It was a memorable night for the Hickory football team on Monday.
The Red Tornadoes celebrated homecoming, dedicated their field to former head coach David Elder and commemorated the 25th anniversary of their 1996 state championship football team. Hickory also earned a dominant 48-0 win over visiting North Iredell.
Hickory quarterback Turner Wood completed 11 of 13 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns, with Josiah Edwards recording four catches for 99 yards and a score and Dontae Baker adding four receptions for 94 yards and two TDs. Edwards also had a rushing TD and a passing TD, while Jake Horyza notched a 20-yard interception return for a score in the fourth quarter.
Isaiah Lackey led the Red Tornadoes on the ground with a game-high 118 yards on 12 carries, and he also found the end zone. Hickory held the Raiders to 20 yards of total offense. North Iredell runners combined for 32 carries for minus-21 yards. The Hickory defense benefitted from an interception by Jamir Norwood to go with a pair of fumble recoveries.
“The kids played hard,” said Hickory first-year coach Joe Glass, who subbed in many of his younger players late in the contest, including freshmen Norwood, Brady Stober, Sonny Jenkins, Ellis Chappell and Woody Clarke. “It got a little chippy. Our kids responded to the chippiness. ... Our kids came out, played hard, made some great plays, got the homecoming win, and we’re just trying to go 1-0 each week.”
Although Hickory (4-3, 3-1 Western Foothills 3A Conference) fumbled the ball away on the third play from scrimmage, the Red Tornadoes forced North Iredell to go three-and-out and got the ball back. Then Hickory’s offense embarked on the first of six scoring drives, receiving a 22-yard run from Lackey and a 27-yard pass from Wood to Baker before capping the series with a 2-yard TD run from Edwards.
The Red Tornadoes added another score on their next possession, which only lasted two plays. Following a 16-yard burst from Lackey on the opening play, Edwards caught a short pass from Wood and took it 58 yards to the end zone to make it 14-0 in favor of the hosts.
Hickory scored twice more in the second quarter, first on a 54-yard scoring scamper from Lackey with 2:24 remaining and then on a 23-yard TD pass from Wood to Baker that came one play after Landan Maddox recovered a Raiders (2-4, 2-2) fumble. Baker’s TD reception came with 1:13 left in the first half and accounted for the 27-0 halftime score.
Wood and Baker hooked up again just over three minutes into the third quarter, this time for a 36-yard TD pass. After Edwards executed a jump pass to Rico Walker for a 10-yard score, Horyza completed the scoring with his pick-six at the 4:24 mark of the final period.
After the game, Glass admitted that his team has grown by “leaps and bounds” since the beginning of the season.
“I can’t say enough about a bunch of different kids,” said Glass. “I can’t say enough about the growth of our kids. I’m hard on these kids, they’re doing backwards bear crawls if they have zeroes and different things like that, so we are definitely trying to change the entire culture and mindset physically.
“We’re trying to change the mentality and change a lot of different things, and our kids have done a great job,” he added. “They don’t like it all the time, but they do it.”
Hickory visits West Iredell on Friday, while North Iredell hosts Statesville.
North Iredell 00 00 00 00 — 00
Hickory 14 13 14 07 — 48
H — Josiah Edwards 2-yard run (Dontae Baker run), 6:48
H — Edwards 58-yard pass from Turner Wood (kick failed), 4:27
H — Isaiah Lackey 54-yard run (Josh Tyree kick), 2:24
H — Baker 23-yard pass from Wood (run failed), 1:13
H — Baker 36-yard pass from Wood (Tyree kick), 8:53
H — Rico Walker 10-yard pass from Edwards (Tyree kick), 6:20
H — Jake Horyza 20-yard interception return (Tyree kick), 4:24
First Downs: North Iredell 8, Hickory 10
Rushes-yards: North Iredell 32-(-21), Hickory 29-141
Comp-Att-Int: North Iredell 5-16-2, Hickory 15-17-0
Passing yards: North Iredell 41, Hickory 212
Fumbles-Lost: North Iredell 5-2, Hickory 3-1
Penalties-yards: North Iredell 4-45, Hickory 9-75
RUSHING — North Iredell: James Jackson 4-18, Sabino Moreno 13-8, Dakarai Gaither 2-7, Dillon Hobbs 1-(-1), Bronson Leonard 1-(-2), Team 1-(-5), Xaven Dalton 10-(-46). Hickory: Isaiah Lackey 12-118 and 1 TD, Jamarion Hewitt 3-28, Sonny Jenkins 1-17, Josiah Edwards 4-14 and 1 TD, Ellis Chappell 1-2, Jaheim Williams 1-(-4), Brady Stober 2-(-15), Turner Wood 5-(-19).
PASSING — North Iredell: Dalton 5-16-2 for 41 yards. Hickory: Wood 11-13-0 for 209 yards and 3 TDs, Edwards 1-1-0 for 10 yards and 1 TD, Stober 3-3-0 for minus-7 yards.
RECEIVING — North Iredell: Aaron Dalton 2-20, Tanner Lentz 1-11, Logan Ball 2-10. Hickory: Edwards 4-99 and 1 TD, Dontae Baker 4-94 and 2 TDs, Rico Walker 1-10 and 1 TD, Tyquan Hill 1-9, Dashawn Medley 2-7, Woody Clarke 1-1, Chappell 1-(-3), Jamir Norwood 1-(-5).
Josh McKinney is the sports editor for the Hickory Daily Record.