Friday, November 16, 2018

Rocket season ends 26-21 in quarterfinals

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – It was an epic season for first-year coach Sean Thompson, his 13 seniors and a Rocket football team that lost only twice in 13 weeks. Yet in the end, it was a Campbellsville junior who stopped the magical fall run.

Campbellsville’s Malachi Corley was the go-to guy when the host Eagles needed big plays down the stretch in a Class A state quarterfinal battle between the No. 5 and No. 6 teams in the state. Corley and Campbellsville prevailed 26-21, but the Rockets poured every ounce of energy into the game’s full 48 minutes.

Thompson, the first Crittenden County alumnus to be head coach of the Rockets, praised his boys for their accomplishments. He told them in a post-game speech that they had united a community, captured the imagination of football fans young and old and had become one of those Rocket football teams that undoubtedly go down in the annals of CCHS football lore.
The Boone Brothers share a
moment after the loss.

“We won like men all year. This is the hard part. We have got do this like men, too,” Thompson said. “Good things in life end, but this is one of greatest seasons Crittenden County has ever had.”

As a throng of parents, fellow students and fans gathered around as the Rockets on the field after the heartbreaking loss, Thompson spoke to his team with emotion and passion.

“Look around you, look at what ya’ll did. Y’all did this. Be proud of that,” he said, pointing to the massive crowd of Rocket fans who drove three hours to the game. The CCHS fans outnumbered the host fans 2-to-1.

Thompson challenged his underclassmen to continue putting the work necessary to regain same magic that this year produced 11 victories, tying the second most in a single season ever.

The game was tight from start to finish. Campbellsville scored late in the second period to lead 7-0 at the break. The teams combined for 11 punts in a first half that was virtually a stalemate, other than on the scoreboard.

The Eagles took the second half kickoff and marched down field for their only sustained drive of the game. Senior running back Charlie Pettigrew punched it in from 14 yards. That 14-point margin disappeared quickly as Rocket senior Devon Nesbitt scored on a six-yard run and classmate Payton Riley caught a nine-yard pass from senior quarterback Hunter Boone to start the final quarter. Riley had recovered a fumbled punt a few plays earlier to set up that touchdown pass – Boone’s first of two scoring strikes in the game despite struggles against Campbellsvile secondary and a steady rush that afforded him precious little time in the pocket. 

Corley – one of the most heralded juniors in the state who’s drawing attention of Division I teams like Duke – took the Eagles on his shoulders the fourth quarter, scoring twice more. Once on a 73-yard kickoff return then again on a tackle-breaking 47-yard run.

With the Rockets’ backs against the wall, trialing 26-14 with less than a minute to play, Boone struck again. This time finding his sophomore brother, Tyler Boone, over the middle. After the catch, Tyler Boone dodged, dipped, leapt over and outran the entire Eagle defense en route to the end zone. That brought the Rockets to within five, but a last-ditch onside kick was successfully covered by Campbellsville and the Eagles were able to run out the final 41 seconds in victory formation.

“Last year they thrashed us. This year they snuck away,” Thompson said, pointing to Crittenden’s 44-8 loss in 2017 to the Eagles in the same round of the playoffs – the regional championship game.

Nesbitt, who has gained the nickname Mr. Six for his record-setting career touchdown mark, finishes his career as the third most prolific running back in school history, just 26 yards behind No. 2 all-time, Ronnie Moss. Boone has shattered nearly every passing record in his career as a three-year starter and senior Ethan Dossett has done the same in receiving numbers. It has unquestionably been a storybook – and record book – run for the Rockets.

Campbellsville will advance to play Beechwood next week in the state semifinal round.

