Hickory survives Maiden rally, holds on for 27-25 win

Hickory built an early lead and fought off a late rally by Maiden to come away with the 27-25 home victory at Frank Barger Stadium on Friday.

The Red Tornadoes (2-1) took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when quarterback Matt Williams found receiver Daniel Davis for a eight-yard touchdown that capped an 80-yard drive.

The Hickory lead grew to 14-0 when junior Cameron Stinson, last week's hero in a 21-15 win against Newton-Conover, made a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown — his second scoring return in as many weeks.

Maiden (1-2) cut into its deficit when quarterback Jake McRee found receiver Alex White for a 21-yard touchdown. The Blue Devils missed the extra point, making it 14-6.

Hickory kicker Michael Bradshaw connected on a 31-yard field goal to make it a 17-6 Hickory lead after one quarter of play.

Bradshaw made another field goal — this time from 30 yards out — to make it a 20-6 game at halftime.

After neither team scored in the third quarter, both teams battled through a near two-hour fourth quarter.

Hickory's Cory Stinson opened scoring in the fourth on a six-yard, looking like the Red Tornadoes had put the game away.

However, White caught two touchdown passes from McRee in the final quarter, while Austin Wright caught another, to cut the deficit down to two points.

While also made a key interception to put the Blue Devils back in position to win.

An onside kick by Maiden with 35 seconds left, though, was recovered by the Red Tornadoes' Ryan Honeycutt to seal Hickory's second win of the season.

Hickory welcomes North Gaston (1-2) to Frank Barger Stadium next week, while Maiden travels to county foe St. Stephens (0-3).