Hickory defense dominates in 62-3 win over Franklin

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Sep. 3—HERMITAGE — Before the season began, Hickory football coach Bill Dungee said the one question will be the production in the trenches.

There wasn't any doubt who won the line of scrimmage during the Hornets' 62-3 win over Franklin on Friday night in Hermitage.

Hickory (2-0) held the Knights to 29 yards of total offense. The Hornets defensive front was specially disruptive, driving the Franklin (0-2) rusher back for negative-39 yards on 39 carries.

The Hornets' defense started strong. The first four Franklin possessions ended with two turnovers and a pair of punts.

"We really needed (the first four stops)," said linebacker Sean Kennedy, who finished with two tackles for loss and a sack. "When you get those type of things, it changes the whole game around. It changes everything. Our offensive mindset, lets get in there and lets go score again. Our defensive side, its the same thing. Just keep pounding them and pounding them."

The Hornets recorded five sacks, intercepted a pass and forced a fumble. and most of that was in the first half.

They allowed only one significant drive by the Knights. Franklin capped a nine-play drive with a 36-yard field goal by Nathan Pfennigwerth early in the second quarter.

From that point on, the Knights couldn't muster anything on offense.

"The defense did a great job, really the last two weeks," Dungee said. "They've been put in bad situations, and to only give up 13 points in the first two weeks, couldn't be happier."

The defensive dominance gave the Hornets a short field, and they capitalized frequently.

Hickory went up 13-0 after an interception and forced fumble. DayMar Trawick scored on a 13-yard run to open the scoring on Hickory's first drive. Logan Woods drove the Hornets down the field on the second possession. A bad snap put the ball on the ground, but the quarterback recovered in the end zone.

Keenan Scullin pushed the lead to 20-0 later in the quarter on an 86-yard punt return.

The Hickory community celebrated Woods' 18th birthday. Dungee gave his QB a present in the second quarter. Woods caught a 7-yard TD pass from Nash Porada on a reverse to increase the lead to 27-3 before halftime.

"I was definitely nervous when the ball was in the air," Woods said with a chuckle.

The connection between Woods and Scullin produced two touchdowns in the third quarter. After two penalties to start the half, the Hornets faced a second and 23, but Woods found Scullin on a crossing route for a 93-yard catch and run. The two connected on the next drive with Scullin bringing in a 19-yard TD catch.

Wood capped his night with a 13-yard run to start the fourth quarter. Freshman Jamal Calhoun broke a 25-yard touchdown run and sophomore backup quarterback Zander Telesz ran one in from 14 yards out to round out the Hickory scoring.

Woods finished 5-of-9 for 184 yards passing with two passing touchdowns and a rushing score.

The Hornets scattered their rushing attack among nine players. Porada led the Hornets with 33 yards rushing on one carry in the first half. Calhoun had his 25-yard TD carry and Trawick had 24 yards and a touchdown on four attempts.

Scullin finished with 112 yards and his two scores on two catches. Tylon Cousin caught a pop pass and took it 44 yards, and Kennedy had a 42-yard screen pass at the end of the first half.

For Franklin, backup quarterback Aiden Focht led the team with 10 yards rushing on three carries in the fourth quarter.

Starting QB Hunter Marstellar threw for 67 yards on 4-of-10 passing. Cole Buckley lead the Knights in receiving, pulling down two passes for 51 yards.

The Hornets will face a familiar foe on Friday as they make the short trip to Sharon.

Hickory racked up 12 penalties for 105 yards. Dungee said his team will need to stay focused and cut down on the flags due to the history behind the rivalry.

"We just need to play clean when we go over there and get the job done," Dungee said.

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FRANKLIN 0 3 0 0 3

HICKORY 20 7 14 21 62

Scoring plays

H — Trawick, 13 run (kick failed)

H — Woods, 0 fumble recovery (Jones kick)

H — Scullin, 86 punt return (Jones kick)

F — Pfennigwerth 36 field goal

H — Woods, 7 pass from Porada (Jones kick)

H — Scullin, 93 pass from Woods (Jones kick)

H — Scullin, 19 pass from Woods (Jones kick)

H — Woods, 13 run (Jones kick)

H — Calhoun, 25 run (Stanford kick)

H — Telesz, 14 run (Stanford kick)

Team stats

FRANKLIN HICKORY

5 First downs 9

-39 Rushing yards 141

67 Passing yards 235

10-4-1 Att-comp-int 11-7-0

28 Total yards 376

2-1 Fumbles-lost 2-0

5-25 Penalties-yards lost 12-105

Individual stats

Rushing: FRANKLIN — Focht 3-10, Karns 4-0, Sanchez 14-(-1), Kilselka 2(-1), Beatty 3-(-4), Balsalmo 3-(-7), Marstellar 10-(-36); HICKORY — Porada 1-33, Calhoun 1-25, Tarwick 4-24, Kennedy 5-15, Scullin 2-11, Woods 5-9, Acrie 1-5, Holland 1-5.

Passing: FRANKLIN — Marstellar 10-4-1-67; HICKORY — Woods 9-5-0-184, Telesz 1-1-0-44, Porada 1-1-0-7.

Receiving: FRANKLIN — Buckley 2-51, Wible 2-16; HICKORY — Scullin 2-112, Cousin 1-44, Kennedy 1-42, Acrie 1-15, Telesz 1-15, Woods 1-7.