Dragons fall in tough region opener

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Cedartown, Ga — On October 16th, the Pickens Dragons made one of the longer trips of the season to Polk County where they met the Cedartown Bulldogs to start 7-AAAA play. These two teams have met 6 times previously with the last meeting coming in 2013. The last time Pickens came to Cedartown in 2012, they came away with the win in a game that featured former University of Minnesota and Dragon great Shannon Brooks along with former University of Georgia standout and current Cleveland Browns running back, Nick Chub

The Dragons won the toss and elected to receive to begin the ball game. Pickens came out with a a strategy of using a quick pass game plan as Cedartown was bringing pressure early. The Dragons went for it on 4th down near midfield and appeared to make the line to gain, but it was ruled short and the Bulldogs took over. On their opening possession, Cedartown would also be faced with a go for it on 4th down situation. They chose to go for it and the Dragon defense stood tall and held them. Just before the end of the first quarter, things got a little wacky. After forcing the Bulldogs to punt, the Dragons reached into their bag of tricks and pulled out the old double pass play. Sam Streicher hit Jarod Whitmore who then connected with a wide open Andrew Burrell for a 56-yd touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The Dragons had more surprises for Cedartown as they then went for an onside and recovered. Going to the second quarter, Pickens led the Bulldogs 7-0.

Dragons driving to begin the game

The Dragons had possession of the ball to start the second quarter after executing an onside kick just before the end of the first. Pickens got a long run from Whitmore, who then capped off the drive with a 1-yd touchdown run to make it 14-0 with 10:22 left in the first half. The Bulldogs got on the board for the first time at the 7 minute mark of the second quarter with a 3-yd touchdown run to make it 14-7 Dragons. Just before the end of the first half, Cedartown got on the board again. This time with a 10-yd touchdown pass. The PAT was no good however and the Dragons headed into halftime with a 14-13 lead over the Bulldogs.

Jarod Whitmore scores to make it 14-0 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the third quarter, Cedartown took advantage of some miscues by the Dragons and turned those miscues into touchdowns. The Bulldogs scored three times off of turnovers to take the lead over Pickens going to the fourth, 31-14.

The Dragons defense fought hard against Cedartown

In the fourth quarter, Cedartown added to their lead with touchdown runs of 84, 11, and 35 yards. Pickens ended the ball game with something positive as Streicher found Tom Frechette in the corner of the end zone for a 14-yd touchdown pass. Final from Cedartown: Bulldogs 52 Dragons 21.

 

7-AAAA Standings

Central Carroll: 4-1 (1-0)

Cedartown: 3-2 (1-0)

Ridgeland: 1-5 (1-0)

Northwest Whitfield: 4-1 (0-1)

Heritage: 3-3 (0-1)

Pickens: 2-4 (0-1)

 

Next week, the Dragons will be back home as they welcome the Ridgeland Panthers into town as they continue 7-AAAA play. Ridgeland picked up it’s first win of the season against Heritage 21-14, holding on after leading 15-0 at halftime. Kickoff is set for 7:30.

Dragons fall in final non-region tune up

PHS Football, Sports, Team FYN Sports

Blairsville, Ga — Friday, October 2nd marked the first time that the Pickens Dragons and Union County Panthers faced off since 1991. Pickens won that game 34-0 on 11-1-91. The first meeting between these two schools came in 1960. The Dragons came in with a 2 game win streak and the overall series was tied a 5 a piece. This was Union’s first game since having to cancel a game due to Covid protocols, a young man on the team was involved in a wreck, and did we mention, it was homecoming. The Panthers were able to capitalize on some mistakes by the Dragons and took this one, 28-14.

 

The Dragons opened the ball game on offense as they seem to have done to begin every game this season so far. Union was able to force a 3 and out to get the ball for the first time. A short punt, gave the Panthers good field position to work with on their first drive, but the defense of Pickens held strong and forced a punt. The punt backed the Dragons up all the way to their 3-yd line. Desperate to get out of their own end zone, Sam Streicher lobbed it up for Senior receiver Mykel Hand and he made a spectacular catch along the sideline to move the chains and give Pickens some breathing room. The second Dragon drive would stall as both defenses looked strong early on. Going to the second quarter, we remained scoreless.

Big tackle for loss by the Dragons early in the game

A minute and six seconds into the second quarter, the Panthers struck first with a 14-yd touchdown run to give them a 7-0 lead with 10:54 left in the first half. During their final drive of the half, the Dragons were setting up for a 42-yd field goal attempt. A false start, caused head coach Jeff Nelson to call a timeout, talk to his team, and decide to send his offense back out there. On 4th and fifteen, Streicher completed a pass to Senior running back Jarod Whitmore and Pickens had 1st and goal set up at the Union 9-yd line. Several plays later Whitmore would mash his way into the end zone for the 1-yd touchdown to tie things up with 27 seconds left in the half. Union took the ensuing kickoff deep into Dragon territory, but a holding call on the Panthers negated that run and we hit the half all tied at 7.

