals on the road on October, 29th. Kickoff for that one is set for 7:30.

Dragons pick up road region win against Ridgeland

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Rossville, Ga — The Pickens Dragons took to the road on Friday, October 8th to take on the Ridgeland Panthers in 7-AAAA play. The Dragons, were looking to bounce back after a tough game against Cedartown last week. The Panthers, have had a difficult start to the season, but were back home for the Homecoming. Pickens, snagged four first half interceptions and got the offense going in route to a 45-8 win.

 

The first quarter saw the Panthers get the ball first to begin the game. It didn’t take long for the Dragons to put points on the board as Anthony Antinozzi picked off the pass attempt, and took it all the way for the touchdown. With 11:15 left in the first quarter, Pickens led Ridgeland, 7-0. The Panthers, bounced back on their next possession as they used a long run to help set up a 1-yd touchdown run. Ridgeland then converted a 2-point conversion to take the lead, 8-7, with 9:03 left in the first quarter. The Dragons, then took the field for the first time on offense, looking to regain the lead. Regain the lead is exactly what they did as Sam Streicher found Kadyn Hampton in the corner of the end zone for the 20-yd touchdown pass. The PAT was good, and Pickens reclaimed the lead, 14-8, with 5:43 left in the first quarter. The Dragons, added to their lead as Devin Hand took the snap from behind center on 4th down and went 45-yds for the touchdown. Going to the second quarter, Pickens led the Panthers, 21-8.

Devin Hand looking for running room

The second quarter didn’t see too much scoring, but it did see the Dragons force a couple more turnovers. The lone points came from a 46-yd field goal by Jose Sanchez to give Pickens a 24-8 lead over Ridgeland at the half.

Jose Sanchez nails a 46-yd field goal

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the third quarter, both teams were finding it hard to get some consistency going with their possessions. With nothing doing for either side in the third, the Dragons continued to lead the Panthers, 24-8.

The Dragon defense forced 6 turnovers on the night

The fourth quarter saw the Dragon offense come to life. The first score of the quarter came after Streicher found a wide open Marcus Pike, who then made one man miss to get into the end zone. All together the play covered 40-yds. The PAT was good by Juan Sanchez and Pickens extended it’s lead to 31-8. At the 6:35 mark of the fourth, Streicher found Hand on the screen pass and Hand took it 65-yds for the score. The Dragons would then force the Panthers to punt deep in their own territory on their next possession. After being close several times, Pickens finally got in and blocked the punt attempt. A play later, Miguel Salto took the hand off and scored from 11-yds out. Your final from Rossville, Pickens 45 Ridgeland 8.

 

7-AAAA Region Standings:

Cedartown: 5-1 (2-0)

Heritage: 4-1 (2-0)

Pickens: 4-2 (1-1)

Northwest Whitfield: 3-3 (1-1)

Central-Carroll: 3-4 (0-2)

Ridgeland: 1-6 (0-2)

Southeast Whitfield: 1-7

 

The Dragons, will be back home next Friday as they welcome the Lions of Central-Carroll in what will be a critical game in 7-AAAA. These two teams did not get to play one another last year due to Covid issues. It will also be Senior Night for Pickens as it is the final home game of the regular season next Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

 

Dragons battle Cedartown in region opener

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was another beautiful night in Jasper, Ga as the Pickens Dragons hosted the Cedartown Bulldogs on Friday, October 1st to begin 7-AAAA play. Both these teams came in with identical 3-1 records, but were coming off completely opposite games. Two weeks ago, the Dragons defeated Union County 45-7 for homecoming. Last Thursday, the Bulldogs fell to Calhoun, 31-7. The Bulldogs, led by their run game, got the win over the Dragons, 31-0.

 

The Bulldogs got on the board the about midway through the 1st quarter after a 32-yd touchdown run on 4th down. The PAT was good, and with 6:37 left in the opening quarter, Cedartown took a 7-0 lead. With just over a minute left in the 1st quarter, the Bulldogs scored again using the ground game with a 39-yd touchdown run. The PAT was again successful and Cedartown took a 14-0 lead into the 2nd quarter.

