By CHRIS HOBBS
NEWTON-CONOVER VS. MAIDEN VARSITY FOOTBALL
The 10 closest varsity games in the Newton-Conover vs. Maiden high school football series:
Margin Year Game site Result
1 1994 Maiden Maiden 28, N-C 27
1 2000 Newton-Conover Maiden 21, N-C 20
2 1995 Newton-Conover N-C 17, Maiden 15
2 1999 Maiden Maiden 14, N-C 12
5 1982 Maiden N-C 28, Maiden 23
5 1983 Newton-Conover N-C 12, Maiden 7
5 1997 Maiden Maiden 27, N-C 22
5 2016 Newton-Conover Maiden 33, N-C 28
6 1981 Newton-Conover N-C 6, Maiden 0
6 1984 Maiden Maiden 20, N-C 14
SOME OTHER FACTS
- First game: Newton-Conover 19, Maiden 0 at N-C, 1973.
- First game at Maiden: Maiden 26, N-C 0, 1974.
- All-time series: Maiden leads 25-21-1, 6-6 tie in 1978 at Maiden.
- Newton-Conover at Maiden: Maiden leads 15-6-1.
- Maiden at Newton-Conover: Newton-Conover leads 14-10.
- Neutral field games: Newton-Conover 1-0 (1988 at LRU)
- Newton-Conover wins at Maiden (6): 1976, 1980, 1982, 2006 (playoffs), 2007, 2010.
- Maiden wins at Newton-Conover (10): 1979, 1991, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006 (regular season), 2011, 2016.
- Most consecutive wins, Newton-Conover: 6, 2006 playoff game, 2007 regular season and playoff game, 2008, 2009, 2010.
- Most consecutive wins, Maiden: 6, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001.
THE TWO CLOSEST GAMES
Maiden 28, Newton-Conover 27
The Blue Devils came into the Southern District 7 2A game in Week 11 at 8-2 and the Red Devils were 9-1.
It was a one-turnover game – Maiden intercepted one of the 11 passes the Red Devils tried and all of the Blue Devils’ scoring came on runs – of 9, 61and 6 yards by Lewis Mack and on a 30-yard run by Chris Ramseur.
The Red Devils’ scoring game on two Tim Hardy to David Lorritts passes, of 67 and 27 yards, two TD runs by Tony Pope (9 and 1 yard) and three PATs by Jason McManus.
Both teams lost the next week in the opening round of the state playoffs, the Blue Devils falling 42-12 at home to Bessemer City and the Red Devils losing 29-6 at Thomasville.
Maiden 21, Newton-Conover 20
The game was non-conference as Maiden was playing in the Southern Piedmont 1A-2A, and Newton-Conover was still in the Southern District 7 2A.
Maiden was 1-0 after a win at St. Stephens while the Red Devils were opening their season.
Quarterback Grant Rembert, who had thrown three TD passes to current Maiden head coach Will Byrne against St. Stephens, scored twice on 1-yard runs and threw 16 yards to Lamont Reid for a TD to beat Newton-Conover. Darin Rogers converted three PATs for Maiden.
The Red Devils’ scoring came on a 12-yard run by running back LaDoux Wilson and when Curt Dukes, who went on to play at Nebraska and then Duke, threw 66 yards to Josh Stephens for a TD. Alex Shuford added a 70-yard TD run for Newton-Conover.
The Blue Devils outgained the Red Devils 403-358, and each team had three turnovers.
Shuford ran for 167 yards on 12 carries and didn’t have another 100-yard game until the 12th game of the season against Lincolnton.
It was a modest beginning for Dukes, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the Greater Hickory area, as he ran eight times for 40 yards and completed two of nine passes for 75 yards. He ended up rushing for 1,514 yards and throwing for 810 that season and eventually was the target in a recruiting battle that included Nebraska and Penn State. He signed with Nebraska and later transferred to Duke.
Maiden running back Preston Clarke, now a high school administrator in Watauga County, ran for 135 yards on 21 carries and was headed to a 1,407-yard rushing season.
Rembert threw for 107 yards in the victory and went on to clear 1,000 by the sixth game (against Lincolnton). He had 1,114 yards over one four-game stretch (Bunker Hill, Lincolnton, Chase, Shelby) en route to 2,656 yards passing that season.
Byrne caught four passes for 54 yards against the Red Devils and by season’s end he (unofficially) had 70 catches for 1,104 yards.