Jasper, Ga — The Pickens Dragons hosted the Heritage Generals on Friday the 13th in a big time 7-AAAA game. It was also Senior Night at Dragons Stadium as football players, football managers, cheerleaders, cross country runners, and band members were all recognized. The games with Heritage have been historically close and exciting ones over the past couple of seasons. The winner, would find themselves in 2nd place in the region. The Generals, were able to make some plays defensively and chew up the clock to come away with a 23-7 win.
The Dragons won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. Much like last week against Ridgeland, Pickens came out in their “wild Dragon” formation. Their take on the wildcat. The combination of Jarod Whitmore, Andrew Burrell, and Kadyn Hampton helped march down the field. With freshman Sam Streicher now under center, the Dragons converted a 4th down play as Streicher found Mykel Hand for the first. The drive was capped off by Devin Hand, who took the hand off on a sweep 11-yds for the touchdown. The PAT was good, and Pickens led Heritage 7-0 as we would head to the second quarter.
In the second quarter, both teams had their chances, but for the majority of the quarter the score remained 7-0 Dragons. The final seventy-one seconds of the first half is where things started to happen. The Generals got on the board for the first time with a 3-yd touchdown run to tie it at 7-7 with 1:11 left in the half. On the first play of the next possession for Pickens, Heritage recovered a fumble after a nice run from the Dragons. With 8 seconds left in the first half, Heritage turned that fumble into points with a 6-yd touchdown pass. Going into the break, the Generals led, 14-7.
In the third quarter, Heritage got the ball first to start the second half. The drive ended when Senior Mykel Hand made a leaping grab for the interception at the Dragons 9-yd line. The ensuing drive for Pickens stalled and they would be forced to punt. A high snap forced Whitmore to throw the ball away as he was being pulled down in the end zone. The officials ruled it intentional grounding and since it occurred in the end zone, it was ruled a safety. With 6:39 to go in the third, the Generals now led the Dragons, 16-7. Heritage ran down 5:39 of game clock on their next possession as they were able to score on a 1-yd run on fourth down to make it 23-7 going to the fourth quarter.
The Dragons began the fourth quarter with the football, but couldn’t get anything going on the drive. After punting it away to the Generals, Heritage kept possession of the ball for what seemed like close to 10 minutes of game time. The Generals would eventually settle for a 36-yd field goal attempt, but it was pushed wide right and no good. On the next play, Heritage picked off a Pickens pass attempt and were able to take a couple of knees to close this one out. Final score, Heritage 23 Dragons 7.
Cedartown: 6-2 (4-0) 7-AAAA Region Champions
Heritage: 5-4 (2-2)
Central-Carroll: 5-3 (1-2)
Northwest Whitfield: 6-2 (1-2)
Pickens: 3-5 (1-2)
Ridgeland: 1-7 (1-2)
*(these may not be entirely accurate as maxpreps has the whole region screwed up and with covid cancellations things are pretty complicated. I’ve been trying to keep up with it myself. Apologies if these records are not all right)
Next week, the Dragons will be right back home for the third straight week to close out the regular season as they welcome the Northwest Whitfield Bruins to Dragons Stadium. Playoff implications will most likely be at stake in this game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.