Crittenden Co. 0 0 7 14
Campbellsville 0 7 7 12

Camp-Malachi Corley 15 run (Mark Rigsby kick) 2:33, 2nd
Camp-Charlie Pettigrew 14 run (Rigsby kick) 7:45, 3rd
Critt-Devon Nesbitt 6 run (Parker Johnson kick) 4:58, 3rd
Critt-Payton Riley 9 pass from Hunter Boone (Johnson kick) 10:02, 4th
Camp-Corley 73 kickoff return (kick failed) 9:48, 4th
Camp-Corley 47 run (run failed) 4:58, 4th
Critt-Tyler Boone 59 pass from H.Boone (Johnson kick) :41, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 10, Campbellsville 8
Penalties: Crittenden 6-62, Campbellsville 7-40
Rushing: Crittenden 42-186, Campbellsville 35-180
Passing: Crittenden 3-21-3, 78 yds., Campbellsville 7-16-0, 35 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 264, Campbellsville 215
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 0-0, Campbellsville 2-1

Crittenden: Nesbitt 34-152, Caden McCalister 2-8, Xander Tabor 2-13, H.Boone 4-13. Campbellsville: Corley 12-94, Pettigrew 13-63, DeaSean VanCleave 4-16, Reggie Thomas 2-1, Blase Wheatley 1-7, Arren Hash 3-(-1).
Crittenden: H.Boone Passing: Crittenden 3-21-3, 78 yds. Campbellsville: Hash 7-16-0, 35 yds.
Crittenden: T.Boone 1-59, Branen Lamey 1-10, Riley 1-9. Campbellsville: VanCleave 3-0, Thomas 2-20, Corley 1-11, Wheatley 1-4.
Dickerson 3 solos, assist, TFL; Dossett 2 assists; Joyce 3 solos, 2 assists; Lamey 3 solos, assist; O’Leary 2 solos, 5 assists; Porter solo; Riley solo, assist, fumble recovery; Guess solo; Jones 4 solos, assist; 2 TFLs; T.Boone 9 solos, 2 assists, 4 TFLs, sack; Easley 3 solos, 3 assists, TFL, sack; McCalister 4 solos, 5 assists; Tabor 6 solos, TFL; Winders 3 solos, assists, TFL.
Players of the Game Offense Devon Nesbitt; Defense Tyler Boone and Xander Tabor; Lineman Jake Gibson.
Records: Crittenden 11-2, Campbellsville 11-1

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

At a Glance: Campbellsville Regional Final

Stats of the Week
This senior group has tied the record for most games ever played by a class with 49. They will set the record with 50 on Friday night.  The other classes to play 49 games are 2010, 2011, and 2012.
CC was undefeated at home this season.  That makes the sixth time a CC has not lost at home over the course of the entire season. The other times this has occurred are 1963, 1975, 1986, 1999, and 2008.
CC had seven wins at home this year.  That accomplishment ties the record for most home wins along with the 1985 and 1998 seasons.
Campbellsville Series (0-1)Season - Result - Score - Location
2017 – LOSS – 8-44 – Home
Campbellsville 2018 (10-1, 3-0)Metcalfe County – Home – 36-2 – WIN
Casey County – Home – 40-50 – LOSS
Taylor County – Home – 40-20 – WIN
Green County – Away – 41-6 – WIN
Monroe County – Home – 55-22 – WIN
*Fort Knox – Away – 42-0 – WIN
Russell County – Away – 34-33 – WIN
*Bethlehem – Away – 44-16 – WIN
*Caverna – Home – 57-0 – WIN
**Larue County – Away  – 14-8 – WIN
Russellville – Home – 52-8 – WIN
* District Opponent
** Larue County beat Caldwell County last week, 44-41.
Campbellsville 2018 Statistical Leaders (Through Week 12)RUSHING
#6 – Malachi Corley – 76 att., 912 yards, 7 TDs
#1 – Charlie Pettigrew – 66 att., 602 yards, 10 TDs
#12 – Arren Hash – 92/181, 1743 yards, 29 TDs, 7 INTs
#6 – Malachi Corley – 32 rec., 747 yards, 13 TDs
#23 – Blase Whitley – 16 rec., 361 yards, 8 TDs
#5 – Reggie Thomas – 14 rec., 187 yards, 11 TDs
#50 – Tristan Johnson – 105 Tackles, 17 TFL, 10.5 Sacks
#6 – Malachi Corley – 86 Tackles, 1 TFL, 2 INT (1 TD)
#55 – Dakota Reardon – 86 Tackles, 12 TFL, 11 Sacks, 4 Caused Fumbles
#65 – Lane Bottoms – 64 Tackles, 11 TFL, 8 Sacks
#11 – Braden Paige – 44 Tackles – 18 TFL, 7.5 Sacks
Crittenden County Playoff Game School Records(Some Statistical Categories Unavailable)
Passing Yards:251, Austin Berry, 2004 vs. Mayfield (Round 2)
Passing Completions:25, Hunter Boone, 2016 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)
Passing Attempts:39, Hunter Boone, 2016 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)
Passing Touchdowns:5, Hunter Boone, 2016 vs. Fort Knox (Round 1)
Interceptions Thrown:4, Hunter Boone, 2016 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)
Highest Completion Percentage:75.00% (18/24) , Hunter Boone, 2016 vs. Fort Knox (Round 1) *min. 14 attempts
Rushing Yards: 252, Devon Nesbitt, 2017 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)
Rushing Touchdowns: 6, Rodney Robertson, 2008 vs. Ballard Memorial (Round 2)School RecordRushing Attempts: 40, Devon Nesbitt, 2017 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)

