Sep. 10—SHARON — Jason McElhaney wanted his players to assert themselves in the third quarter on Friday. The Sharon football team was to receive the ball, and he told his team to grab momentum.
The Tigers responded as they held the ball most of the quarter, powering them to a 28-14 win over rival Hickory at Tigers Stadium.
"We're aggressive runners, all of us," Hickory sophomore Isaac Friday said. "White may be little but he can run."
Friday scored twice for the Tigers (2-1, 1-0 Region 3) on runs of 3 and 5 yards. He finished with 22 yards on five carries.
When he wasn't punching the ball into the end zone, Friday was paving the way for the Tigers' running game from his fullback position. Sharon ran for 321 yards on 50 attempts.
Jayveerh White led the way for the Tigers with 134 yards rushing on 22 carries. Quarterback Mikey Rodriques added 126 rushing yards and a score on 15 carries, and Cortez Nixon powered his way for 39 yards on eight carries.
"They all do a little something different," McElhaney said. "I think that (Friday) and Cortez are pretty similar runners — downhill, physical guys. Jayveerh obviously got the wiggle and the burst. It's funny. Mike is kind of a blend. He can run with some power and he got a little wiggle to him. They're all real tough kids, man."
Rodriquez was 4-for-13 passing for 85 yards and a touchdown. Mister Ham was the Tigers' leading receiver with 49 yards and a score on a pair of catches. CC Harrison caught two balls for 36 yards, and Karemez Norris had two catches for 23 yards in the fourth quarter from backup QB Ethan Engelmore.
Hickory quarterback Logan Woods completed 10-of-21 passes for 168 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He was also the Hornets (2-1, 0-1) leading rusher with 21 yards on five carries.
Luke Nevil was the leading receiver for the Hornets, catching three passes for 92 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown. Keenan Scullin had six receptions for 68 yards, and tight end Ty Holland had a 4-yard catch.
The Hornets, who scored 62 points against Franklin in Week 2, couldn't duplicate their offensive production against Sharon.
They had a chance to tie the game in the closing minutes of the first half. But the Tigers forced a fourth-down stop to take a 14-7 lead into the locker room.
Hickory ran for 135 yards on 25 carries but had trouble holding onto the ball, especially in the third quarter. The Hornets only ran eight offensive plays in the period.
"We're not sustaining drives and it's harder to play defense," Hickory head coach Bill Dungee said. "It's a combination of both. When you can't stop the run and you can't run the football, you're in for a long day."
The Hornets also lost two key players to injury. Running back and linebacker Sean Kennedy left in the third quarter and William Acrie was carted off the field as a precaution.
"Both of those guys seem fine," Dungee said. "Will had movement in all his extremities — in his hands and everything. Just thanking God for that."
The Tigers have gotten the best of their rivals in two of the last three meetings. The Hornets won three straight in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
"They knocked us out of the playoffs last year," Friday said. "It's really huge coming back and getting the 'W.'"
HICKORY 0 7 0 7 14
SHARON 7 7 7 7 28
S — Friday, 3 run (Schimp kick)
H — Nevil, 71 pass from Woods (Jones kick)
S — Ham, 43 pass from Rodriques (Schimp kick)
S — Friday, 5 run (Schimp kick)
S — Rodriques 1 run (Schimp kick)
H — Telesz, 20 run (Jones kick)
15 First downs 21
135 Rushing yards 321
168 Passing yards 108
21-10-2 Att-comp-int 15-6-0
303 Total yards 429
0-0 Fumbles-lost 0-0
9-80 Penalties-yards lost 14-99
Rushing: HICKORY — Woods 5-21, Telesz 1-20, Trawick 5-18, Kennedy 4-15, Scullin 2-12, Bishop 1-11, Krivosh 1-9, Acrie 3-7, Calhoun 1-7, Holland 1-4; SHARON — White 22-134, Rodriques 15-126, Nixon 8-39, Friday 5-22.
Passing: HICKORY — Woods 21-10-2-168; SHARON — Rodriques 13-4-0-85, Engelmore 2-2-0-23.
Receiving: HICKORY — Nevil 3-92, Scullin 6-68, Holland 1-4; SHARON — Ham 2-49, Harrison 2-36, Norris 2-23.