Sam Streicher tossing out to Devin Hand

Just about two minutes into the 2nd quarter, the Bulldogs again found the end zone with a 33-yd touchdown run. With 10:16 to go in the first half, Cedartown took a 21-0 lead over the Dragons. Just prior to the end of the first half, the Bulldogs were able to add a 41-yd field goal that barely stayed inside the left upright. Going to the break, Cedartown led Pickens, 24-0.

Dragons defense pursuing the Bulldog runner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second half, saw the Dragons show an impressive ability to fight the whole game. After nothing doing for either team in the 3rd quarter, the Bulldogs got in with a 2-yd run to make it 31-0 with 9:49 left in the game. That would be the final score on the night.

 

7-AAAA Region Standings:

Cedartown: 4-1 (1-0)

Heritage: 3-1 (1-0)

Northwest Whitfield: 3-2 (1-0)

Pickens: 3-2 (0-1)

Central-Carroll: 3-3 (0-1)

Ridgeland: 1-5 (0-1)

*Southeast Whitfield: 1-6

*Playing a non-region schedule

 

The Dragons, will be on the road next week as they head to Rossville to take on the Ridgeland Panthers in another big region ball game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons pick up Homecoming win against Union County

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — Friday, September 17th was Homecoming night for Pickens High School as the Pickens Dragons hosted the Union County Panthers for their final non-region game before region play. This was the 12th all-time meeting between the two schools with the Panthers coming away with a 28-14 win last season in Blairsville. The Dragons, used a quick start on offense to propel them to a 45-7 win over Union County.

 

To start the ball game, Pickens would look to surprise the Panthers with an onside kick. The Panthers were able to recover and start their first drive of the game. After a defensive stop, the Dragons took over for their first possession of the night. Pickens wasted little time getting points as Sam Streicher threaded the needle to Marcus Pike, who took it 61-yds for the touchdown. The PAT was good, and with 10:14 left in the 1st quarter, the Dragons led, 7-0. It wouldn’t take long for the Dragons to strike again as it was deja vu all over again as Streicher again found Pike wide open as the play covered 60-yds. The PAT was true and Pickens extended their lead over the Panthers to 14-0 with 8:24 left in the opening quarter. After a short punt from Union County, the Dragons took advantage and Streicher used his legs to find the end zone from 13-yds out to make it 21-0 Pickens with 5:52 to go in the first quarter. Defensively, the Dragons were able to force the Panthers to punt from inside their own end zone after a sack. The snap on the punt was low and Pickens got in and blocked it and it was recovered in the end zone by Mason Powell for the touchdown. Going to the second quarter, the Dragons found themselves up 28-0 over Union County.

Sam Streicher passing to Marcus Pike.

The scoring slowed a little in the second quarter, but the Dragons were able to add to their lead as Streicher found Devin Hand for a diving catch in the end zone. The play covered 12-yds. With 5:15 left in the  first half, Pickens led the Panthers, 35-0. Union County was able to string together a pair of good plays towards the end of the first half as they were able to pick off a pass and score on a 9-yd touchdown pass on the very next play. Going into the break, Pickens were ahead of the Panthers, 35-7.

Dragons defense getting after the quarterback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both teams, for the majority of the third, traded possessions with no points. The lone touchdown in the quarter came from Hand, who plowed into the end zone with a 5-yd run. Going to the fourth quarter, the Dragons led the Panthers, 42-7.

Sam Streicher finds Devin Hand for the touchdown

In the fourth quarter, Dragons kicker Jose Sanchez added a 42-yd field goal to make it 45-7 Pickens. The Dragons, finished the game strong and picked up their third win of the season, 45-7.

 

With the win, the Dragons match their win total from the 2020 season. Pickens, will now have two weeks to get ready for the start of 7-AAAA play as the Cedartown Bulldogs will come to Jasper on October, 1st. Kickoff for that game is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons soar over Eagles in non-region play

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Rome, Ga — It was a beautiful day for high school football on Friday, September 10th as the Pickens Dragons made the long trip over to Rome to take on the 2A Coosa Eagles in non-region action. These two teams have a brief history with one another having only played 5 times. The Dragons, coming into this one, had won the previous three meetings. Pickens, looked to bounce back after a tough loss last week to White County. Coosa, came in looking for their first win of the season after games against Trion and Armuchee. Behind a strong defensive effort, that included five takeaway’s, Pickens came away with a 34-10 win.