Receiving Yards:125, Ethan Hunt, 2016 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)
Receptions:12, Ethan Hunt, 2016 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)
Receiving Touchdowns:3, Ethan Hunt, 2016 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2) 

Tackles:22 (twice), Blake Gardner, 2005 vs. Mayfield (Rd 2) and Adam Beavers, 2017, vs. Campbellsville (Rd 3)
Tackles for Loss:4 (twice), Shawn Lanham, 2002 vs. Fulton City (Round 1) and Adam Beavers, 2016 vs. Bethlehem
Interceptions:2 (twice), Denis Hodge, 1985 vs. Carroll County (Rd 4) and Caden McCallister, 2017 vs. Caverna (Rd 1)
Sacks:2, Adam Beavers, 2017 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)
Caused Fumbles:2, Sean O’Leary, 2018 vs. Caverna (Round 1)
Fumble Recoveries:3 (three times), Andrew Freeman, 2008 vs. Kentucky  Country Day (Round 1); Devin Hopper, 2015 vs. Caverna (Round 1); Ethan Hunt, 2016 vs. Fort Knox (Round 1)

Longest TD Pass:75 Yards, Blake Gardner from Austin Berry, 2005 vs. Fulton County (Round 1)
Longest TD Run:75 Yards, Rodney Robertson, 2008 vs. Ballard Memorial (Round 2)
Longest Interception Return for a TD:N/A, none returned more than 45 yards long
Longest Fumble Return for a TD:21 Yards, Andrew Freeman, 2008 vs. Kentucky Country Day (Round 1)
Longest Punt Return for a TD:63 Yards, J.D. Gray, 2008, vs. Ballard Memorial (Round 2)
Longest Kickoff Return for a TD:92 Yards, Alex Cosby, 2015 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)
Longest Field Goal:26 Yards, Will Perkins, 2016 vs. Bethlehem (Round 2)
Most Points Scored:36, Rodney Robertson, 2008 vs. Ballard Memorial (Round 2)
KHSAA Passing Completions in a Career Leaders(32nd-39thplace)
515 - Lawson Page (Collins) 2010-13
510 - Michael Caba (Magoffin County) 1993-95
510 - Chip Franklin (Paul Dunbar) 1997-00
504 - Allan Holland Jr. (Perry Co. Central) 2000-03
496 - Dustin Gruza (Mason County) 2000-03
493 - Scott Grizzle (Raceland) 2003-06
488 - Ryan Jones (Madison Central) 1996-99