Streicher completing a 4th down pass to Whitmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost midway through the third, Union was able to retake the lead after a 14-yd touchdown pass. The PAT was no good, so the Panthers held a 13-7 lead with 7:34 left in the third quarter. Union would pick off a pass attempt from Streicher and took over near midfield. The Dragons defense settled in and forced a field goal attempt. The try was no good and Pickens took over at their own 20-yd line. The next play, the Panthers picked off a pass along the sideline to give it back to their offense. Union was able to turn the turnover into points with a 5-yd touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt was successful and the Panthers took a 21-7 lead over the Dragons going to the fourth quarter.

Dragons looking to stop a Union run play

Union County added to their lead at the 9:38 mark of the 4th quarter with a 16-yd touchdown run to make it 28-7 Panthers. The Dragons found success on a drive going with a quicker tempo and running back Kenny Nelson would finish the drive off with a 4-yd touchdown run to make it 28-14 with 4:37 left. In the end, the Union County Panthers took this one, 28-14.

 

7-AAAA Standings:

Northwest Whitfield: 4-0

Central-Carroll: 2-1

Heritage: 3-2

Cedartown: 2-2

Pickens: 2-3

Ridgeland: 0-5

 

With the exception of Central-Carroll, every other team in 7-AAAA is on a bye week next week. 7-AAAA play will start on October 16th. For the Dragons, they will open up region play on the road at Cedartown against the Bulldogs. This will be the 7th all time meeting between the two schools with the last one coming in 2011, the last time these two schools were in the same region. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Defense dominates as Dragons defeat Eagles

PHS Football, Sports, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Georgia — On Friday September 25th, the Pickens Dragons (2-2) hosted the Coosa Eagles (2-1) in non-region action at Dragons Stadium. The Dragons were back home for the first time in two weeks, and were looking for a spark to jump start their season. Coosa, came in putting big points up in two games with over forty in each contest. Last night was also Homecoming for Pickens. Behind a stellar defensive effort, the Dragons evened up their record with a 10-0 win.

 

The Eagles won the toss but elected to differ to the second half, giving the Dragons the ball first. After a quiet first drive, Pickens was forced to punt. Senior Jarod Whitmore got a great punt off that was downed at the Coosa 2-yd line. The Eagles picked up one first down, but that was it for their opening drive. The Dragons drove down a short field and set up for a 29-yd field goal attempt. That attempt was unsuccessful. Going to the second quarter, we had no score on the board.

The Dragons defense getting after the Eagles

In the second quarter, Pickens had several chances to punch in touchdowns and were finally able to cash in during the later stages of the first half with a 5-yd touchdown run by Whitmore which was helped set up by a beautiful pitch and catch by Sam Striecher to Mykel Hand. Going into halftime, the Dragons led the Eagles, 7-0.

Jarod Whitmore looking to gain big yards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the third quarter, the Dragons added on to their after a 39-yd field goal by Jose Sanchez connected giving Pickens a 10-0 lead with 8:59 left in the third. The field goal was set up by an interception by Conner Browning, one of three turnovers forced by the Dragons defense. No other scoring occurred in the third and we headed to the fourth with the Dragons ahead, 10-0.

The Dragon defense played well against the wing-t

The fourth quarter saw the Dragons defense stuff any possible chance at a comeback for the Eagles as Pickens was able to hold on to the shutout and improve their record to .500 on the season with a 10-0 win.

 

7-AAAA Standings:

Northwest Whitfield: 4-0

Heritage: 3-1

Central-Carroll: 1-1

Pickens: 2-2

Cedartown: 1-2

Ridgeland: 0-4

 

Next week, the Dragons will be back on the road as they head to Blairsville to take on the Union County Panthers in their final non-region game of the schedule. This will be the 11th all time meeting between the two schools having not played since 1991. Pickens currently is riding a 2-game win streak in the series. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Early mistakes costly as Dragons fall to Chattooga

PHS Football, Sports, Team FYN Sports

On a very unforgettable day in american history, September 11th, the Pickens Dragons (1-0) traveled to Summerville to take on the Chattooga Indians (0-1). This was the first ever meeting between the two schools in football. Chattooga, is out of the AA classification. They were coming off of a tough loss to Adairsville 28-21. The Dragons, came in riding high after defeating their 515 rival Gilmer Bobcats 17-8. In a tough game, Pickens had their chances in the second half, but several mistakes in the first quarter were too much to overcome as Chattooga took this one, 28-14.

 

The Dragons started off the ball game with the first possession, but were unable to get anything going. Chattooga used a heavy dose of their run game as they chewed up several minutes on the clock as they found the end zone for the first time on the night after a 1-yd touchdown run to make it 7-0 with 3:27 left in the opening quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Pickens couldn’t corral the ball and the Indians took over in Dragon territory. Shortly after, Chattooga connected on a 28-yd touchdown pass to make it 14-0 Indians going to the second.

