STATESVILLE – Erasing an early 13-point deficit, Statesville High beat Hickory 30-15 on Friday night at Greyhound Hollow to make the Red Tornadoes 0-1 out the football gate for the fifth straight year.
Still down 15-8 by halftime, the Greyhounds (1-0) rallied for three rushing TDs – one each by Dorreco Davis, Chavion Smith and Caylon Imes – to win.
Hickory, starting its second season under head coach Russell Stone and coming off a 6-6 record, went ahead early on two field goals by Harrison Boston (46 and 30 yards) plus a scoring pass from new starting quarterback Bryce Stober to Davis Amos.
Smith threw a TD pass to Nebanye Moore and Davis ran a two-point conversion for Statesville’s only score of the opening half.
Imes broke a run for 78 yards to help set up a late Statesville TD, and he had a 100-yard night.
Stober, who has battled injuries the past two seasons, made his first start as HHS transitions from an offense that for the previous two seasons centered around dynamic quarterback Derrien Phillips.
Hickory will now have a week off to prepare for its second game, a battle with Catawba County rival Newton-Conover at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 at Gurley Stadium.
The Red Devils (1-0), also idle on Friday and having two weeks to get ready for their second game, have beaten HHS four straight times. That includes 57-13 the last time the two met (2016) at Gurley and 46-21 in Newton in 2014.
Newton-Conover has won 10 of its last 13 games against HHS.
Hickory has now played Statesville as its first game of the season every year since 2005 – 14 games and the Greyhounds have won five straight straight…HHS has not won at Greyhound Hollow since 2006… HHS’ Russell Stone is fast approaching having been a head coach in 450 games as Friday’s game was his 434th in his 38th season … The Red Tornadoes are 10-36 since 2014 and 24-51 since 2011 (includes nine forfeits)… Statesville overcame 16 penalties to win… The first game between Hickory and Statesville was played in 1924, when the teams met twice and the Red Tornadoes won 31-0 and 13-6… The winner of the first 10 games in the series won by shutout eight times… Statesville won Game No. 50 of the series by forfeit after it actually ended in a 7-all tie in 2011.