KHSAA Passing Yards in a Career Leaders(58th-63rdplace)
6,821 - Jared Lorenzen (Highlands) 1995-98
6,777 - Michael Caba (Magoffin County) 1993-95
6,753 - Billy Jack Haskins (Paducah Tilghman) 1989-92
6,713 - Ryan Neff (Lexington Catholic) 1996-99
6,712 - Stanley Niece (Estill County) 1994-97
KHSAA Passing Attempts in a Career Leaders(32nd-38thplace)
906 -Ryan Jones (Madison Central) 1996-99
898 - John Wesley Monin (Bardstown) 1998-01
896 - Reese Ryan (Lexington Catholic) 2011-14
886 - Luke Magness (Henry County) 2007-10
885 - Corky Prater (Lewis County) 1971-74
879 - Justin Burke (Lexington Catholic) 2002-05
KHSAA Passing TDs in a Career Leaders(35th-39thplace)
87 -Zach Barnard (Owensboro Catholic) 2002-04
87 - Devin Hayes (Bowling Green) 2010-13
83 - Scott Grizzle (Raceland) 2003-06
83 - Dustin Gruza (Mason County) 2000-03
KHSAA Receiving Yards in a Career Leaders(52nd-56thplace)
2,205- Nathan Dutton (Trinity (Louisville) 2005-07
2,179 - Cornell Burbage (Lexington Catholic) 2002-05
2,163 - Shawn Brown (Christian County) 2003-05
2,160 - Charles Jones (Christian County) 1990-93
KHSAA Receptions in a Career Leaders(36th-47thplace)
136 - Kevin McGraw (Owensboro Catholic) 2000-03
135 - Nathan Dutton (Trinity (Louisville)) 2005-07
134 - Alex Veneman (Highlands) 2012-14
133 - Jason Robinette (Magoffin County) 1992-95
133 - Joe McGeorge (Bell County) 1985-88
132 - Domonique Hayden (Lexington Christian) 2006-09
131 - Chris Dobbins (Calloway County) 2005-08
131 - Chris Lamar (Henderson County) 2002-05
130 - Randy Stegman (Highlands) 1995-97
129 - TaShawn McBroom (Trinity (Louisville)) 2000-2002
128 - Lamar Williams (Hazard) 2000-03

Monday, November 12, 2018

PODCAST: Rocket PostGame Show

Coach Dale Estes, Campbellsville

T&T Concrete
Marion, Ky.
For All Your Concrete Needs
Flatwork - Basements - Much More

Boone is Class A District Player of the Year

Rocket QB Hunter Boone has been named First District Class A Player of the Year for the 2nd straight time. 

A 3-year starter at QB, Boone has shattered nearly every school passing record and has led his team to the regional championship game the past two seasons.

A Crittenden County player has won this award for the past three seasons. Running back Devon Nesbitt was the district player of the year in 2016.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Rockets hold off Bethlehem for regional berth

Coach Thompson celebrates with senior Gavin
Dickerson after one of his touchdowns.
MARION. Ky. – In the face of adversity, gazing down the barrel of heightened pressure yet armed with high expectations, Crittenden County’s sixth-ranked football team fended off a bit of misfortune and a measure of distress at times to pull out a 33-27 victory over Bardstown Bethlehem Friday, earning a trip to the Class A First Region championship next week at Campbellsville.

It will be the Rockets eighth time in school history to advance this far in the post-season playoffs. Twice they have won regional titles.

This week’s victory came much tougher than most expected and it was the first time the boys had faced much tribulation since losing to Caldwell County nine weeks ago – its only setback of the now 12-week long season.

A pyramid of penalties, three turnovers and some downright luckless bounces put Crittenden’s back against the wall more than once in the regional semifinal against a team that had dealt previous knockout blows to the Rockets – including one a couple of years of ago that still sticks in the craw of those who were there. Among them were this year’s seniors whose perseverance claimed the laurels this go-round.

That so-called meltdown at Bardstwon two Novembers ago was no doubt lingering the minds of many as the Eagles scored three times in the fourth period Friday and closed within six points after Crittenden had led 33-7 to start the final quarter.

Crittenden had eliminated Bethlehem 41-20 in this same round last postseason.

“We responded well,” said first-year coach Sean Thompson. “We needed a game like this and it’s good that it happened when it did, and that we ended up on top.”

Bethlehem has beaten Crittenden three of the five times they’ve met in postseason, and the nightmare of 2016 when the Eagles scored 29 unanswered points in the final frame to beat the Rockets wasn’t far from anyone’s memory as they scored 20 in the final quarter this time.

“We didn’t expect it to be like this,” said senior Gavin Dickerson, who scored two touchdowns on pass receptions in the second half when the Rockets first took command of the game after tailing 7-6 at the break. 

Dickerson credited the coaches' game plan for holding the ship together when seas became rough. 

“We took it for granted and they came out and played with a lot of heart,” he said.

Crittenden scored 27 points in the third period and was ahead by 26 with 10 minutes to go, but an onside kick by the Eagles after they’d scored on a sustained drive gave them a short field that led to a 20-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Ryan Mattingly. It was a two-possession game at that point. Crittenden responded, though, with a nice offensive series of its own, but fumbled in the end zone and Bethlehem recovered for a touchback. Mattingly worked his team down field then threw another TD strike. All of a sudden it was a new ballgame.

