These two programs have put on quite a show in the previous two season openers, and I think it could be another good performance this Friday as the Greyhounds travel west on I-40 to Hickory. Statesville held their own in their scrimmage on Friday night against North Mecklenburg, but Hickory, who is looking to bounce back from a sub-par 2018 campaign will be without quarterback Jason Martin for the next few weeks, due to injury.
However, there are still some bright spots for the Red Tornadoes, as senior running back Cody Young is talented enough to score from anywhere on the football field.
Like in the last two contests, this game will likely come down to whether or not Hickory can win the battle up front. Last year, they wore down late in the game because of a lack of size and depth on the offensive line. While Hickory is stronger up front this year, can they finish four quarters and give the Red Tornadoes offense a chance to put enough points up on the board?
I’m sure that this game will probably go down to the 4th quarter like the last couple, but I think I’ll give the Hounds a slight edge.
Russell Stone is in his third year at Hickory and has a 268-171-5 record, but is (0-2) against Gusler.
Randall Gusler is in his 14th year at Statesville and has a 102-76 record.