Jasper, Ga — Last night, it was do or die for the PHS Dragons varsity football team as they hosted the Lafayette Ramblers for Senior Night. It was simple. A win for the Dragons and they would be in the playoffs. A loss, meant their season was over.
The Dragons, received the opening kickoff, and only took 1:51 off the clock as Senior QB CJ Streicher ran it in from 36-yds out for the score. The extra point was no good, & Pickens led early, 6-0. Lafayette answered on their opening drive with a 5-yd touchdown run at the 4:36 mark. The PAT was good & the Ramblers took a 7-6 lead. After a punt by the Dragons, Lafayette would take the lead with a 71-yd touchdown run, giving them a 14-6 lead, as we’d head to the 2nd.
At the 7:42 mark of the 2nd quarter, Lafayette stretched their lead out with a 72-yd touchdown run, making it 21-6 Ramblers. Needing a big play to jump start the team, Streicher delivered a 71-yd touchdown run to cut into the Rambler lead, 21-12, with 6:56 left in the 1st half. Lafayette, took 2:10 off the clock as they scored on a 14-yd touchdown run to make it 28-12, with 4:46 left in the half. Pickens, would make it a one score game with a 1-yd touchdown run by Streicher. The Dragons would convert the 2-point conversion. At the half, The Ramblers led the Dragons, 28-20.
To start the 3rd quarter, the Dragons got the big play they needed on defense as they were able to force and recover a Rambler fumble. Streicher capped off the ensuing drive with an 18-yd touchdown run. The 2-point conversion was successful, & just like that, we had a tie game at 28, with 10:18 left in the 3rd. Lafayette, took the lead back with a 16-yd touchdown run, to make it 35-28, with 6:35 left in the 3rd. Pickens, came right back as Streicher connected with a wide open Jarod Whitmore on a 23-yd touchdown pass to tie things up at 35. It wouldn’t be tied for long however as the Ramblers reclaimed the lead with a 79-yd touchdown run, to make it 42-35, with 3:14 to go in the 3rd. Streicher, would again find the end zone with a 13-yd touchdown run to make it 42 all, going to the 4th.
Early in the 4th, Lafayette would drive deep into Pickens territory, but the Dragons would hold them to a 38-yd field goal, making it 45-42 Ramblers, with 10:18 left in the game. At the 7:27 mark of the 4th, Streicher would barrel his way into the end zone for his 6th rushing touchdown of the game, & 7th total, to give the Dragons their first lead of the contest. Driving down late in the game, Lafayette thought they had a go ahead touchdown. However, a chop block penalty negated the score. The Ramblers, would choose to go for it on 4th down, but the pass came up incomplete, & the Dragons would take over. Pickens, would drive down towards midfield & were faced with a 4th & 3. Coach Nelson decided to go for it, & put it in the hands of his Senior QB. Streicher, would fight hard on the run with help from the o-line. It would come down to a measurement. The ball, measured just across the sticks & the Dragons would get the win, 49-45, to secure a playoff spot for the 6th consecutive season.
Northwest Whitfield: 4-1
Southeast Whitfield: 0-5
All eyes will be on the Heritage/Northwest Whitfield match up next week as that game will determine the seeding as far as the playoffs are concerned. Should Heritage win & Ridgeland win their game against Southeast Whitfield, Ridgeland would win the region title, Heritage would be the 2nd seed, Pickens would be the 3rd seed, & Northwest Whitfield would be the 4th seed. Should Northwest Whitfield defeat Heritage, the Bruins would win the region, Ridgeland would be the 2nd seed, Heritage would be the 3rd seed, & Pickens would be the 4th seed. Pickens, will either play North Oconee or Oconee County in the 1st round of the playoffs.
Yesterday, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team hosted the LaFayette Ramblers at PJHS for a doubleheader to close out the regular season. Pickens, defeated the Ramblers on Tuesday at LaFayette, 2-0, behind a complete game shutout by Colby James, & looked to win the series, & to finish 3rd in the region heading into the state tournament. It was also Senior Night as the Seniors were recognized in between games.