Another onside attempt failed, however, when Rocket senior Payton Riley covered the kickoff and the Rockets held it the rest of the way.

“They’re big but they didn’t have the most heart,” said Rocket senior lineman Devin Porter. “We just stayed focused and tried to get first downs and run the clock out.”

Crittenden was flagged for 120 yards in penalties. Two negated would-be touchdowns. Physical the game was indeed and tensions were high. There were a half dozen unsportsmanlike infractions during the contest. Both teams shared in the strained relations. Bethlehem backed up 80 yards for penalties. 

The Rockets struggled to get going offensively in the first half while Bethlehem controlled the ball, largely on the ground. Crittenden had just four possessions in the first two periods and turned the ball over twice on interceptions. 

CCHS quarterback Hunter Boone got on track in the third period, however, and completed 5-of-8 attempts that quarter, including the two touchdowns to Dickerson. Senior running back Devon Nesbitt rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns, finding a new gear on a blazing burst for a 55-yard score in the second period.

Sophomore Caden McCalister intercepted a pass for the Rockets and senior end Sean O’Leary recovered a fumble after he and a couple of teammates sacked the Bethlehem quarterback in the third quarter. 

Crittenden will travel about three hours next week to Campellsville to face the state’s fifth-ranked Eagles, who beat Russellville 52-13 Friday, opening that game up after a close first half.

This will be Crittenden’s second straight trip to the regional title game. Campbellsville stopped them last year 44-8 at Marion. The Rockets have won the regional crown twice – once in 1985 en route to a state title and again in 2008 before losing to Beechwood in the state semifinal round.

Bethlehem 0 7 0 20
Crittenden 0 6 27  0

B-Ezra Dillard 33 run (Bryce Zielke kick) 7:40, 2nd
C-Devon Nesbitt 55 run (kick failed) 6:44, 2nd
C-Gavin Dickerson 6 pass from Hunter Boone (run failed) 9:10, 3rd
C-Dickerson 13 pass from Boone (Parker Johnson kick) 6:40, 3rd
C-Nesbitt 7 run (Johnson kick) 4:46, 3rd
C-Xander Tabor 26 run (Johnson kick) 1:00, 3rd
B-Ryan Mattingly 1 run (pass failed) 9:49, 4th
B-Lane Peake 20 pass from Mattingly (Zielke kick) 8:13, 4th
B-Dillard 19 pass from Mattingly (Zielke kick) 2:03, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 16, Bethlehem 18
Penalties: Crittenden 11-120, Bethlehem 10-80
Rushing: Crittenden 34-279, Bethlehem 30-107
Passing: Crittenden 10-23-2, 118 yds., Bethlehem 18-33-1, 170 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 397, Bethlehem 277
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 1-1, Bethlehem 1-1

Crittenden: Nesbitt 22-170, Tabor 6-64, Dickerson 2-3, H.Boone 4-42. Bethlehem: Dillard 19-114, Buddy Ullrich 1-(-4), Ryan Mattingly 1-(-3).
Crittenden: Boone 9-22-2, 96 yds., Ethan Dossett 1-1-0, 22 yds. Bethlehem: Mattingly 18-33-1, 170 yds.
Crittenden: Dossett 4-47, Dickerson 3-33, Nesbitt 2-31, Payton Riley 1-7. Bethlehem: Lane Peake 6-68, Dillard 4-39, Xaiver Cheek 1-15, Ulrich 1-7, Clay Trusley 4-19, Mason Tucker 2-22.
Dickerson 3 solos, 4 assists; Johnson solo; Joyce 2 solos, 3 assists; Lamey solos; Langston 4 solos, assist; O’Leary 5 solos, 5 assists, fumble recovery; Riley solo, 2 assists; Gobin 2 solos, assist, sack, caused fumble; Jones 3 solos; Phillips assist; Easley 4 solos, sack; McCalister 5 solos, 3 assists, sack, interception; Tabor 3 solos, TFL; Winders 5 solos, 2 assists, TFL.
Players of the Game 
Offense Devon Nesbitt, Defense Caden McCalister, Linemen Ian Ellington and Jake Gibson.
Records: Crittenden 11-1, Bethlehem 4-8