HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, IN PREPS

Hicks-Jones helps pave the way for Brickies to state finals

HOBART – Hobart senior quarterback Riley Johnston runs a 4.7 40-yard dash.
When asked if he runs faster than his signal-caller, Brickies junior offensive tackle Ammen Hicks-Jones simply answered with one word.
“Yes,” he jokingly said with a smile after a brief pause.
On one of Johnston’s runs, Hicks-Jones was right out there leading the way for the Brickies QB, who rushed for 158 yards on 15 carries, including a 66-yard score on the first play from scrimmage.
Hicks-Jones and the rest of the Brickies offensive line opened holes all night for Class 4A No. 7 Hobart in its 49-20 win over Marion in the Northern Semistate on Friday night.
Hobart coach Craig Osika praised his junior o-lineman’s journey throughout his career until now.
“Ammen was initially on the defensive line and wasn’t sold on going to the o-line, but he has blossomed into one of our best offensive lineman,” said Osika. “I thought last week was the best our line played until now and Ammen has been a huge part of that before he got hurt and since he has been back.”
Winners of eight straight, the Brickies (11-2) produced 530 yards of offense, including 429 on the ground, in the victory.
Hicks-Jones missed some time earlier in the year due to an ankle issue.
“I missed three games due to my ankle being rolled up,” he said. 
Hicks-Jones says there are no issues now and he’ll be ready for the Class 4A state championship game against No. 4 Roncalli on Friday at 2 p.m. CST.
“I’m good to go and haven’t had any problems since I came back,” he said.
The night offensively also belonged to Brickies senior running back Tyler Turley, who ran for a career-high 256 yards and three scores, which all came in first half.
“The line has made so much progress this year and they make me and Tyler look good,” said Johnston.
Turley was quick to thank the guys up front, anchored by Hicks-Jones, for his record-setting night.
“Without the lineman for me, I’m getting tackled in the backfield,” said Turley.
With this win, Hobart’s senior class now has 35 wins in its span at the 4A power, which is the most in school history outside of the Don Howell era that produced four state championships and 11 total state finals appearances between 1966 and 1998.
“Our class has been talking about this for a long time and now we’ve only got one game to go,” Johnston said.
Hicks-Jones said he is not being recruited right now.
“My coaches have told me to be patient because it’ll come, but after (Friday) and this coming week, I’m hoping to gain some interest,” the wise junior said.

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