Senior Sy Chadwick looking to tackle the ball carrier

The second quarter began with the Indians on offense as they were driving when the first quarter came to an end. Chattooga capped off that drive with an 8-yd touchdown pass to make it 21-0 with 11:40 left in the first half. The Dragons, got on the board for the first time in the later stages of the first half as Sam Streicher found Devin Hand for a 23-yd touchdown pass to make it 21-7 Indians with 2:14 left in the opening half. Pickens forced a turnover on Chattooga’s next possession, and looked to capitalize on it just before the half. On the first play of the drive however, Streicher’s pass would be picked off by the Indians. After a long pass play by the Indians, Chattooga scored on a 3-yd touchdown run to make it 28-7 as we hit halftime.

Sam Streicher looking for a receiver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third quarter saw the defenses for both teams really lock in and stand their ground. The biggest threat in the third, came from the Dragons as it looked like Pickens had crossed the plain for a touchdown but the officials ruled that the ball came out before the runner was down and Chattooga would recover the fumble. The defense for the Dragons continued to get better as the game wore on and held the Indians offense in check. Going to the fourth quarter, it was still 28-7 Chattooga.

The Dragons D-line getting pressure upfront

The Dragons were driving as the third quarter came to an end, and looked to score quickly to cut into the Indians lead. On fourth down, Streicher found Jarod Whitmore for a 5-yd touchdown pass to make it 28-14 Chattooga with 10:21 left in the game. Pickens had several chances to try and cut into the lead, but the Indians were able to hold on as Chattooga took this one, 28-14.

 

7-AAAA Standings:

Heritage: 2-0

Northwest Whitfield: 2-0

Pickens: 1-1

Cedartown: 0-1

Central-Carroll: 0-1

Ridgeland: 0-2

 

The Dragons, will again be on the road next week as they head to Cleveland Georgia to take on a familiar foe in recent years, the White County Warriors. As you may know, the Warriors dropped down to AAA and are off to a 2-0 start on the season. This will be the 46th all time meeting between the two schools with White County leading the series 23-20-2. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Dragons open unusual 2020 season with win over rival Bobcats

PHS Football, Sports, Team FYN Sports

On Friday September 4th, the 2020 high school football season got underway for the majority of the state of Georgia. With all of the ups and downs that  has been this year and the will they won’t they speculation, to get to this opening night was a huge deal. In Jasper Georgia, two teams very familiar with each other took the field to open their seasons. The Pickens Dragons came into the 2020 season having to fill many major holes on both offense and defense after graduating most of their production from the team last season. The Gilmer Bobcats, came in with a lot of momentum having exceeded expectations last season, moving to a new region, and returning players with a lot of varsity experience. After it was all said and done, the Dragons picked up the win, 17-8.

 

The Bobcats won the toss, but elected to defer to the 2nd half, giving the Dragons the ball first. After a pooch kick was fair caught, the Dragons took over with a new starting quarterback in freshman Sam Streicher. If that last name sounds familiar, it should. Sam is the younger brother of Dragon football standout C.J. Streicher. The Dragons used a heavy dose of the run game on their opening drive with senior Jarod Whitmore getting the bulk of the carries. At the 9:44 mark of the opening quarter, Whitmore turned the corner on the right side and got in for the touchdown. The extra point from Juan Sanchez was good, and the Dragons took a 7-0 lead. After a Bobcat fumble on their opening drive, Pickens turned that into points with a 30-yd field goal by Sanchez to make it 10-0.

Jarod Whitmore scores the first touchdown of the season

Defense was the name of the second quarter as neither offense could find hardly anything. The score remained 10-0 Pickens until late in the first half when the snap on a punt attempt by the Dragons sailed over the head of Whitmore and landed in the end zone. Gilmer picked up two points with the safety, and had a chance to get more before the half. The defense for the Dragons held and we would head to halftime with Pickens leading 10-2.

Dragons on defense in the second quarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bobcats, started the second half with the football and with a tweak to their game plan. Gilmer came out throwing more for their first possession of the second half and found success with it. After a pass interference call against the Dragons, the Bobcats connected on a 36-yd touchdown pass to make it 10-8. The ensuing two-point conversion try was no good, and Pickens still held the lead, this time at 10-8 with 8:55 to go in the third. Using that momentum from having just scored, Gilmer transferred that over to the defensive side of the ball where they got the stop. The Bobcats next possession was a quick one as Andrew Burrell picked off a pass attempt and set the Dragons up with good field position. Pickens turned that interception into points when Streicher found the returning Mykel Hand after a nice pass for the touchdown. The first varsity touchdown pass for Streicher. The PAT was good and the Dragons extended their lead over the Bobcats 17-8, going to the fourth quarter.

Freshman QB Sam Streicher rolling out for a pass attempt

In the fourth and final quarter, Gilmer had their chances to cut into the lead, but the Dragons defense held strong and helped Pickens come away with the win, 17-8.

 

After the set of games this week, here are the records for the teams in the new 7-AAAA:

Pickens: 1-0

Heritage: 1-0

Northwest Whitfield: 1-0

Cedartown: 0-0 (game canceled)

Central-Carroll: 0-0 (game canceled)

Ridgeland: 0-1

 

Pickens will travel to Summerville Georgia next Friday to take on the Chattooga Indians in non-region play. Chattooga is in region 7 in AA. They fell to Adairsville 35-28 on Friday night. Kickoff set for 7:30 pm next Friday.

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