Senior & College of Charleston signee Caswell Smith started game 1 (game 2 overall of the series) & he pitched a masterpiece.
In the bottom of the 1st, the Dragons struck first with 2 runs to take a 2-0 lead. Pickens added to that lead in the bottom of the 2nd, as two more runs would come home, making it 4-0 Dragons. One more run would score in the bottom of the 4th as Pickens extended it’s lead to 5-0 over LaFayette.
With the way Smith pitched, the Dragons only needed 1 run as Smith tossed a complete game, no-hit shutout as the Dragons took the first game of the doubleheader, 5-0.
The 2nd game was started by another senior, & another college signee. Will Lawrence, who is signed with Wallace State to continue his baseball career, took the mound for the final game of the series. Lawrence got off to a good start, striking out the side in the top of the 1st. In the bottom of the 1st, Brady Moore, led off with a walk, stole 2nd, stole 3rd, & scored after the ball got passed the 3rd baseman. Dragons led, 1-0.
Pickens, held that 1-0 lead over the Ramblers until the top of the 4th, when LaFayette plated 2 runs to take a 2-1 lead. Their first lead of the game & of the series. The Dragons, retook the lead in the bottom of the 5th with 2 runs of their own to make it 3-2. LaFayette answered right back with a run in the top of the 6th, to tie things up at 3 a piece.
With 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th, catcher Tyler Vreeland got on base with a single. Jarod Whitmore would then be brought in to courtesy run for Vreeland. Whitmore, would steal 2nd, then make his way to 3rd after the ball got passed the infield & into the outfield. Whitmore, would then come home to score the game winning run on a wild pitch. Pickens, finishes the regular season in exciting fashion winning 4-3.
Pickens, finishes the regular season at 19-11, & 12-6 in region play. The 19 wins are the most in a season for any PHS Baseball team. The Dragons, will represent 6-AAAA as the 3rd seed & take on the 2 seed out of region 7, the Marist War Eagles, in the first round of the 4A State Baseball Tournament. First pitch is set for Wednesday at 5:30.
It was a windy, but beautiful afternoon at Bent Tree yesterday afternoon as the PHS Golf team hosted the Sonoraville Phoenix. The Dragons & Dragonettes golf teams have performed very well this season & looked to continue with the regular season coming to an end.
The front 9, was closed so the teams got a little treat in being able to play the back 9, & test their skill with all that it brings. In the end, Pickens & Sonoraville split the match. The PHS Girls, took home the win, 160-181, while the Phoenix got the win in a closely nit battle with the Dragons, 168-172.
Pickens, will have one more match before they head to the 6-AAAA Region Tournament. That match, will be next Tuesday at Bent Tree, where they will host the Gilmer Bobcats & Lady Cats for Senior Night. Tee off is set for 4 pm.
After the Nettes’ big win, the Dragons took the floor to take on the Raiders of Southeast Whitfield in their final game of the regular season. Coming into the game, Pickens knew where they would be next week when the region tournament starts, but looked to get some momentum built going into it.
Southeast Whitfield, got off to the quick start in the opening quarter, but the Dragons were able to cut into the lead & the Raiders held a 14-9 advantage going to the 2nd. In the 2nd, the Raiders outscored Pickens 16-9, to extend their lead to 30-18 going into the break.
In the 3rd, the Raiders outscored the Dragons slightly, 14-12, to extend their lead to 44-30, going to the 4th and final quarter. In the 4th, Pickens, did what they’ve done lately & made things interesting at the end. Trailing by 14 to start the frame, the Dragons stormed back and got within a couple of points of Southeast Whitfield. Pickens, outscored the Raiders 21-14 in the 4th, but Southeast Whitfield was able to hit a few late free throws to seal it, 58-51.
