GREENVILLE 13 HICKORY 10
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Greenville 13 Hickory 10
HERMITAGE - They did it again!
For a second straight season the Greenville Trojans rallied from a double digit deficit halftime deficit to win on the road against Hickory, this time turning a 10-0 deficit into a 13-10 Region 3 triumph.
"I'm just so proud these kids," said Greenville coach Brian Herrick, whose team trailed 21-0 before rallying to win 22-21 at Hickory last year. "They just have so much heart and that's shown in a lot of the wins we've had over the past couple years."
Greenville is now 16-1 in its last 17 regular season games, dating back to the end of the 2012 regular season and has won eight straight road contests. This year's Greenville squad has won four straight since a 14-7 week two loss to Slippery Rock and is currently alone in second place in the region standings (4-1 region, 5-1 overall). The loss is the second straight for Hickory (3-2, 4-2) and drops the Hornets into a fourth place.
In weather conditions that were less than ideal (poured the entire second half) neither team drove more than 37 yards for a score and the game winning touchdown was scored on defense as Greenville's Hunter Hause intercepted a Nick Cannone pass and returned it 24 yards down the sideline to put his team ahead to stay with 4:35 left in the game.
"I just followed my blocks and got to the end zone," said Hause, who is a junior.
Greenville's other touchdown came on a two-yard run by Cody Nellis with 8:08 left in the third quarter. Thanks to a bad snap on a punt the Trojan's initial scoring drive started at the Hickory 33 and one of the key plays came when Gage Gladysz found Ben Reiser with an 11-yard pass hookup on a fourth and eight play from the Hornet 31.
"That was a big play and a good call by our offensive coordinator," said Herrick.
Maybe feeding off the momentum Nick Black ran 10 yards on the very next play to pick up another first down and give his team a first and goal from the 10 and two more Black runs moved it down to the two to setup Nellis' score.
"We have a good group of running backs and as far as Nick Black goes, I've had bigger guys and faster guys, but nobody with a bigger heart than he has," said Herrick.
While special teams and defense played a key role in Greenville's second half success a defensive stand that the team had in the first half also turned out to be huge. A blocked punt by Noah Bianco gave Hickory the ball at the Trojan 14, but after three plays they were still at the 14 and forced to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Jordan Wombacher, which made the score 3-0 with 4:40 left in the first quarter.
A Greenville turnover helped setup Hickory's only touchdown as a fumble recovery on a failed backward pass gave Hickory the ball at the Trojan 37 with exactly one minute left before halftime. On the very next play Cannone found Joey Dejulia for a 35-yard gain and Andrew Pryts then capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to make it 10-0 Hickory.
"(Hickory) got the one big pass play, but other than that our defense really shut them down," said Hause. "We knew that they would be a a tough opponent, so we prepared hard all week and did well in practice and we stepped up and got the win."
NOTES: Both teams get a break from the region next week as Greenville faces Reynolds (2-4) in a game that will be played at Thiel College and Hickory hosts Wilmington (4-1).
Greenville 0-0-7-6 13
Hickory 3-7-0-0 10