Thursday, December 7, 2023

NCHSAA 3A State Championship Preview: Hickory vs. Seventy-First

As the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 3A Championship approaches, all eyes are on the upcoming face-off between Hickory High School and Seventy-First High School. The game is set to take place at Kenan Memorial Stadium this Friday at 7 p.m.

A Clash of Titans

Hickory, the West No. 2 seed, is coming into the game with a strong record. The team edged No. 4 Seed Dudley 42-41 in the 3A Regional Championships, scoring the game-winning touchdown with just 1:36 left in the fourth quarter. This victory marks their return to the Championship Game for the first time since 1996.

On the other hand, Seventy-First is making a triumphant return to the state championship for the first time since 2008. They secured their spot after beating No. 11 Seed Northern Nash 50-36, avenging a loss to Northern Nash in the same round last year. Deandre Nance, the team’s star player, was responsible for six touchdowns in the win, running for four and throwing for two.

Stats and Team Leaders

When comparing team stats, both teams have their strengths. Seventy-First excels in rushing yards per game with 348.7, compared to Hickory’s 205.9. However, Hickory outperforms in passing yards per game with 247.4, against Seventy-First’s 104.3. Both teams are nearly neck-and-neck in total yards per game, with Seventy-First at 452.9 and Hickory at 453.3.

In terms of team leaders, Deandre Nance of Seventy-First leads in rushing yards per game (102.1), passing yards per game (103.3), total yards per game (205.4), and points per game (15.3). On Hickory’s side, Brady Stober leads in passing yards per game (246.3) and total yards per game (251.6), while Isaiah Lackey leads in rushing yards per game (119.8) and points per game (13.6).

Season Recap

Both teams have had impressive seasons leading up to the championship. Seventy-First boasts a winning streak, with victories over Richmond, Pine Forest, Hoke County, South View, Gray’s Creek, Cape Fear, Jack Britt, Purnell Swett, Lumberton, Douglas Byrd, Triton, Williams, Fike, Southern Alamance, and Northern Nash.

Hickory, on the other hand, has also had a successful season with wins against Hibriten, Newton-Conover, Cox Mill, East Lincoln, North Lincoln, St. Stephens, North Iredell, West Iredell, Foard, Statesville, Huss, North Lincoln, A.C. Reynolds, West Henderson, and Dudley.

With both teams bringing their A-game, the NCHSAA 3A Championship promises to be a thrilling event. As the teams prepare for the big game, fans eagerly await to see who will emerge as the champion. Stay tuned for more updates!