Zach Goss: 22 points, 2 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 steals
Hunter Hermann: 10 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks
Brady Moore: 7 points, 1 assist, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block
Seth Bishop: 6 points, 1 assist, 3 rebounds
Owen Moss: 2 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Tucker Lowe: 2 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds
Hayes Pickett: 2 points
Pickens, will now look towards the 6-AAAA Region Tournament being held at Southeast Whitfield next week. The Dragons, will come in as the 6th seed, & take on the 3rd seeded Heritage Generals in the 1st round on Tuesday. Pickens & Heritage split their two regular season meetings with each winning on the others floor. Tip off is set for 6 pm.
Last night, the PHS Dragonettes varsity basketball team hosted the Southeast Whitfield Lady Raiders for the regular season finale & Senior night. This game, was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but winter weather forced it to be moved to last night. Prior to the game beginning, Senior Torie Williams was recognized for scoring her 1,000th career point last Friday at Northwest Whitfield. Williams, became the 21st Nettes player with 1,000 career points, & the 2nd this season to join the club (Junior Mykenzie Weaver hit the feat prior to Christmas).
In the first quarter, it was neck & neck with both teams. The home team held a 11-8 lead over the Lady Raiders going to the 2nd. In the 2nd, Pickens extended their lead turning great defense into offense as they outscored Southeast Whitfield 25-9 in the frame. Williams, also broke her own record for most three’s in a season with the two she made in the quarter, Going into the half, the Nettes led, 36-17.
In the 3rd, the Nettes’ carried over the defense they displayed in the 2nd quarter as it led to some great transition opportunities for Pickens. The Nettes’, outscored the Lady Raiders 18-5 in the 3rd to take a 54-22 lead into the 4th. The Nettes’, closed things out in the 4th taking this one, 67-31.
Torie Williams: 17 points, 7 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals
Sarah Morris: 11 points, 3 rebounds
Amanda Nelson: 10 points, 1 assist, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
Mykenzie Weaver: 8 points, 1 steal
Olivia Simmons: 6 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Kealy Hillhouse: 4 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Cassidy Richards: 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block
Chloe Walker: 3 points, 1 assist, 2 steals
Ansley Parker: 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1 block
Reagan Harwood: 2 points
Hattie Baker: 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Pickens, will now turn it’s attention to the 6-AAAA region tournament next week being held at Southeast Whitfield. The Nettes’, are the number 4 seed and will take on the number 5 seeded Lafayette Lady Ramblers in the first round on Monday. A win there puts you in the state tournament. Tip off is scheduled for 4:30.
Last night, the PHS Dragons varsity football team hosted the Ridgeland Panthers for Senior Night. Not only was it Senior Night, it was a region championship game. With Pickens sitting at 4-0, & Ridgeland sitting at 3-0 in the region, this became the deciding game for the 6-AAAA crown. Prior to the ball game, the Seniors for the team, cheerleaders, & band were all recognized. The most special one, was Jordan Simonds. Simonds, lost his life in an automobile accident last year. This would’ve been his Senior year. Jordan’s mother, Jessica, represented him. She was surrounded by Jordan’s fellow Seniors, & was presented a bouquet of flowers. The Simond’s family has set up a Memorial Scholarship fund in his name. If you haven’t already, please go contribute in any way you can.
Pickens won the toss, but elected to defer to the 2nd half, giving Ridgeland’s speedy offense first possession. After a big loss on 3rd down, the Panthers were forced to punt from the back of their own end zone. The Dragons took over at the Ridgeland 30-yd line. It took Pickens one play from scrimmage to find points as the Dragons worked the double pass to perfection. CJ Streicher sent it over to Michael Burrell, then Burrell connected with a wide open Brady Moore for a 30-yd TD pass, giving the Dragons a 7-0 lead, with 11:27 to go in the 1st. Pickens looked to catch the Panthers off guard again with a surprise onside attempt, but were unable to recover it. Ridgeland used the good starting field position to drive down the field, & cap it off with a 3-yd TD run to make it 7-7 with 9:59 left in the 1st. Ridgeland then took the lead after a 47-yd TD pass, to make it 14-7, with 7:45 left in the opening quarter. The Dragons, were able to drive down the field, and get a 21-yd field goal from Jose Sanchez to make it 14-10 Ridgeland, going to the 2nd.