 

The opening kickoff saw the first turnover as the game. As Coosa was returning the kick, the Dragons forced a fumble and recovered it. Pickens cashed in on that turnover as Sam Striecher found Devin Hand in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Hand went up and over the defender to catch the pass. The PAT was blocked and with 10:44 left in the first quarter, the Dragons led the Eagles, 6-0. Pickens, added to their lead later on in the quarter as Hand found the end zone again. Hand, took the snap under center and got in from 2-yds out. The PAT was good this time around and the Dragons took a 13-0 lead into the second quarter.

Sam Streicher finds Devin Hand in the end zone

Both teams had shots in the second quarter, but were unable to come up with anything. Coosa, picked up their first points of the game as they hit a 27-yd field goal. With 5:13 left in the first half, Pickens now led the Eagles, 13-3. Just prior to halftime, Streicher found his target Marcus Pike, for a 13-yd touchdown. The PAT was good, and the Dragons took a 20-3 lead into the break.

The Dragons defense making the tackle

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dragons wasted no time adding to their lead as they began the third quarter. After perfectly fielding the onside kick attempt, Pickens made quick work of their first possession in the second half. Streicher, hit Hand on the screen play, and Hand did the rest as he took it 55-yds for the touchdown. The PAT was once again successful, and the Dragons held a 27-3 advantage. That would be all the scoring that took place during the third quarter, and we’d head to the fourth quarter with Pickens ahead, 27-3.

Dragons looking to run the ball

Seconds into the fourth quarter starting, Anthony Antinozzi picked off an Eagle pass attempt and took it all the way for a Dragon touchdown. The PAT was true and Pickens held a 34-3 lead with 11:51 left in the ball game. Coosa, got into the end zone with a 39-yd touchdown run. Your final score from Coosa High School, Pickens 34 Coosa 10.

 

With the win, the Dragons now move to 2-1 on the season. Pickens, will be back home next week as they welcome the Union County Panthers to Jasper. It’ll be the 12th all-time meeting between these two schools. This will be the final non-region game for the Dragons before 7-AAAA play begins on October 1st.

Dragons drop non-region game to Warriors

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — A lot of things were going on in Pickens County on Friday September 3rd, 2021. It was the start of a festival known as JeepFest, local country music recording artist Jacob Bryant played a show for his hometown crowd on main street, and the Pickens Dragons welcomed the White County Warriors to Dragons Stadium for a non-region contest. These two teams have gone back and forth the last couple of years, but the Warriors have taken the last two meetings. Pickens, came into the game looking to build off of an impressive win against Commerce. White County, came in looking to right the ship after two tough early season games.

 

The Warriors were the first to receive to start the ball game. After driving down the field a bit, White County’s opening drive was stalled by a holding penalty, and a sack by the Dragons defense. Offensively, Pickens didn’t waste any time attempting a home run shot. After receiving the snap, QB Sam Streicher handed off to RB Kadyn Hampton, who then tossed it to Collin Kellogg. Kellogg, launched it down field to Devin Hand who nearly made an incredible diving catch to reel the pass in. The Dragons, would end up having to punt the ball away on that first drive. White County, got the ball back, and was able to keep this drive alive after a successful fake punt. That play ended with a targeting call on the Dragons to give the Warriors even better field position. The next play, the Warriors got in on a 9-yd touchdown run. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good, and we’d head to the second quarter with White County leading the Dragons, 6-0.

Dragons on offense in the 1st quarter

In the second quarter, both teams started to settle in defensively. The lone score of the second quarter came at the 9:37 mark as the Warriors found the end zone after a 44-yd touchdown pass off of a screen play. The PAT attempt was good and White County extended their lead over Pickens to 13-0. The Dragons, certainly had their chances offensively in the first half, but it was one of those times were every shot was just miss. Going into the half, the Warriors held a 13-0 advantage.

