Wilfong and the Red Devils secure 31-6 win over Hickory due to 2nd half surge

Red Devils’ Allen Wilfong (22) led the charge against the Red Tornadoes on Friday, September 6. (Photo by Cody Dalton/ CSD Photography)Red Tornadoes' running back, Cody Young (21) obtained 180 rushing yards including a 49-yard and 44-yard run in the second quarter and fourth quarter, respectively. (Photo by Cody Dalton/ CSD Photogrpahy)
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

Both the Hickory Red Tornadoes and the visiting Newton-Conover Red Devils struggled to find their footing in the first half. Nevertheless, a second half surge by the running game would tell the tale for the Red Devils en route to its second win of the season, 31-6.

The Red Devils (2-0) chose to defer on the coin toss, giving Hickory (0-3) the opening possession at its own 26-yard line.

Unfortunately, the home team would have a quick 3-and-out drive as it had one incomplete pass from quarterback, Gage Lackey, as well as loss of yards on two run plays in the series (the first being a 2-yard loss by running back Cody Young and a 7-yard loss by Lackey on 3rd and 12).

On the Red Devils opening possession, it had a long drive, but it was forced to settle for a 15-yard field goal by Addison Hayes to give itself a 3-0 lead with 4:21 left in the first quarter.

During that drive, Newton’s quarterback, Justice Craig went 2-for-3 for 25 yards as both pass attempts connected with wide-out, Keegan Covington (one for 20 yards and the other for five yards).

Nothing else would really go for either side going into the break.

On Hickory’s final drive of the half, it got to the opponent’s 31-yard line, showing some kind of life. However, the 9-play drive ended with a turnover on downs. As far as the Red Devils’ last drive of the first half, it marched its way to the opponent’s 4-yard line, but Hickory was saved by the clock to end the half down. 3-0.

Newton’s Allen Wilfong had 70 yards on 18 carries in the half, while Hickory’s Cody Young earned 67 yards on seven carries.

Coming out of the break, the Red Devils seemed refreshed because it pushed its way in for three scores in the third quarter.

The Red Devils got the ball first and opened the third quarter with great field position as Quaylon Stewart brought the kick-off return back to the opponent’s 49-yard line.

On one play, Craig connected with receiver, Zane Redmond on a crossing route for the 49-yard touchdown. Hayes converted the PAT and put his team up, 10-0 in the opening minute of the second half.

Hickory got the ball afterward in the third, but could not do much with it as it settled for a field goal attempt by Ben Boston on the opponent’s 5-yard line but it was no good with 7:24 left in the quarter.

The other scoring plays for the Red Devils in the third quarter came by Wilfong and running back, Allan Shade.

Wilfong picked up a 2-yard rushing TD with 4:15 left and Shade obtained a 15-yard TD run with 9 and half seconds left in the period, leading 24-0.

It seemed all but over for the Red Tornadoes who -- despite the scoreboard -- had a solid rushing performance by Young.

Young garnered 180 yards on 19 carries. On the opposing side, Wilfong earned 171 yards on 27 carries and one rushing TD.

Nevertheless, Lackey would help his team get on the board through the air with a connection to receiver, Malakei Sumner for a 21-yarder with 9:56 left in the game. Hickory decided to go for two, but Lackey’s pass attempt fell incomplete.

Newton earned its way for the final TD of the night on a 7-yard grounder by Shade -- his second of the night. Hayes’ PAT sealed the deal, 31-6.