Pickens, regained the lead at the 9:36 mark of the 2nd quarter after Robert Davis barreled his way in from 7-yds out, to make it 17-14. Ridgeland, looked to tie things up with a long field goal attempt, but Kaleb Ray came swooping from the left side and blocked the kick, giving the Dragons possession at their own 27-yd line. On the very next play, Streicher found an open Ray near the sideline & he took it 73-yds for the score, giving Pickens a 24-14 lead, as we’d head into halftime.
The Dragons, got the ball to start the 2nd half, & methodically drove it down the field, chewing up nearly half of the 3rd quarter on their first drive. The drive ended with Davis getting into the end zone from 13-yds out after nearly losing it prior to scoring. That made it 31-14 Dragons, going to the 4th. The defense for Pickens, as they have all season long, really stepped up in the 2nd half shutting down the high powered Panther offense. Ridgeland’s only other score came with 19 seconds left to go in the game. Your final in this one, Pickens 31, Ridgeland 21. With the win, Pickens secures it’s first region championship in school history.
Pickens: 9-0 (5-0) 6-AAAA region champions
Ridgeland: 5-3 (3-1)
Heritage: 4-5 (3-2)
NW Whitfield: 5-3 (2-2)
LaFayette: 4-4 (1-3)
SE Whitfield: 3-5 (1-3)
Gilmer: 0-8 (0-4)
1st Downs: 19
3rd Down: 7/15
4th Down: 3/4
Total Yards: 455
Rush Yards: 323
Pass Yards: 132
CJ Streicher: 2/7, 102 yards, 1 TD, 29 rushes, 151 yards,
Michael Burrell: 1/1, 30 yards, 1 TD, 6 rushes, 30 yards, 3 tackles, 3 punts for 109 yards
Robert Davis: 13 rushes, 75 yards, 2 TD, 1 catch, 29 yards, 2 kick returns for 47 yards
Kaleb Ray: 1 catch, 73 yards, 1 TD, 2 tackles, 1 pass break up, 1 blocked field goal, 1 kick return, 24 yards
Brady Moore: 1 catch, 30 yards, 1 TD, 8 tackles
Trevon Hawkins: 16 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass break up, 7 rushes, 31 yards
Dallas McHale: 8 tackles
Andrew Macom: 7 tackles, 6 solo, 2 tackles for loss, 2 pass break ups
Hunter Hermann: 6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass break up
Jose Sanchez: 4/4 on PAT, 1 field goal from 21 yards
Pickens, will look to complete it’s first ever undefeated season next week when they travel to Walker County to take on the LaFayette Ramblers. Game time is set for 7:30.
Yesterday afternoon, the PHS varsity baseball team once again hosted the Southeast Whitfield Raiders at Dragons Field for the 3rd and final game of their series, & the final game of the region schedule. Prior to the game, the seniors on the 2018 PHS baseball team were honored for their contributions to PHS during their time.
In the top of the 1st, senior starter Isaiah Payne, had it working early. Payne needed just 10 pitches to get out of the top half of the 1st. Pickens, got a lead off single from senior Joseph Gossett, but Gossett would be left stranded at 3rd, & we would head to the 2nd, tied at 0. In the top of the 2nd, Payne continued his good early work by striking out two Raiders in the frame. In the bottom of the inning, A 1-out single from Colby James, a walk drawn by senior Lucas Headrick, and a single from Payne, would lead to a 2-out, 2-RBI base hit from Gossett as the Dragons took a 2-0 lead over Southeast Whitfield, heading to the 3rd.
