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Grove City knocks off Hickory @GC_EaglesFB @HSDAthletics @HHSFootball_1

Written by: on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

 

Grove City rushed 57 times for 226 yards and beat Hickory 20-7 Friday night at Forker Field to clinch a share of Region Title.

“It feels good. We got to watch a good football game between two great teams tonight,” Grove City head coach Sam Mowrey. “I thought our boys played with outstanding effort and attitude. It wasn’t easy for 48 minutes. Hickory is a good team. We’re proud of our boys.”

The Eagles took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards in 15 plays by Curtis Hovis’s 4-yard run as they ate up 6:03 of the game clock.

 

Following a Hornets punt, the Eagles drove 91 yards in 14 plays, where Hovis again scored from four yards out, giving Grove City a 14-0.

“We talked about taking care of the football and making positive yards every play,” said Mowrey. “I didn’t think we had too many negative plays tonight. Even if it’s only two or three yards that allowed us to get into some fourth and short situations and convert those, that speaks a lot about our boys and their patients and character.”

Curtis Hovis rushed for a game-high 97 yards on 25 carries, including 90 yards in the first half. Anthony Nemec chipped in with 89 yards on 21 carries.

“Our offensive and defensive lines played out of their minds tonight,” said Mowrey. “Our linebackers and secondary both played well tonight. On offense, we were focused on taking what the defense gives us and not turning the ball over.”

Following a Gavin Lutz interception, Grove City looked to drive the length of the field again. However, the Hornets’ defense stepped up and made a fourth-down stop at their 17-yard line.

Two plays later, Hickory got on the scoreboard when Nash Porada hauled in a 70-yard pass from Logan Woods that cut the deficit to 14-7 with 49 seconds to play before halftime.

 

Grove City was able to get into field range, but John Hake’s 43-yard attempt was blocked.

Hickory had their opportunities to tie the game in the second half.

Twice the Hornets stopped the Eagles on fourth down around mid-field. Both times the Grove City defense held them on downs.

“The biggest thing tonight was the red zone. We didn’t execute when we had our chances,” said Hickory head coach Bill Dungee. “We dropped a touchdown pass and overall didn’t execute in the red zone. My hats off to Grove City, though.

Hickory’s best chance to draw even came early in the fourth quarter when they drove inside the Eagles’ 10-yard line.

Faced with a 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Logan Woods was intercepted by the quarterback from the other side Hunter Hohman with 8:33 to play.

“We talk about not turning the ball over. But we did that four times without forcing a turnover,” said Dungee. “To still be in the game at 14-7 in the fourth quarter, we felt good about it, but we didn’t execute. What was disappointing was only to put seven points on the scoreboard. If you had told me we’d of held them to 20 points, I would’ve thought we’d be fine.”

Grove City then went on the drive night, eating up over six minutes and putting the game away on Hohman’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Zach Rodgers on a 4th-and-5.

“We saw something up in the box that we might be able to get,” said Mowrey. “We knew in the worst case it would be an incomplete pass, and they’d have to go around 80 yards to tie. We thought it was worth taking the shot. The boys executed, and Hunter made a throw, and Zach made a great catch.”

Hohman completed 10-of-13 passes for 105 yards with a touchdown while adding 24 yards rushing with an interception on defense.

Hayden Mccreadie’s second interception of Woods sealed the win for Grove City.

“In that first quarter, we couldn’t get off the field,” said Dungee. “We wanted our offense to get out there and get in a rhythm, but we only had three drives, but we scored on one of them. When you don’t have the ball, it’s tough to score.”

Woods led Hickory, going 8-for-19 passing for 126 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions. Porada caught two passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. Nakeem Jones rushed for 24 yards.

Hickory will try and bounce back next week as they travel to Corry.

“We knew it would be tough this year with a young team having to go to Slippery Rock, Sharon, and Grove City,” said Dungee. “We came out of that 1-2 during the regular season. We have learned a lot from those games. Our defense has played well in all those. We need to be better on offense.”

Game Highlights:

 

Grove City 20 Hickory 7

Score by Quarters

Hickory – 0 7 0 0 – 7
Grove City – 7 7 0 6 – 20

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

GC – Curtis Hovis 4 yd run, (John Hake pat), 5:57

Second Quarter

GC – Hovis 4 yd run, (Hake pat), 8:35

H – Nash Porada 70 yd pass from Logan Woods, (Lukas Jones pat), 0:49

Fourth Quarter

GC – Zach Rodgers 19 yd pass from Hunter Hohman, (kick blocked), 2:10

Individual Stats

Rushing: Hickory – Nakeem Jones 5-24, Woods 6-14, Ramarion Whitehead 2-5, Sean Kennedy 2-4, Ty Holland 2-0, Keenan Scullin 1-(-1). Totals: 18-46. Grove City – Hovis 25-97, Anthony Nemec 21-89, Hohman 6-24, Rodgers 5-16. Totals: 57-226.

Receiving: Hickory – Porada 2-73, Scullin 4-26, Whitehead 1-7, Jackson Pryts 2-20. Grove City – Gavin Lutz 4-39, Anthony Pereira 2-20, Joey Hathaway 3-27, Rodgers 1-19.

Passing: Hickory – Woods 9-for-18, 126 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 interceptions. Grove City – Hohman 10-for-13, 105 yards, 1 touchdown.

Interceptions: Grove City – Hayden Mccreadie (2), Lutz, Hohman.

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