Hickory’s rally falls short to Central

The Hornets rallied from 14 points back, but could not overcome the Dragons in the State Quarterfinals.

Dubois, PA (WKBN) – The Hickory football team rallied from a 14 point second half deficit, but fell short, 30-21 to Central Martinsburg Saturday in a Class AA State Quarterfinal.

After a scoreless first quarter, Hickory got on the board first with a 49 yard touchdown pass from Luke Brennan to William Gruber to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead. The Dragons would counter late in the half and score on a one yard run to cut the deficit to 7-6 at halftime.

But Central wasted little time in the 3rd quarter. After stopping the Hornets first drive, they scored on a 34 yard run by Alex Hoenstine to make it a 14-7 game. The Dragons would extend their lead later in the quarter on a 30 yard touchdown pass from Noah Benton to John Michael Knepp, and Central led 21-7.

But Hickory would score 14 unanswered points to tie the game, thanks to a 15 yard TD pass from Brennan to Caleb Gagliardi and a three yard touchdown run from Andrew Pryts.

But Central would get the ball back in the 4th quarter and drive down to kick a 19 yard field goal, giving them a 24-21 lead with 19 seconds left.

One last chance for Hickory resulted in an interception returned for a touchdown by Justin Helsel as time expired.

Hickory finishes the season with a 11-2 record and Class AA District Champions for the fifth straight season.

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