Payne, now working with the lead, continued giving the Raiders trouble as he got out of the inning, using 16 pitches. In the bottom of the 3rd, a lead off walk drawn by senior Dylan Huffman, came back to bite Southeast Whitfield as Brady Moore drove Huffman in with a 1-out double. Moore would go on to steal 3rd, then come into score after a pitch got by the catcher. Pickens took a 4-0 lead, into the 4th. In the top of the 4th, the Raiders got their first hit of the game, but that would be all. In the bottom of the frame, Gossett, got a 2-out double, but would be caught trying to steal 3rd to end the inning. Going to the 5th, the Dragons held a 4-0 lead over Southeast Whitfield.
In the top of the 5th, Payne would throw one more pitch, then would be replaced with fellow senior, Clate McArthur. McArthur, would collect his 1st K of the day, & get out of the half inning on 11 pitches. In the bottom of the 5th, Huffman, got a 1-out base hit, Moore would be hit by a pitch, then James would get a 2-out RBI hit scoring Huffman to give the Dragons a 5-0 lead, going to the 6th. In the top of the 6th, Southeast Whitfield would plate 2 runs, cutting the Pickens lead to 5-2. The Dragons, got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning after Gossett hit a 1-out triple, & then came into score after Huffman drove him in after beating out a potential inning ending double play. The Dragons, held a 6-2 lead going to the 7th. McArthur was able to hold down the Raiders in the 7th, to preserve the Dragons win, 6-2.
Isaiah Payne: 4IP, 2K, 0R, 0ER, 1H, 54 pitches & 1-2 with a single
Clate McArthur: 3IP, 3K, 2R, 2ER, 48 pitches
Joseph Gossett: 4-4 with 2 singles, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 RBI, & 1 run scored
Dylan Huffman: 1-3 with a single, a walk, 1 RBI, & 2 runs scored
Brady Moore: 1-2 with a double, a HBP, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored
Colby James: 2-3 with 2 singles, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored
Tyler Vreeland: 1 run scored
Pickens, wins the series between Southeast Whitfield 2-1, & finishes the region schedule at 9-9. They are 14-14 overall with one more game to play in the regular season. There will be a makeup game today at PCMS as the Dragons will welcome the Wheeler Wildcats to Dragons Field for afternoon baseball. First pitch is scheduled for 2 pm.
This past Saturday afternoon, the PHS Dragons varsity basketball team hosted the Chestatee War Eagles in a non-region contest. This day, was also recognized as Senior Night. Pickens, was fresh off of a big road win the previous night against Ridgeland, & looked to carry over the momentum built in that game over to their game against Chestatee.
In the 1st quarter, the scoring happened early and the pace quickened just as fast. Chestatee raced out to an early 22-13 lead, heading to the 2nd. The 2nd quarter saw both teams go back & forth, bucket for bucket, including a big time thrown down from Junior Zach Goss for the Dragons. After using a 20-16 quarter run, the War Eagles took a 42-29 lead over Pickens into the break.
The 3rd saw the War Eagles extend their lead over the Dragons using an 18-12 advantage. Chestatee held the lead, 60-41 going to the 4th. Chestatee would take this one from Pickens, 75-54.
Leading the way for the Dragons were:
Seth Bishop: 14 points, 1 assist, 4 rebounds, & 1 steal
Hunter Fowler: 8 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, & 1 steal
Hunter Hermann: 7 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, & 3 blocks
Zach Goss: 6 points, 1 assist, 6 rebounds, & 3 steals
Keinyuan Hooks: 6 points, 1 assist, & 1 rebound
Joseph Gossett: 5 points, 1 assist, & 1 rebound
Chase Simmons: 3 points, 3 rebounds, & 1 steal
Avonta Johnson: 3 points, 1 assist, & 2 rebounds
Evan Jones: 2 points, 1 assist, 2 rebounds, & 1 block
Tomorrow night, the Dragons will head to Dalton to take on the Southeast Whitfield Raiders, in what is most likely, the biggest game of the season so far. A win for Pickens, could mean that these same teams meet in the first round of the upcoming region tournament. Tip off time is scheduled for 7:30 pm.