Dragons on defense in the 2nd quarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the third quarter, the Dragons were looking for a way to get back into the ball game. At the 4:38 mark of the third, Pickens did just that as Streicher got in after a 5-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good and the White County lead was cut to 13-7. That score held up for the rest of the quarter and we’d head to the fourth, Warriors leading, 13-7.

Streicher capped off the drive with a touchdown

Midway through the fourth quarter, The Warriors went for it on 4th down from the 1-yd line. The ball carrier, leaped over the pile and just narrowly crossed the plain for the touchdown. With 5:50 left in the game, White County extended their lead to 20-7. The Dragons had opportunities, but it just wasn’t meant to be as the Warriors took this one, 20-7.

 

The Dragons, will now look to regroup as they will prepare for their first road game of the season next Friday in Rome against the Coosa Eagles. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons open 2021 season with big win

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

On August 27th, 2021, the Pickens Dragons took the field for their home opener. If you have been following along in recent weeks, it suddenly became their season opener as well. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for the Dragons. Last week, their scheduled season opener at Gilmer was canceled due to Covid issues. Unfortunately, they were unable to find a game, and were unable to play last week. This week, their game against Chattooga was canceled because of you guessed it, Covid issues. Here’s where it gets interesting. The Commerce Tigers had their scheduled game with Union County canceled due to Covid issues on Tuesday of this week. That Wednesday morning, Pickens finds out their scheduled game is canceled. That same day, the Tigers agreed to come to Jasper to play the Dragons on Friday, August 27th.

 

There is a brief history between these two teams. These two teams have faced off twice before in the early 70’s. In 1972 and 1973 to be exact with Commerce taking both games. For the first time in 48 years, and on two days notice, the Dragons and the Tigers would do battle on the football field.

 

The first quarter was a quarter of chances. Commerce started the game with the ball. After the Tigers converted a fake punt attempt deep in their own territory, the Dragons regrouped and forced Commerce to punt. Pickens, had their opportunities in the opening quarter as a missed field goal, and two would be touchdowns were kept off the board. Going to the second quarter, we were still tied at zero.

The Dragons defense stopping a Tiger run play

The Dragons got the scoring started in the second quarter after Sam Streicher found Kadyn Hampton on a screen pass and Hampton took it 43-yards for the touchdown. The extra point was good, and with 9:17 to go in the first half, Pickens led Commerce, 7-0. The Dragons added to their lead after they went with a little “Wild Dragon” and split the QB Streicher out wide and put WR Devin Hand under center. Hand was able to score on a 3-yd run. The extra point was no good. With 1:29 left in the first half, Pickens now led the Tigers, 13-0. After using their remaining timeouts on defense, the Dragons got the ball back with under a minute to go in the first half. Kicker Jose Sanchez, was able to drill a 40-yd field goal to give Pickens a 16-0 lead going into halftime.

Jose Sanchez kicking a 40-yd field goal

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a bit of a back and forth between the two teams, the Dragons were able to put the first points on the board in the third quarter as Streicher found Hand for a 37-yd touchdown off of a screen pass. With 3:17 left in the 3rd, Pickens now led the Commerce Tigers, 23-0. The Tigers, got on the board in the 3rd with a 43-yd touchdown run. The 2-point conversion attempt was successful. Going to the fourth quarter, the Dragons led Commerce, 23-8.

Head coach Grant Myers watches the Dragons on offense

Almost midway through the fourth quarter, Hampton found the end zone for the second time. This time, it was a 1-yd touchdown run. With 6:22 left in the game, the Dragons led the Tigers, 30-8. After recovering a fumble, Pickens cashed in with a 4-yd touchdown run by Hampton. The Dragon led over Commerce was now 37-8. The Dragons then would pick off a Tiger pass attempt and was able to take a knee and run out the remaining time on the clock. Final score from Jasper, Pickens 37 Commerce 8.

 

The win marks the first for first year head coach Grant Myers. The Dragons will look to continue to build off of this impressive win as they will host the White County Warriors on Friday, September 3rd. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

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