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Hickory captures D10 3A Crown @BillBillDungee @HSD_Athletics @GC_EaglesFB

Written by: on Sunday, November 8th, 2020

 

It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season, but the Hickory Hornets got the job done.

“It feels amazing to be District 10 Champions,” said Hickory head coach Bill Dungee. “This program was 2-7 when I took it over. It is phenomenal to see how far we’ve come. Grove City knocked us out last year, this year, we had them on our home turf with a chance to bring it home, and we did it.”

Michael Henwood accounted for 294 yards of total offense and four touchdowns to lead Hickory to its first District 10 Title since 2016; up a 42-29 victory over Grove City.

“Michael is special. One of the most underrated parts of his game is his toughness,” said Dungee. “When the game is on the line, he shows it all the time. I’m so proud of him as a leader.”

Hickory made a statement on the football’s second snap when Henwood ran an option keeper 53 yards for the ice breaker.

The Hornets defense forced three turnovers and a punt on the Eagles’ first four possessions and took a 21-0 lead when Rocco Iacino scored on runs of eight and four yards.

 

The two scoring drives were set up on interceptions by Dalton Beatty and Ramarion Whitehead, respectively.

“We knew we were going to have to play a clean game, and you can’t have any turnovers against a good team like Hickory,” said Grove City head coach Sam Mowrey. “Unfortunately, those three in the first half made it hard to overcome.

Grove City put together a 14-play 74-yard drive to get on the board as Curtis Hovis scored from a yard out. Hovis led all rushers with a game-high 153 yards on 31 carries.

Hickory then played beat the clock as Henwood connected with Iacino for a 3-yard touchdown with five seconds to play in the first half.

Grove City began the second half with a 16-play 69-yard drive capped with Logan Breese’s 4-yard touchdown to Zack Martin.

“Even after our turnovers, in the second half, we rebounded and kept going,” said Mowrey. “You can’t give a team like that extra possessions.”

The Hornets responded with Ramarion Whiteheads 16-yard touchdown from Henwood.

Three touchdowns were scored in the final 1:49, including two by the Eagles.

Anthony Nemec capped a 92-yard drive with a 4-yard run, while Anthony Pereira hauled in a 5-yard touchdown from Breese with 26 seconds to play.

“You got to see a definition of who those kids are all the time,” said Mowrey. “This game speaks a lot about them and their character. They weren’t going to give up. They were going to battle until the end. That’s something this season bore into the kids is that you have to take advantage of every moment, and we’re so proud of them.”

Henwood scored from 50 yards out after Hickory recovered the onside kick following Nemec’s score.

“Henwood is definitely a special player,” said Mowrey. “He puts a lot of stress on the defense and can do everything right.”

Breese threw for 218 yards on 19-30, passing in his final game for Grove City. The Eagles graduate only six seniors.

“We have a great group coming back,” Mowrey concluded. “Right now, we’re going to enjoy the last few minutes with these guys. Every senior class brings its own special piece to the program. These six kids did a fantastic job. You could go on and on talking about the great football players they were. That pales in comparison to the type of kids they are, they hard-working guys that have accomplished a lot in their careers.”

Up next for Hickory is District 5/6 Champion Bedford, who also comes in undefeated at 8-0.

“This was goal number five for us,” said Dungee. “Goal six is to bring home that gold in Hershey. I’ll be a shorter week, but we’ll take a look at the film and get ready for Bedford,”

Game Highlights:

 

Hickory 42 Grove City 29

Score by Quarters

Grove City – 0 7 6 16 – 29
Hickory – 7 21 7 7 – 42

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

H – Michael Henwood 53 yd run, (Lukas Jones pat), 11:05

Second Quarter

H – Rocco Iacino 8 yd run, (Jones pat), 11:37

H – Iacino 4 yd run, (Jones pat), 9:31

GC – Curtis Hovis 1 yd run, (Hayden McCreadie pat), 4:38

H – Iacino 3 yd pass from Henwood, (Jones pat), 0:05

Third Quarter

GC – Zack Martin 4 yd pass from Logan Breese, (kick blocked), 6:22

H – Ramarion Whitehead 16 yd pass from Henwood, (Jones pat), 2:04

Fourth Quarter

GC – Anthony Nemec 4 yd run, (Martin from Breese), 1:49

H – Henwood 50 yd run, (Jones pat), 1:27

GC – Anthony Pereira 5 yd pass from Logan Breese, (Breese rush), 0:26

Individual Stats

Rushing: Grove City – Hovis 31-153, Breese 12-28, Nemec 5-10, Pereira 2-1. Totals: 50-192. Hickory – Henwood 9-130, Clay Wiesen 10-73, Iacino 4-23, Dalton Beatty 1-11, Team 1-0. Totals: 25-237.

Passing: Grove City – Breese 19-for-30, 218 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, Zach Rodgers 1-for-1, 18 yards. Hickory – Henwood 15-for-28, 164 yards, 2 touchdowns.

Receiving: Grove City – Rodgers 5-28, Hovis 4-81, Nemec 3-39, Pereira 3-39, Martin 3-24, Breese 1-18, McCreadie 1-7.

Interceptions: Hickory – Whitehead, Dalton Beatty.

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